As it was mental health awareness week last week, there have been strong focuses on mental wellbeing all around and so, I too, am thinking about mindfulness and how we can all find ways to remain relaxed and positive in such a busy world. So it seems perfect timing to feature Liz Chan, Cositas Workshop Coordinator and Workshop Leader of Say It In Neon, Beginners Crochet,  Deluxe NeonLight Up Willow Star  and Macrame. In her own blog, Liz explains how she uses crochet to not just relax but to keep her in a positive frame of mind:

#CraftAsTherapy By LIz Chan

You know that feeling when someone is combing your hair, or tickling your back, or the one just before you drift off to sleep… it’s a kind of floaty, contented, semi-conscious state where you could almost feel yourself going cross-eyed. If you were a dog you’d probably start twitching your hind leg a bit. Last night I realised that this is what crochet does to me. The repetitive movements to create each stitch, the tactile squishy softness of the yarn, the gradual changing of the colours… My brain is fully absorbed in the task at hand, yet strangely free to roam. Problem-solving, imagining, planning… I am relaxed, I am zoned out, but I am busy, happy and productive.

Is this what we call mindfulness?

In today’s fast pace, pressure, and the constant distraction of social media (I must admit to having paused writing this post to scroll through Instagram at least three times!), my crochet hobby – or obsession – grounds me. It’s so important for my mental health, to not only take time out from all of life’s admin, but to reach this state of semi-conscious focus in which to let my mind wander. I’m not one for sitting still; nor do I watch much TV. I used to devour books like chocolate, but I’m finding I have less patience or motivation for reading these days. My hands need to be busy, and this need – if unmet – can often make me incredibly anxious.

Do you remember last years craze for colouring books? I skipped over this one, but reckon the effect must have been much the same… I’m so glad that there’s a growing awareness that we need to take a step back sometimes. Creativity (without the need for perfection) is such a great outlet for the stress of living a busy life, and it’s fantastic that this message is hitting the mainstream.

You can follow Liz’s Instagram @ficklecraftroom or join one of Liz’s workshops or indeed any of the other Cositas workshops to get your own piece of calm.

Stay happy. Emma x