A to Z Challenge 2016

‘K’ is for Knitting – How relaxation helps our mental & physical health

April 13, 2016
K is for Knitting

Relax

Now I suppose you are wondering why Knitting would be included in my A-Z Guide to a Healthier, Happier Lifestyle.  I can hear you thinking that whilst Knitting might exercise your hands, it can hardly be described as a hard core workout.

However, if you have read my previous posts from ‘A – J’, you will see that my approach to health and happiness is holistic.  It is not just concentrated on physical fitness but also mental and spiritual fitness.

 Enter Knitting – Stage Left!

I have always enjoyed knitting, even as a teenager and I still remember my greatest knitting feat which was a cable knit jumper in burgundy, deep green and white.  I made it in high school and absolutely loved it.  In fact, I think my sister quietly took it off my hands to wear herself, sheliked it so much!

We have recently had a resurgence of colouring books which are thought to help us with relaxation.  Knitting can have the same effect.  I love getting engrossed in a complicated pattern and making a beautiful creation.  However, you don’t need to be an accomplished knitter who works with intricate patterns.  The humble stocking stitch can be just as effective.  I love the soothing feeling of the knitting needles clicking away as my mind wanders and day dreams.

Now of course, knitting might not be your ‘thing’ but there are many other ways you can find relaxation.  We are so busy that our poor minds become overloaded the with responsibilities of life; and just like our bodies become fatigued when we over-work them, so do our minds.

Finding time each day to ‘switch off’ our minds and relax is just as important for our health and happiness as a 30 minutes gym session.

It really doesn’t matter what your ‘go to’ relaxation technique is as long as you find some mental relaxation every day.  Being rested in our minds provides us with the energy and strength to cope with life’s roller coaster ride.

Now I hear you saying ‘I don’t have time’!  Well I know that most of us have responsibilities with family, careers and life in general however WE ALL HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME.

There are 168 hours or 10,080 minutes in a week so can you spare 210 minutes each week to improve your mental health and well-being?

How relaxing helps us physically

Taking time out to relax not only helps our mental health but also our physical health by:

  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Restoring our muscles by resting them
  • Helping to clear our minds
  • Providing a general sense of well-being

Some people are morning people, some work better at night so find your time during the day to take 30 minutes for yourself to relax.  The main thing is to try to clear your mind of all your troubles for 30 minutes and let your thoughts wander on more pleasant dreams.

Some people can relax while they exercise, but I prefer to have a more restful activity for my relaxation.

Ways to relax

  • Meditate
  • Read
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Power nap
  • Go for a walk
  • Garden
  • Watch a movie
  • Paint, colour in, knit or crochet
  • Have a massage

 

Your mental health is as vital as your physical health so take time to relax – YOU ARE WORTH IT!Click To Tweet

 

What is your favourite way to relax?

 

#atozchallenge

Join me tomorrow for ‘L’ is for Letting Go – Why you need to let go and accept before you can move forward

I would love you to join me on my journey and subscribe for regular motivation and tips for a Healthier, Happier Life – Click Here

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

 

See where I link up to each week….

 

 

 

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40 Comments

  • Reply Karen April 13, 2016 at 12:15

    I find walking to be a way to relax. It’s definitely important to find ways to incorporate relaxation.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2016 at 12:39

      Hi Karen! Yes relaxation is so important to a healthy lifestyle and walking is a great way to relax. It gives you time to think, you are exercising and also experiencing the outdoors. A great combination. Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a lovely day.

  • Reply Vamshi April 13, 2016 at 13:47

    My grandmother used to knit all the time and make us such adorable sweaters and caps to wear. Despite having 4 grandchildren she used to do it all the time.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:40

      Hi Vamshi! Your grandmother must have been busy with 4 grandchildren to knit for but how lovely to have something handmade. Thank you for stopping by and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Bev April 13, 2016 at 14:23

    I prefer to crochet but haven’t done it in a while. Great post on what to do to relax. For me it is writing, art, reading, playing games.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:42

      Hi Bev I’m a better knitter than crochet although I love both. You sound like you are pretty creative and have lots of hobbies to draw on for relaxation. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. xx

  • Reply sara vamshi April 13, 2016 at 14:40

    It is peaceful as my mother claims and she never gets tired of it. I had so many sweaters all my schooling and college years to wear because of her. Have to ask her to teach me again so I can pass on to my children.

    Thank you for sharing

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:43

      I love handmade clothing and you would find it very relaxing I’m sure. Ask your mum to teach you! Have a lovely day and thank you for stopping by Sara.

  • Reply The Little Tigress April 13, 2016 at 14:43

    Thank you aunty for sharing. When I grow up, I will learn these arts 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:43

      Thank you for stopping by to comment have a lovely day 🙂

  • Reply BellyBytes April 13, 2016 at 14:51

    Well I’m sizzling towards 60 ( literally sizzling in a very hot Mumbai city). I love knitting but have very little reason to do so as we only wear sweaters when we travel or when we’re ill…..
    BellyBytes from
    Mumbai On A High

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:44

      I’m sure you are Sizzling but I’m sorry it is also because of the weather! Have a great day and keep cool!

  • Reply Archana April 13, 2016 at 15:18

    I used to knit a while ago but nothing recently. I agree with you that knitting or something that needs concentration is a must to the mind of unwanted thoughts which usually are the stress givers. Monotonous and repetitive activities are excellent stress busters!
    Loved your theme. 🙂
    @yenforblue from
    Spice of Life!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 21:02

      yes Archana we all just need something that doesn’t require too much concentration so we can let our thoughts wander and day dream.

  • Reply Malavikka April 13, 2016 at 19:18

    You posts are so damn amazing! Gives me the effect of having read a Leil Lowndes (author of best selling books) book. Thank you so much for making my day, I’m overwhelmed. And yes, will try to implement your ideas.

    Visitor from A-Z here. Do drop into http://www.malavikka.blogspot.in

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 21:05

      Oh I’m so pleased you are enjoying my A-Z challenge posts I will be over to visit yours soon! Have a great day! I feel quite honoured by your comments.

  • Reply Kalpanaa April 13, 2016 at 19:49

    Great idea to put knitting on the relaxation list. One just has to be careful that one doesn’t get into the ‘ just one more line’ mode. Because then it gets stressful 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 21:05

      Oh yes Kalpanaa I’ve been guilty of that – ‘just one more line’ and I have finished half a jumper LOL:)

  • Reply Kala Ravi April 13, 2016 at 19:52

    That really is a wonderful bit of advice Sue. Everyone needs to let down their hair and relax with some hobby or craft. Like you say it does feel very relaxing and plus all the other benefits you mention! Your posts are always filled with some great takeawys, thanks Sue!
    @KalaRavi16 from
    Relax-N-Rave

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 21:06

      Yes Kala relaxing is so important for our health it gives us time to nurture ourselves and rest our bodies and minds. Have a great day!

  • Reply Jeffrey Scott April 13, 2016 at 21:08

    I find writing relaxing, but I don’t really call that mental relaxation. I prefer a non-thinking video game helps in that. I used to be a big time video gamer, but over the years I have lost the interest in continual playing. In fact I even own a PS3 but rarely use it for games.
    I love listening to music and find that a very relaxing time. Working on dishes and listening to music can be relaxing.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:46

      Video games are great to take your mind off problems Jeffrey. You sound like you have a great handle on relaxation with music and even doing the dishes – way to go!

  • Reply Leanne@crestingthehill April 13, 2016 at 21:25

    I’m a plain and purl knitter, but still love the zoning out that comes with knitting – especially on those cold winter evenings. Colouring in also works for me as a way to chill out and enjoy some head space. This was a nice balance to all those energetic posts Sue 🙂 Leanne @ cresting the hill

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:47

      Nothing wrong with plain and purl Leanne. I just find knitting relaxing. I also find colouring relaxing although some of the adult ones are quite overwhleming and complex for my brain 🙂 Have a great day!

  • Reply agy April 13, 2016 at 23:08

    I’m currently finding it relaxing to weave!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:48

      Oh that sounds lovely Agy! Weaving would be therapeutic and relaxing and you are being creative at the same time. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Stephanie Bird April 14, 2016 at 04:13

    I admire knitting and knitters but I can’t do it. My favorite way to relax is meditation and swimming/tied.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:50

      Meditation is wonderful for relaxing and also swimming. I’m not a great swimmer but swimming laps can be very calming. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Michele April 14, 2016 at 06:48

    I can totally see how knitting would be relaxing. I make jewelry and love to sit in front of my table with all kinds of gemstones in front of me, turn the TV to a good show and just start making bracelets. That relaxes me.
    A friend of mine knits and he swears by it.
    Relaxation is so important for mental health…and it’s one thing that I’m absolutely fabulous at! 🙂

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:54

      Oh I wish I was creative enough Michele to make jewelry. Your description of a relaxing evening sounds just perfect. Not everyone can relax so it is great that you have mastered it because it is good for our health. I’d love to see your jewlery. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day.

  • Reply Annette April 16, 2016 at 19:59

    This is my greatest challenge! I have always something to do in my jewellery business so it is hard to find time to the things that I loved before. I would like to read more novels and paint watercolour pictures again.
    There are always something to do in my small business – both a blessing and a curse.
    THANKS for the attention on this subject.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 17, 2016 at 06:56

      It is hard for the small business owner, Annette. How Tomkins the balance between building a sustainable business and having leisure time. Pull out those paints and paint me a beautiful water colour. I would love to be artistic and then I could paint the ocean at my home. Take care and take some time for you. Xx

  • Reply Kathleen April 17, 2016 at 16:28

    Good work with ‘k’. I used to like knitting complex patterns. Not now though, I have thought of crochet, I used to do that a long time ago too. These days I sometimes paint or challenge myself with computer games. Your point is well taken, the thing is we need relax time. Thanks for sharing this with the readers of the Bloggers Pit Stop.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 18, 2016 at 16:38

      Thanks Kathleen. I don’t knit as much as I used to but my daughter-in-law is learning and asks me to help. I find it relaxing and sometimes wish I was creative enough to paint. Thanks for Bloggers Pit Stop!

  • Reply wendy April 19, 2016 at 01:30

    I love knitting. I’m still a beginner so still doing simple patterns but I do find it very relaxing. Sometimes my mind wanders too much though and i forget to check the pattern and I’ve missed a row change in the pattern or something. I also like yoga to relax or a good book. Great post reminding us all to take time for ourselves xx #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2016 at 21:25

      Yes that is one problem with knitting and daydreaming but mistakes are easily fixed. Yes yoga and a good book are my ideas of relaxation also. thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville April 19, 2016 at 13:16

    my favourite ways to relax at the moment is playing with our pet bunnies, I know it sounds silly but some time outside with the kids laying in the grass with the bunnies is really lovely. I am also enjoying a book at the moment too. I am so stressed today, bank and house settlements!!!! but a cuddle with the bunny will help. Thanks for reminding me Sue xx #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 19, 2016 at 21:31

      Oh a bunny would certainly help you relax and I love laying on the grass with kids and just spending time looking at clouds. I hope it all gets sorted with the house and I’m sure it will. You will feel better once the move is over and you can enjoy your new home. xx

  • Reply gigi June 3, 2016 at 18:26

    Sometimes just a few minutes is rejuvenating!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 5, 2016 at 16:02

      Exactly, just taking time to walk outside and stand in the sunshine for 5 minutes can be relaxing and rejuvenating. I love the warmth of the sun on my face it makes me feel happy.

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