May Is The Month Celebrating And Highlighting Mental Health

Photo by Anete Lusina on

What are you doing this month to support your own mental health?

You may have noticed that I have not been around as much this month as I usually am. Although that has not in any way been my intention.

I have needed to step back from about everything due to stress and a plethora of other issues. If I am not careful, I will sit down and zone out, brain off…actually, my brain never ever shuts off. It never slows down. My brain activity simply sinks down below the thermocline she has erected, cutting off conscious contact between my self and her until my brain snaps back into action — which is typically right when I am trying to get to sleep.

Sometimes I do not know I am in this zone. Someone will ask me to do something. A cat will sneeze on me (typically in my face). The dog will bark. I will snap back into this world and realize I’ve been lost to nothing specific at all for who knows how long.

I try to make sure I can always reach my planners and notebooks so if nothing else I can pick them up and write—or see what I ought to be doing instead of spacing out.

I also try to make sure that I have whatever project I am working on within reach. Currently within my grasp is my knitting project (a t-shirt, pattern by Knitatude), my son’s (first, he tells me) Halloween blanket, the first temperature blanket of the year, the second temperature blanket of the year, and the green and white granny square blanket that I have been working on off and on for a few months now.

If I can get my hands working, usually part of my brain can check out and my hands will simply keep moving. I can handle that kind of being in the zone.

Fiber work, lately crocheting more than knitting, has become my go-to for my mental health. The rhythmic nature of the work, be it knitting or crocheting, soothes my frazzled mind. Plus, strange things happen with the finished products. I have basically stopped making things for other people. I have decided to make things for our home.

Ok, let me break that down a little bit. Home also includes the people and creatures within the house that live with me. Because if I do not make my youngest his Halloween gear, I am going to be in a great deal of trouble.

On his current list of things I am supposed to get done before October arrives: two, no, maybe three “Halloween” blankets; two, but probably three cardigans; hats: owl, candy cane, Frankenstein, and pumpkin. But maybe a black cat and then an orange cat (because he has a black cat and an orange cat), of, and let’s not forget the spider or maybe a spider web hat, and, yeah yeah, a brain one too…then we get into the amigurumi and oh, does that list get long…although I technically only agreed to a few things.

None of this negates the things I normally make on a yearly basis for everyone, for example: winter hats. But we are not even going to get into that right now.

See, the making is completely calming and relaxing for me. It is meditative and reflective. It’s amazing.

Thinking about the list of things I have been agreed to make (as in my son has informed me that I will be making, even though I said I will put it on the list and we will see how much I can get done) makes me crazy inside. I try not to think about all of that.

The one thing that I changed this year about how I approach my fiber projects that has completely altered everything in my world has been: not fighting to force a deadline to complete whatever project by a certain time.

That’s it.

Ok. So the projects I actually agreed to make for Halloween have to be completed roughly before October 1—but it’s May. Surely I have plenty of time to make ONE Halloween blanket and two Halloween cardigans—one for me and one for my youngest.

Literally, that is all I have agreed to make. Seriously.

Although I do know I will make more than that. I will absolutely have my original temperature blanket done, hopefully, by the end of May. I also plan to make several of the requested Halloween hats, but not until Autumn. Several of the ones he requested are crocheted, which means they won’t take more than a couple days to make (hopefully). (His head is a lot bigger now than when I made the original owl hat for him…he was still in diapers then.) Plus, I am looking for a crochet hat pattern to try out. I have the hat in mind; I have no clue what the pattern is called. I know what it looks like. I keep looking for it whenever I am scrolling through Ravelry (my favorite form o social media scrolling…and a horrible horrible place of enablement, lol.

What about you? What do you do to calm and relax yourself? Is it a part of your self-care methodology?

Let me know in the comments below.