The holiday season is busy and often stressful. I feel it coming on sometime in October. The feeling starts when they first put out Halloween decorations and lasts until the last Christmas decoration is put away. I mentioned it briefly in last week’s newsletter when I talked about being good to yourself this holiday season. First, it helps me to dedicate some time to exercise. As Amy’s button says, “If knitting were aerobic, you could bounce a quarter on my abs!” True, true. But alas, knitting is not aerobic, (unless you count ripping out 20 rows in fury and hurling your yarn across the room), but a quick walk down to the mailbox and back is. Down to the mailbox could be quite a hike if you’re Robinette. I’m trying to get to some classes at the gym where I won’t be able to quit as soon as I get a little bit tired – the peer pressure ensures that I’ll be there for at least an hour. The funny thing is that no matter what my mood is before the workout, I’m always much happier and have a more positive outlook afterwards.
The second way to be good to yourself is to find a calm space every day. A few years ago, we all heard that knitting is the new yoga. Personally I think that they missed a step in that comment. What they might have meant is that for an accomplished practitioner, yoga is very meditative. Knitting is also very meditative. Now something really complicated thing that frustrates you or taxes your brain may not be very calming – probably just the opposite. I’m talking about the really chill kind of knitting that you can do without thinking at all – a brainless project. Brainless means different things to different knitters, but I’m talking about something to which you don’t really have to pay attention. Straight garter stitch or stockinette – ribbing or seed with very easy or very minimal shaping. The point is that you want to clear your mind wander while you knit – that’s where the calm comes in. You can use the knitting almost as a meditative mantra. Or you can just knit a bit each day and see if you don’t feel calmer.