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Creative Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

Monica Wesley

You're in our thoughts here at Cowgirl Yarn. We hope that everyone in our wonderful fiber community is staying healthy and coping as well as can be expected during these uncertain times. Numerous studies have shown that crafting helps to reduce stress and provides additional health benefits. Those of us with a creative spirit who knit, crochet, weave, felt, dye, spin, and make beautiful things understand this essential truth. Because of this, I think we're quite fortunate. Even before the pandemic occurred, we had already cultivated a healthy practice that we can continue to employ to help us manage coronavirus-related uncertainty and anxiety. 

However, sometimes our hobbies simply aren’t enough. As coronavirus continues to upend our daily lives, HelpGuide offers these additional tips for managing the related stress and anxiety:

  • Stay informed, but don’t obsessively check the news. This includes following trustworthy sources, limiting how often you check for updates, staying away from media if you start to feel overwhelmed, asking someone reliable to share updates, and being careful about what you share both online and in-person.
  • Focus on the things that you can control. While you can’t control how the pandemic affects your entire community, you can do your part to reduce your personal risk, including washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and following other recommendations from healthcare experts.
  • Plan for what you can. Proactivity can reduce anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might be helpful to write down your specific concerns about how coronavirus is currently disrupting or might disrupt your life in the future. Make a list of possible solutions, and try not to get hung up on “perfect” options. Focus on concrete things that you can solve or change, rather than worrying about circumstances beyond your control. Once you’ve evaluated your options, you can draw up a plan of action.
  • Stay connected, even when physically isolated. Video chats, social media, phone calls, online groups, and virtual events can all help you to feel less alone, even when you're practicing social distancing. At Cowgirl Yarn, we’re committed to finding creative ways to help our community of crafters stay connected, including socially distanced classes, online knit-togethers, and more virtual events, and we hope that you'll continue to join us. 
  • Take care of your body and spirit. Be kind to yourself and show yourself grace. Maintain a regular routine as best as you can. Take time out for activities that you enjoy, such as knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, or other crafting activities. Get out in nature, and find ways to remain physically active. Avoid self-medicating. Adopt a relaxation practice, such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or another soothing and centering activity.
  • And sometimes the best way to help ourselves is to help others. Donating your time or energy to others who need assistance can be an excellent way to take the focus off of ourselves. Actively helping others can give us back a sense of power.

You can read the entire HelpGuide article here. For additional resources on managing stress and anxiety, the CDC provides a page of helpful resources. You can also find a series of on-demand videos from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADDA) on Managing Coronavirus Anxiety. And although these are fantastic resources, if you are experiencing persistent feelings of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, please see a doctor or other medical care provider.  

We hope you know that we're still here to support you and provide for your crafting needs. We're happy to help and are available to work with you face-to-face and/or via email and phone. Also, curbside pickup is still available for local customers. We wish that you and yours are doing well and that we'll see you soon, either online or in-person. Don't hesitate to reach out to us, and let us know if we can help you with your fiber needs.

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