My significant other, Andrew, and I have always shared an interest in psycology and wellbeing. It’s a lovely common interest to have and leads to many interesting conversations!
Andrew recently completed an MSc in Psychological Wellbeing and Mental Health at Nottingham Trent University where he works in student support. I was very interested to hear his musings on the Moody Blanket Knit-along and how it could improve our wellbeing. Over to Beardie…
When Jem asked me to write a guest blog about the Moody Blanket Knit-Along it took me a good while to work out what I actually wanted to write about. There’s plenty of interesting stuff to talk about when it comes to knitting and psychology, whether that’s knitting as a therapeutic practice, the positive relationships that the social aspect of knitting can cultivate, or the feeling of accomplishment and subsequent boost to wellbeing that comes with completing a project.
I could probably spend quite a lot of time babbling on about each of those topics, but instead I wanted to share a revelation that I had very recently, in the past few days in fact.
So you know those days where you wake up and everything just feels sort of… wrong? I’m sure we’ve all had them. It was a weekend and Jem was away with work – I had no pressing commitments or things to do, just the odd bit of housework and then a meal with friends in the evening. Sounds like a good day, right?
Well this particular day ended up not so great, for no reason other than it all just felt a bit ‘off’. I struggled to find anything to occupy myself with and the things I did do just didn’t go very well. By the time I met with friends in the evening I was feeling pretty rotten, and even though I had a nice time I ended the day feeling quite low.
As I was relaying the story of my bad day to Jem, I suddenly thought about what colour the day would have been…and it would’ve been a grey day. Almost instantly I began to look at my bad day in a whole new light – picking through the wreckage of the previous 16 hours or so, trying to figure out where it all went wrong and what I could have done differently, or in what circumstances my day might have been less miserable. I could have gone for a walk in the park instead of bouncing around empty rooms at home. I could have remembered about the delivery we were expecting and not felt so annoyed when I missed it. I could have gone out and done something productive instead of meekly retreating back to bed in the early afternoon for a nap, desperately trying to press the reset button on the day.
I only spent a few minutes of time on this reflection, but thinking about it and mapping out the different parts of my day helped me to see things a lot more clearly, and I felt much better for doing so. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t change how awful the day was as a whole, but even just being able to say ‘This was a grey day’ felt good. It almost gave me licence to sit down at the end of the day to tell myself ‘Yep, today was rubbish, but it’s done now and I can move on’.
Hopefully all of you who are in the midst of Moody Blanket knitting are feeling similarly good about taking regular time to reflect on the days you’ve been having. And I hope you’re not only finding it useful on bad days – maybe you’re having lots of good days and are enjoying looking back and pinpointing the things that made them so good.
There’s lots of psychological literature about the benefits of self-reflection – it helps us to understand our place in the world, how we connect with others and how we find ourselves reacting to certain situations. In essence it helps teach us more about ourselves which, without taking the time to reflect, is something we could easily miss out on with so many external distractions vying for our attention at any moment.
Self-reflection can also be very important for personal growth and self-improvement, so if you’re finding the knit-along challenging due to the reflective side of things, then maybe the challenge exists because you’re working towards something positive. Not just a lovely blanket, but perhaps a deeper understanding of yourself as a person along the way.
So, to all of you who are knitting through the good days and bad, make sure to keep going and keep sharing how your squares are looking – it’s fascinating to keep track of, even for a
non-knitter like me!