Handling the stress of disquieting times
It's summer in Prince Edward Island - a summer that is so different from a typical summer here on the Island! Recently, the "bubble" opened - which allows residents of the Atlantic provinces to visit one another without having to quarantine for 14 days. While it is lovely to see our near neighbours, we are missing our friends "from away". I completely understand the need for precautions. Just recently, PEI has reported 9 new cases of Covid-19, all of which can be traced to individuals who travelled outside of PEI and then subsequently infected close contacts. We are still being reminded to wash our hands frequently, maintain a small social circle, wear masks in public situations where social distancing is not always possible.
Many businesses have reopened with new procedures and protocols in place. A fair number of businesses decided not to open at all this summer. Many folks are still working from home. While there are some real benefits to working from home, it can also create a sense of isolation. If you have children at home, this can certainly be an added challenge to planning your work day.
There is an overall sense of unease because we are dealing daily with the unknown. Will schools be open in the fall? Will there be a second wave of Covid-19? Will businesses survive the economic downturn? Am I doing enough to keep my friends and family safe? It can all be a little overwhelming.
There are things that we can do to help us maintain some equilibrium - to help to overcome our anxieties. So many folks have taken up gardening that local garden centres can barely keep up! Baking is another pastime that has become extremely popular, as evidenced by the shortage of flour and yeast in grocery stores.
For me, the fewer number of visitors this summer means that life is certainly at a slower pace. I have the time to enjoy working on custom orders rather than working 12 hour days seven days a week to meet deadlines. On the other hand, there is more time to fret. It can be a real challenge to quiet the mind, to relax and find stillness within. Thank heavens for knitting! It slows my mind down and I become more present and peaceful. The rhythm of the needles is meditative. Studies have shown that knitting can calm your heart rate, and create a sense of stability and inner quiet.
If you are just learning to knit - be kind to yourself! Don't demand perfection. Enjoy the learning process. Congratulate yourself on discovering new stitches, improving your knitting tension, creating something from "two sticks and a hank of yarn"!
If you are an experienced knitter, perhaps the challenge of a new pattern is what you need. Or, if you are feeling tired, maybe set those cables and colourwork aside and enjoy the simplicity of a quick-knit pattern!
Let's take the time to appreciate some of the lessons that these disquieting times have to offer. The importance of supporting your local farmers, fishers and retailers. How lovely it can be to not always be racing from point "a" to point "b". Cherishing the additional family time. And of course, the joys of knitting. Stay well, stay safe - and happy knitting!
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Live life luxuriously! Classic simplicity is what I enjoy the most - in clothing design, home decor and in life!