Mental wellbeing column: Take inspiration from Tom Daley and use knitting to help you mental health

Who else has been watching the Olympics in Toyko? How well are team GB doing?

By The Newsroom
Friday, 6th August 2021, 7:46 pm
Vicky Waring
Vicky Waring

I think what has happened at the Olympics and those who have spoken out about their mental well being is a clear example of what has, and is, happening to many of us.

Working our way through and out of the pandemic is difficult for many.

Being isolated and kept indoors for so long and now told you have your ‘freedom’ is not as easy as it sounds.

Tom Daley of Team Great Britain is seen knitting in the stands during the Men's 3m Springboard Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Just like those performing at the Olympics who have been unable to train as they would have usually, or in their groups, for so long now pushed out into the world of Olympics, it can only be but overwhelming for some.

How wonderful for those that have raised their concerns for their own wellbeing and mental health that they felt able to, although sad that some who have had to pull out may never reach the Olympics again.

The pandemic as a lot to answer for.

There are many ways we can help ourselves by undertaking activities that cause distraction.

Tom Daley is the perfect example of this, despite what the minority have said about him with their negativity and trolling.

He called knitting his ‘secret weapon’, I know what he means.

I started knitting last year to try and help with my mindset because of the pressure the pandemic was putting on me both personally and professionally.

Now, I haven’t taken it to the same level as Tom and I am nowhere near the expert knitter that he is, but it is my intention to look at knitting a pattern that I can then donate one day.

For now an extra long scarf will have to do.

What happens when you knit is it distracts you as you have to concentrate on what you are doing.

Your attention is in the present moment, not the past, not the future, meaning the brain stops overthinking and there’s a feeling of calm.

It’s almost like a state of meditation as your focus is elsewhere if not nowhere and not on all those things that the brain tries to push to the forefront.

Recent research has suggested that knitting calms anxiety and relieves stress, going further to suggest that the rhythm of knitting helps with serotonin release.

So,if you thought that Tom Daley knitting was just for the laughs, there’s a clear reason why this is his activity of choice.

If you are looking for an activity to help manage your mental health and wellbeing, then knitting might just be for you!

If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing or know someone who is, these charities can help.

Samaritans: 116 123

MIND 0300 1233393

Anxiety UK 03444775774

CALM 0800 585858

Rethink Mental Illness 0300 5000927

YoungMinds 0800 802 5544.