Knitting to reduce stress

If your daily planner is full of meetings, appointments and reminders, not only for you but for all of your family members.

The stress from busy schedules is one of the most common complaints from parents today. It can be harmful to your health, unless you do something about it.

The stretching and breathing of yoga is a known remedy for stress, but it is not for everyone’s liking.

At Riverbend Cancer Services, knitting is the new yoga.

“It is supposed to be the number one stress reducer for people with chronic illness,” explains wellness program director and cancer survivor Laura Ginter.

Wellness Program Director and cancer survivor, Laura Ginter was looking for an addition to Riverbend's classes. She says knitting was an instant hit, for those learning how, and those looking for advice for their cancer treatment.

“We have such a variety of people who are in such different levels of survivorship,” says Ginter. “There is usually somebody there that can help them.”

The class is for anyone. Volunteer instructor Jessica Logan helps knitters work through their knots.

“The wonderful thing about knitting is that you do get to rip it out and start over,” says Jessica Logan a volunteer instructor. “If you make a mistake it disappears and is no longer there. And wouldn't it be great if life were the same way.”

Here at Riverbend Cancer Services if you do not know how to knit or do not have the supplies, do not worry, because you can pick up some needles and yarn right here. Or you can bring a project from home. The key is you are not only learning about knitting you're learning about patience.

“If you run into a roadblock there are solutions,” says Logan. “It may take you some time. And it might take you some patience to figure out what that solution might be, but it's always there. And that's a pretty good lesson.”

It is a good lesson among good friends. They get to know each other and the projects they are working on.

Jan is knitting a scarf; Karen knits out of a champagne bucket.

“I miss it if I am not here,” says Cindy Miller who recently finished cancer treatments. “They are friends, and you miss that group of friends.”

Cindy Miller is working on a sweater. She recently finished treatment for a recurring cancer.

“It's not something that you lay down roll over and say that is it,” says Miller. “You keep going. I'm here for the fellowship. Also for the moral support, and what, if anything, I can give to somebody else.”

And when she hits a knitting roadblock?

“Generally speaking I set it aside,” says Miller. “Pray about it. Come back to it later. If I see my way through it I take care of it. If I don't I come and yell help.”

“The intention of yoga is to reduce stress, and this does that too,” says Ginter. “Without having to wear yoga pants, but you could wear them if you wanted.”

No matter what you wear, just plan to relax with friends.

The class is free to join, and again, it is for anyone interested in knitting. They meet on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Riverbend offices on East Jefferson Boulevard.

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