When I used to work (at a paying gig, that is) and/or go to college & grad school, I was a giant ball of stress all the time. There were deadlines and exams and papers and research and, oh, the money woes of being a single full-time student. I soon developed an ulcer and reflux disease (from which I still suffer), I would get stress-induced sores all over the inside of my mouth, I literally had a headache every day for over ten years!
All of that is gone away now, but of course there are new stresses that come with being a mother to three kids aged 3, 5 and 6. And if you saw the way my husband drove, combined with his lengthy commute each day, well, you'd be calculating his life insurance money, too!
I needed to learn a way to relax, so when I was pregnant with my twins, I taught myself to knit from a book. I do not recommend this at all! There are great, free online tutorials to learn to knit here and here, for starters. I love the videos on the first one; they definitely would have been a help to me in learning to knit.
About six months later, my mother-in-law retaught me how to crochet, too. (I'd learned from my grandmother as a kid but promptly forgot by the end of that summer.) If you don't have my MIL near you, here and here are some great sites to try, for starters!
Now, for my charity, I knit and crochet almost daily. It's such a huge help in lowering my blood pressure and allowing me, for once, to chill out, that I actually fall asleep doing it. Nothing can touch me; I'm in my zone. Kids are fighting? I don't hear it, I just knit away. Scary movie on the tube? I just bury my head in my crochet work. And the best part is, it's not being lazy but rather quite productive, so it's guilt-free for me!
And that really works for me. If you want to learn and get stuck, I'm here to help!
Don't forget to head on over to Shannon's for more great works-for-me tips!