So I am currently anxious, because I have far too much going on in my life that have deadlines over the next few weeks. It's all good and workable, but it's all got to be done, and that's okay. But here's the thing -- stress makes me stim. (Stimming, for those that don't know, is a desire for tactile sensory input and activity that focuses on that sort of input. It's a neurological autism sort of thing.) Over the years, I've sublimated a lot of my stimming behaviors into things that can "pass" -- tapping my fingers together in time to music, running my hands through my hair, etc.. My husband always notices when I'm stimming, though, even when I haven't noticed it myself. Some people are just observant like that.
Now, though, in the past few years I've hit on like the best one ever -- KNITTING. I mean, could be crocheting, whatever, but for me it's knitting. The yarn, the motion, the fingers running over wood (I prefer wood to metal), the stroking the material and feeling the bumps and smooth parts and the fuzzy/silky/whatever aspect of the fabric... it's perfect.
The downside to this, though, is that the more anxious I am, the more I want to stim/knit, which gets in the way of writing and getting stuff done, for while I can read/watch TV and such while knitting, I can't write. (Writing also has a sensory component, but usually I'm not focused on it and it's neither as intense nor as varied as knitting.) I am currently making the second of a pair of socks (the first that are just for me!) and I've got yarn that needs using and I've got another pair of socks I promised for a friend, and and and and... there's a lot going on. But not enough time. And so I take my knitting with me and use it at school when I can and when I'm hanging out with the family and so forth. Tonight I'm going to the orchestra to listen to Mahler's 3rd. I'm going to knit my stockinette-stitch plain self-striping sock and I'm going to let the sound wash over me and focus on the tactile sensory stuff and just get my fill of it. And maybe then, I can get some more work done.