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Unravelling Stress: The Therapeutic Benefits of Knitting

Annie Edwards has returned to Northwood School after serving as the Director of University Guidance at Beijing City International School in Beijing, China. She spent this academic year at Northwood as a school counseling intern working closely with and being mentored by Mrs. Tara Wright, School Psychologist and Director of the Learning Center.    Annie is completing her second master’s degree, this time in counseling. Annie holds a BA from St. Lawrence University, an MA from Middlebury College, and a certificate in college counseling from UCLA. She will soon complete a master’s degree in International School Counseling from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) this spring.   Mrs. Edwards shared, “I have taught students knitting for forty years. It is an activity that invites conversation and relaxation while learning a practical skill.” She explains, “One of my areas of interest in the field of school counseling is helping students manage stress and anxiety through mindfulness-based activities. Many teens are stressed about academics, social stress, family issues, and big life changes. Mindfulness relaxation techniques include deep breathing, massage, meditation, Tai chi, yoga, music and art therapy, and aromatherapy. Teaching students to knit and holding weekly knitting group sessions is a perfect fit for program offerings at Northwood. Knitting is a craft that doubles as a relaxation technique. Students embrace the opportunity to use their creative energies and practice mindfulness at the same time. Be on the lookout for lots of gorgeous hand-knit hats, scarves, neck warmers, and blankets around campus!”