Did you know that forgetting to breathe is a sign of stress or tension? And so is lifting your pinky fingers? I do both of those while playing the piano. When reminded to breathe, I unconsciously lower my pinkies and I visibly relax.
How about this one?
This is what I do when in the dentist's chair waiting for the high pitched whine of the drill. Actually, my feet flex well before that. Because I keep my eyes closed, the tension starts already with the little dental mirror.
I've been playing with yarn and it has the same tense effect on my feet. Mom noticed.
Over Christmas she taught me how to knit again.
It's not something that I ever really knew how to do. I almost finished a sweater once, and I've made a couple of short scarves out of very forgiving fuzzy yarn. If you drop a stitch here and there, who will ever notice? (You'll notice that I'm not a perfectionist in anything I do.)
I made a little sampler of sorts at my parent's house. After a few rows of boring old knit and pearl I wanted to move on. I really need a lot more practice with the basics yet, but I jokingly said "And now let's try cables!"
And we did. Just a few tight cables in my sampler, but it proved to me that it could be done. I have the basic idea. And it was fun. Tense but fun.
I've decided that I need another shawl/scarf thing. I tried one on in a consignment store before Christmas and I really loved it. Loved it enough to think twice about the expensive price. Then I unbuttoned it and saw that it was a simple rectangle, draped nicely and buttoned.
I think that's do-able. I left Mom's with a couple of balls of bulky yarn and I'm trying it. I'm even putting a few cables in it for fun, but you might not even see that in the finished product because there's plenty of texture going on.
Eventually I'd like my feet to relax while knitting, but I've got a ways to go yet. In the meantime, if I remember to breathe the cramping will be minimal.