Take Breaks, Stretch,Work Normal Hours, Seek Professional Help…..

It’s Tuesday!  And finally I am back! Where to start…..

Those of you that follow me on Facebook and Instagram will know that I experienced tendinitis in my shoulder and had to take a break from quilting. It is hard to write a Tuesday Tips when you are not quilting…..

There were other things going on as well. Some things that were going on are private. As well, I did not know (or realize) at the time that I was also suffering from depression. I had been on what my Dr calls a baby dose of antidepressants for 8 years.  I do not understand what happened but it appears the baby dose was no longer enough.  I am now on a full dose and doing much better.  Why do I mention it at all?….Because we need to talk about things like this.  And because it also had a part in why I needed a break. 

I tend to be a workaholic.  I come by that naturally.  Both my parents have that nature.  I admire their work ethic, but I also need to learn to shut down.  I was forced into a shut down these last months. It all started with a self imposed deadline (at a point I was probably already exhausted).  I wanted to get a quilt done to take with us to Market.  Quiltworx was using one of our quilts on their pattern cover and I decided it would be brilliant if I could take it with and deliver it at Market rather than mail it.  So I rolled up my sleeves and did not come up for air.  16 hour days for a week.  All ruler work.   I got it done!  But have been suffering every since. I was in a lot of pain at Market, and did not enjoy it like I should have.  When I got home and tried to quilt I cried.  Pain is not fun…..

So what have I learned?  

1. Take breaks!

For me that is hard.  I get excited, and so involved I loose track of time. So I have been thinking about how to remember to take little breaks.  I wear a Fitbit.  It reminds me to take a little walk at 10 minutes to every hour with a little vibration.  I usually ignore it as I get plenty of steps with my morning walk.  I have decided to use it instead as a reminder to pause from my work.  

2. Stretch!

I knew the importance of stretching.  But was I? Of course not, that takes time, and I keep saying time is money!  Well time is money, and being forced to shut down cost me money!  Here are some stretches I have been doing to get well again.  I will be doing these stretches when I take my mini breaks as remainded by my Fitbit!

– This one was recommended by my chiropractor, physiotherapist and my Pilates instructor.  Find a corner or a doorway. Raise your arm with your elbows tucked in my your ribs.  Push into the corner or doorway for a minute. Rest and repeat once.  As quilters we are hunched over our machine all day, so we need to stretch out the opposite muscles, the ones in front of our shoulder (I cannot think of the name).  

– This one is one recommended by a friend who has taught Yoga for years.  My range of motion for this one is bad!  But I am working on it. Reach one hand over your shoulder to your back and reach the other under your shoulder and try to connect your fingers.  As you see, I cannot come any where near touching my fingers together….

-We do this one at Pilates class.  Lay on your side on the floor.  Knees at 90 degrees.  Arm in front of you, slowly rotate from the shoulder  to position shown below.

– Don’t forget to stretch your eyes!  After staring at the machine needle, they need a stretch too!  This one was taught to me by my friend the Yoga teacher.  Put your pointer finder six inches in front of your face.  Study the detail of the finger.  Now look for the furthest away image you can see and focus on its detail.  Switch back and forth studying each for 30 seconds at a time.

3. Work normal hours and take holidays!

This one is really hard for me!  When I want to get more done, I just work more hours!  I learned how to work hard growing up on the farm.  That will never leave me.  But I hope I have learned that there are only so many hours I my body can take bending over a machine doing the same task….

And holidays?  Actually I am pretty good at that!  I have learned that the easiest way for me to relax is to go away! So we do, often! Our favourite destination is Canmore!

4.Seek professional help!

Don’t wait!  If you are having pain, seek help!  Waiting can just cause more damage!
So that I guess is my New Years resolutions!  Take breaks, stretch, work normal hours and seek help!

I will be trying to return to my machine.  Looking forward to it, I missed it…..


9 responses to “Take Breaks, Stretch,Work Normal Hours, Seek Professional Help…..

  1. Thank you for sharing what so many of us should hear! When you work for yourself , you feel that you should always be at your machine…and your body / self pays the price…

  2. Hope you are feeling better soon – You are sharing good pointers that we can all learn from. It’s not only long armers that can benefit from your sage advice! I gues it’s like most things in life…everything in moderation. Keep up the good work and thank you Arielle!

  3. Good for you Ardelle. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. I too work too hard at my machine. The more I work, the harder I work, and it just keeps escalating. I do try to take a 10 minute break each hour, but I still ache at the end of the day. We do need to take care of ourselves.

  4. Yes, we do need to talk about these things. I love reading your blog and have wondered what you were up to. Thank you for sharing your experience and thank you too for the tips on managing life. They are all very good ones. I love your work and look forward to seeing more as you get back into the swing of things.

  5. I can relate to all of the above. Thanks for sharing your stretching tips! So happy to hear you are on the mend and are back to sending us tips. Happy Happy 2017! Thanks for all you do.

  6. Thanks for sharing so honestly. I hope you get to enjoy the stretching and find restful things to entice you away from excessive hours at your machine along with some fun holiday plans ☺

  7. Thank you for sharing! I have been in recovery from a broken shoulder for 4 months. A big part of that recovery is a strenuous exercise routine. Of course I hate it–it takes me away from sewing, and that makes me cranky. But I know it is so important to getting back to where I need to be to be fully functional. I really need to learn patience with this and also accept that the exercises are truly helpful and need to be a regular part of my life now. I will keep your stretching tips in mind, especially the ones for the eyes.

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