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.
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….
– 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….
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…..