Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Happy, Healthy Crafting.
As many of you know I am a bit of a crafter; nothing special, I just enjoy faffing! I am currently knitting, printing, sewing and binding up a few Christmas gifts and one of them is rather a large project. On Sunday I knitted for about three hours and yesterday I cracked on with some rather repetitive ribbing and accomplished five hours.
So, I hear you ask, apart from telling us all you have far too much time on your hands, why are you telling us?
Well, I know a few crafty people and all of them suffer from static induced aches and pains and so I thought I would put a 'First Aid Box' together for all of you who are wanting to stay fit and healthy for the up coming Holiday Season!
Start as you mean to go on!
The first thing to do is to make sure you have all the bits and pieces that you need for your crafting session together in one place. Write a list of what you need to accomplish the task, get the bits onto the table and arrange them so that they are near at hand. Also, on this list write one thing that you would like to see finished today and one bonus item. That way you are less likely to get sidetracked and stick to the point, which will leave you feeling more in control and mentally happier when you can come to the end and see that you have finished what you set out to do.
Get the blood flowing.
Once everything is together, make sure that you spend 15 minutes moving; I like Darcey Bussell's 'Pilates For Life', as it has a 15 minute routine for me to do and it gets me motivated, blood circulating and I know I am starting with a healthy body. Or you can go for a walk up and down the road and allow yourself to get your thoughts in order before you start your play-time!
Pour yourself a glass of water, or make a cup of herbal tea. You need to keep hydrated whilst you play, so make sure there is always some at hand. I know if there is a tricky cable pattern I need to do I am more likely to miss this step as I am deep in thought, but knowing it is just by me makes me able to take small sips as I go.
Now, for this part I use my phone, but if you have an oven timer or a buzzer you can use that too. Set your timer for an hour and when it goes, put down what you are doing and walk around a bit. I try to make sure I go to the kitchen and fill up my water glass, play with the cat, look out the window and do some gentle arm and neck stretches for then minutes before I get back to the task.
This time is important as it helps with hydration, allows your muscles to move around in a non-static manner, gives your brain time to reassess where the project is going and for your eyes to stretch and the muscles around them to re-engage with the full distant stare. Close work can bring on headaches simply due to this part not being done.
Multi-task and indulge.
Take it easy.
Never do more than a five hour crafting day if your craft is a hobby. You need to keep it special and any more than five hours I feel is too much on the body and mind. Don't forget to eat! Lunch is vital as you don't want to get a sugar dip and feel drowsy just as you are getting to the home straight in the afternoon!
Finish up and celebrate YOU!
Make sure you pack up really well. Put everything back in it's right home, clear the area (which for me includes a quick vacuum if I have been dress making as the threads get everywhere!), and fix yourself a good healthy snack. Enjoy what you have accomplished today! Have a 'GO ME' moment for all you have achieved.
Ease it all out.
Now take time to move again. If you went for a walk before you began, go for another and see how the light is different now the day is closing. Enjoy the colors on the tress and the cool air on your skin. If you are a stretching kind of person, maybe do another Pilates session for 15 minuets. If you want to pump some blood, bounce on a mini-tramp/re-bounder for 10mins. Movement will nourish your brain, soul and body so you are ready for next time you craft.