Today I’m coming to you will a blog post about what we maker’s sometimes forget to do… SELFCARE.
I know I’m guilty of it. I’ll literally keep going until I either get so sick that my body just shuts down on me or get so stressed out to the point where I’m just irritated with everything and everyone and it’s not their fault at all. This year has been particularly stressful for me and as I went a long this maker journey of mine I found these 5 things have really helped me manage my stress and also take care of my body as well.
As maker’s we work with all types of fibers all day everyday. It can be very drying to our skin and our hands are apart of our tools. While talking with a coworker she suggested that I start using essential oils to help relax and de-stress. I have super sensitive skin so anything that can’t be diluted in a carrier oil I couldn’t use or at least I thought I couldn’t use them until she told me to just add a few drops into a humidifier.
So I did what everyone does now a days… I searched the internet for one. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on one to be honest because I didn’t know how well it would work for me. After about a 3 days of searching the internet I found the one that I could hook up to my computer and that I could also add essential oils to as well. Let me tell you, this was the best $20 I’ve spent this whole year. The first time I used it I noticed the difference in my skin and my breathing. I’ve been using a lot of animal fibers this year and it can be very drying to your skin. This humidifier and the added aromatherapy is the perfect combo for snuggling up in your favorite blanket, a good binge watching of your favorite show or enjoying an audio book ( my favorite thing to do).
I love using peppermint and clove essential oils this time of year because it reminds me of Christmas time. I also love using other essential oils blends like orange/rose, eucalyptus/peppermint/tea tree/lemon (for when I’m congested), lavender/ vanilla (for relaxation). There are so many other essential oil blends that are out there that are great. I used my coworker as a recipe resource and also Pinterest is a great resource as well. Bonus, the humidifier acts as a night light that shifts colors.
2. TENS Machine
Have you ever heard of a TENS machine before? If you haven’t, boy are you in for some enlightening. Years ago, I injured my back trying to do that I’ll grab all of the groceries because I don’t want to make another trip to the car thing that we’re all guilty of doing from time to time. So after a trip to the ER and then being sent to physical therapy I was introduced to my very first TENS machine and it was love at first knead.
Fast forward years later and the pains of being a maker hit me so hard one night that I couldn’t sleep. So I picked up my phone and went straight to Amazon and looked up TENS machines. I bought the first one that had great reviews, multiple settings and could be delivered the next day thanks to having Amazon Prime. As soon as I saw the package at my front door I ran and tore the box open. If you’ve ever had neck, wrist and back pain do to being hunched over looking down at your stitches, or looking at your computer typing up patterns for your followers then trust me you’ll want this. I can’t tell you the relief I felt when those patches came to life with the press of a button. This machine has been my saving grace for well over a year and a half now I don’t regret spending the money.
These miracle flakes are a recent find of my mom’s and she got me hooked. My mom loves watching YouTube and trying to find natural ways to relieve pain. She has issues with her hands where she has no cartilage left in her thumbs so it’s just bone on bone rubbing together. She has special braces that she has to wear everyday to keep everything in place but it doesn’t relieve the pain. If the weather is bad out It’s even worse.
In the last few months I’ve been having wrist issues due to me having to do a lot at work and then I would come home and crochet for hours. I wasn’t paying attention to the signs that my body was in distress and have ended up placing all of my planned patterns on hold until after the holidays while my wrist and hands get better.
One day a few weeks ago I just couldn’t take it and I was telling my mom that my wrist hurt so bad and that I didn’t want to take over-the-counter meds for it but the pain was just that intense. She told me to come and try this spray that she made which was just hot water and the flakes. My gosh…. when I sprayed the mixture on my wrist the pain that I was having went away in just a few minutes and lasted about 2 days. I literally spray my wrists and hands with that mixture everyday and afterward I put my compression gloves on, which I highly recommend knitters, crocheters or any artist that work with their hands use. Those two products work great together. This is forever be in my arsenal for natural pain relief.
We tend to forget that sleep is our best friend. We’re always on the run and have this project due or this commission to make that we just run ourselves down. I sometimes find myself daydreaming about sleep while in a meeting or sitting at my desk…lol Have you ever asked yourself why as a child you refused to take that nap that your mom wanted you to take so you wouldn’t be grumpy? Now as an adult with adult responsibilities we all need a nap and would love to be able to take one in the middle of the day to recharge our batteries.
One of my goals/life changes for 2020 is to be more conscientious of getting more rest. Rest is the operative word. Setting up a time that all electronics, social media and work shuts down for the day and doing a nightly routine to help wind down from the day has helped me recently. I just hope I can keep up with it. Oddly enough the humidifier has helped me get more of a deeper sleep especially with the soothing colors.
This is also something else that I’m working on… being mindful. Mindful of the choices you make, mindful of the energy you allow yourself to be around, being mindful of not playing the comparison game, being mindful of not down playing the achievements and goals that you’ve earned and met. The list can go on and on but these are the main things that I read on people’s Instagram and Facebook posts. It’s not always from content creators either, it’s from individuals that work a traditional 9 to 5.
Life is tough enough without all of the hang-ups that come along with adulthood. Then you add wanting to live your dreams and make sure you please everyone you tend to forget about yourself. I’ve gotten myself a journal to write all of my aspirations and feelings for the coming year and I hope you’ll do the same. Visually and conscientiously looking at and writing your thoughts can give you the motivation you need when you get down on yourself.
So, I hope these things help you as they’ve helped me. If you do end up doing even one of the things on this list please let me know in the comments below.
Happy New Year !!
-Tacia (Maker and Founder of Joanna’s Crochet)