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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Crafter self-care

It's getting toward spring here in Michigan, though this has been a rather wonky winter!  It's this time of year I am more aware of my vision.  After being cooped up inside (by choice, really, I'm quite a homebody!) for months with the doors and windows shut and curtained off (my husband suffers from chronic migraines and the light coming in from outside makes him miserable-I tease him about being a vampire 😉 ), I realize that my eyes sting a bit when I look into the distance.  I have to start doing my neglected eye exercises again. Look into the distance, look at something close, rinse, repeat.

In case you missed it, my original post on eye care is here.

What I also need to take care of is my wrists.  Never mind the recurring tendinitis or the fact that I sleep with my hands balled up against my chest, crocheting and knitting can hurt if we don't take care of ourselves!  With doctor permission, especially if you have arthritis, joint injury, or inflammation, try these exercises to stretch your wrists and keep flexible so we can craft longer!

1. Do with each arm:
  • Extend your arm with your palm facing up toward the ceiling.
  • With your free hand, gently press your fingers down toward the floor. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Turn your arm over.  Gently pull your fingers back toward your body.  Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Do this with each individual finger, one at a time.
  •  Pay special attention to your thumbs!  Rotate each thumb in a circular motion clockwise and counterclockwise 3 times each direction. 
  • Touch your thumb to each individual finger. Repeat with both hands.


Also important is to give yourself breaks.  I crochet for hours at a time, but I take several breaks each session so my wrists don't get tight and painful.  If this does happen, a heating pad works wonders for me!  What I actually have is a neck pillow filled with some sort of seed...flax, I think (it was a BeautiControl product my friend was selling in the early 2000s) that I put in the microwave for a minute or 2 and position it on my couch cushion just so and lay my wrist across it to take the stress off the joints and tendons.  Ahhh...it feels great!  I'm a bit of a wimp though, so I take care to stop crocheting as soon as any pain or discomfort occurs.  Maybe this is why I never get bad enough to need a doctor!

What do you do to keep your wrists and fingers agile enough to keep on crafting?