So many artists and crafters forget the world around them when they work. I’m very guilty of this. In the past I’ve forgotten to eat, sleep, and to give myself time to rest. This became a serious problem before I tore the ligament in my wrist. I would cease my work when my husband came out of the bedroom at 4am and tell me to stop and go to bed. I fell ill because I would forge to eat.
For three years I couldn’t make jewelry, draw, write, and typing was extremely painful. I could quilt, but only when wearing a brace. Our previous home had no air conditioning, and in the winter my sewing room would get so cold I could see my breath. Those conditions of extreme heat and cold were what limited how much I worked. Oh, yes, and the pain.
After surgery in 2016 it took months for me to regain full use of my wrist. Only in the past two months have I started making jewelry again. It’s wonderful! I do, however, still have pain my wrist and likely always will. It only shows up if I overwork it though. That means frequent breaks throughout the day, as well as taking a three day no-creating period every week. Work for three days, rest for three days. I also cease my work at 7pm to allow time for dinner, take my medications, and then prepare for sleep. I’m usually a sleep before 10pm due to the side effects of my seizure medication.
It’s been wonderful working like a person instead of getting so lost I require my husband to pull me up into reality again.
To my fellow artists, writers, and crafters: set up an alarm system on your phone that will tell you when to stop. In fact, set up SEVERAL alarms. Stop at least every four to six hours to eat and take care of yourself. I know many you are night-owls, but do remember to sleep. Ironically enough I’m not a night person at all. I do my best work from 8am to 4pm, and am usually up by 6:30am. My cats are an excellent alarm clock. The morning “feed me” combined with a full night’s sleep is a good mix. It’d be nice to sleep in to 8am sometimes, but alas I’m not tired enough to go back to sleep.
When is your best time to work? Do you take breaks? How often do you give yourself time to rest and recover?
P.S. The kitty in the picture is my alarm clock. Her name is Cacoa (Kay-Koh) and I love her to bits.