Mini Self-Care Breaks

Thank you to Sherrie Meyer of Conchy Gem Dolls for today’s blog post!

sherriemThe busy holiday season is upon us and many Etsians will be at full tilt madly filling orders and restocking items. Like me, many of you also have outside jobs adding to the frenzy of high energy demand and too little time. Not to mention our poor wee families who endure our late night hours, hurried meals and fraught distracted behaviour.

Now I know there will be some of you who planned ahead in the quiet months and are sitting pretty easy right now with plenty of beautiful handcrafted creations, stacks of lovely vintage products and oodles of supplies in stock. But if you are like me, somehow the holidays always catch me out and I need to really watch out that I don’t go into complete overload.

As a child counsellor, I have learned a lot from the little people who share time with me. Kids generally live their life in full swing at all times and it is amazing their incredible energy and the creativity generated around them. What I have noticed is their ability to stop and take little one or two minute time outs. These short `time outs’ keep them going indefinitely – as all parents and carers know too well.

Hmmm—maybe we big people need to get in on this action.

So I have included some great little `time out’ activities for busy big people to clear the mind, release tension and boost our creative processes. You can do most of these exercises at your work table and it takes only moments. For greater benefit however, leave your work room (and your computer) and head for a quiet relaxing spot if you can.

Remember – try to take quick 1 to 2 minute self-care breaks at regular intervals during your work day. Have a go and have fun…

Reduce tension
• Breathe, breath, breathe… Sit comfortably or lie down. Close your ideas and start to pay attention to your breathing. Take a deep breath in through your nose and then slowly blow out through your mouth. Repeat a couple of times. Loosen your shoulders and jaw area by gently wriggling to comfort. Take one last deep breath, open your eyes and SMILE at your good work.
• Quick Body Scan – Lie down and close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths then breath as normal. Starting at the top of your head and working down to your feet, mentally scan each section of your body. Notice any areas of your body that are holding tension or discomfort. See if you can loosen the area by readjusting your body, breathing evenly in and out and relaxing the area even further. This exercise may take some practice but really helps us to get in tune with our body and its sensations.
• Bound and Free – this is an energy release little gem of an exercise. Wrap your arms around your body firmly; hold your tension as you hold your body. Then burst free and exhale while you shake out your tension and do a little run on the spot. Repeat at least once.

Great little wake me ups in 1 – 2 minutes
• Hula hoop, march, or skip rope (Note: do this to your own physical ability)
• Music Express – Choose a fave song or two and dance like no one’s watching. Can’t dance? then sing loudly to the song and make up the words if you don’t know them. Alternatively grab a percussion instrument (bongos, pan and wooden spoons, paint brushes and packing box and drum along to the songs.
• Double Doodle – Draw with both hands. Draw specific shapes such as circles, squares or triangles. The object is to draw the shapes at the same time – using both hands – to improve focus and concentration. http:// article/388671-brain-gym-exercises-with-left-handed-right-handed-movements/#ixzz2Ceo2OXJy
• Eye boost – for those crafters who are doing fine, close up work – remember to care for your eyes. Step away from your craftwork/computer, look out the window and find a distant image to focus on for a few moments and give your eyes time to adjust normally.

Stimulate your creative flow
• Draw/colour an idea on your art pad using your non- dominant hand. Great right brain creativity booster!
• Music Flow – Just for a few minutes, turn off your Bruce or Florence tracks. Now turn on your fave classical CD like Mozart, Handel etc. for 10 minutes. Trust me… This is a fair dinkum research proven creativity booster.
• Photo Memory – Turn on your right and left brain activity. Take a couple of minutes to study your surroundings, eg look out your window. Focus on small details of the image you see around you. Then close your eyes and try to remember as many details as you can. Try to include all your senses: visual; smell; hearing; touch; spatial etc.
• Sudoku or quickie crosswords – Pick me up for your left brain when you need to get organised or analytical; eg listing new items and Etsy relevancy tagging!
*Remember use activities within your own personal needs and limitations. Also if you find things are really getting on top of you – seek support from your health care professional*

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