From achy wrists, sore backs, and that ever notorious craftsman’s hunch, it’s important to listen to your body. How you sit, stand, and move can affect the quality of your work as well as your jeweler’s flow state.
So how can you take better care of yourself while mastering your craft? Here are some tips from my goddaughter who teaches yoga that has helped us extend our level of comfort when crafting:
Crafting involves a lot of activities with your hands, neck, and back. We all have a tendency to put a lot of awkward pressure on our neck and back when hyper-focused on a design. That’s how “craftsman’s hunch” came to be!
Give your body a chance to recover by doing simple stretches that take as little as 1 minute!
- Hold your arm out in front of you, and bend your wrist up and down, and in a circular motion. This will jumpstart the blood in your hands and work out any kinks from using them for a long period of time.
- Straighten your spine. You can do this sitting down or standing up. By sitting up straight, you’re releasing the pressure caused by hunching over during your creative process. Twist left, hold that position for 10-20 seconds, and twist to the right, repeating the movement. This may pop some air bubbles that build up along your spine from hunching over for too long.
- Neck and shoulder rolls. During crafting, your neck and shoulders take quite a beating if your posture doesn’t support what you’re doing. Headaches occur due to tightness of muscles, too! You can self-soothe by rolling your neck in a circular motion. The same goes for your shoulders. This will release tension and ultimately help you relax back into your craft.
Stand up frequently
In a study conducted by Dr. James Levine from Arizona State University, research confirmed that “sitting is the new smoking”. People often spend an average of 8-11 hours a day sitting which has been directly linked to numerous health problems.
Although the health risks of smoking aren’t parallel to sitting for long periods, sitting has been directly linked with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. By standing up in between tasks, you can increase blood flow, improve mobility, heighten creativity, and even shed a few calories! So stand up! Walk around even for just a few minutes. We swear—it makes all the difference.
Take occasional breaks
Don’t stretch yourself thin. I know it’s easy to push yourself to your limit especially when you’re trying to meet a deadline, but being too busy to take a break is a sure-fire sign that you need to slow down.
Taking occasional breaks in between tasks actually boosts your creativity and promotes productivity. Although it’s tempting to just keep going, scheduling regular breaks helps you break down your tasks into smaller ones that you’ll more likely accomplish. Give your brain and body time to rest and reassess your goals, then pick up from where you left off. You’ll find that taking occasional breaks actually results in a better quality of work!
Simple methods like sitting up straight, taking a quick walk around your shop, and picking a chair that helps you maintain good posture easily have profound benefits no matter your age.
Much damage can be avoided by making simple adjustments to your daily life. So the next time you find yourself in your jeweler’s flow state, don’t forget to pay attention to your posture and: Take. A. Break.
You deserve it.
Happy crafting!Want to take a break from crafting alone? Join us in our Jewelry Making & Metalsmithing Workshops for a more interactive and personal experience! Open to ages 13 and up.