Can you believe 2019 is already here?! I am spending some time journaling and reflecting. For me, this past year has been filled with a lot of challenge, loss, and change. I am so grateful to be surrounded by incredible people who have shown me and my husband endless love and support throughout these challenges. This year has taught me what it means to be resilient.
Resilience is the body's ability to recover from injury and spring back into shape: elasticity! Elasticity also refers to the ability of our soft tissues to resume their original shapes after being stretched, compressed, or massaged. The resilience of your tissues supports mobility by allowing you to safely exercise your body’s range of motion.
Think about it, do you use your hands a lot for work, a hobby, or your creative practice? Do you make things? Type or swipe? Our hands are accustomed to working meticulously through repetitive tasks throughout the day. Take a moment to consider which parts of your process are the most repetitive. It’s no secret that engaging in the same action over and over again makes it more likely that you will develop a repetitive strain injury. The good news is that this outcome is not inevitable. Learning more about your most important tool, your body, can be incredibly empowering. So here are three tips for Creating Resilience in 2019.
Loosen Your Grip
The process of fabricating objects requires our hands to grip tools that often have small handles. Holding your tools too tightly for long periods of time can create strain in your hands, wrists, and forearms. You can loosen your grip by using a tool with a wider handle or by adding foam padding from your local hardware store to the handles of the tools you already have. Try it out!
Adjust Your Posture
Noticing your posture in the studio is the first step to creating better habits when it comes to studio ergonomics. If your studio practice requires you to sit in a chair for long hours, either at the bench or computer, then it is important to sit well: Sit toward the front of your chair and position your knees directly over your ankles. Adjust the height of your chair so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then sit up tall, keep your chin level, keep the back of your neck long, and relax your shoulders. Even though good seated posture is important, remember that sitting for long periods of time without breaks can result in pain and discomfort in your back, neck, and shoulders.
Massage your Hands
Rather than doing extra work with your overused thumbs, try using a Soft Foam Ball to relieve tension: Roll and compress the ball between your hands, with light pressure, for a minute at a time. This will help to hydrate your connective tissues and lubricate the joints in your hands. Then both of them of them can feel great at the same time!
Resilience has become a running theme for me this year and I want to share more to help you build resilience in your practice. Just click the button below to sign up instantly for a free four-week mini-course. The course will go live in the first week of February 2019!