My everyday job is in public health. We work with a group that provides assistance to infants and children by supporting the family. This sometimes puts them in some stressful situations. A big concern for them is self care to help them cope with the stress that is sometimes a part of their job. Having your own craft business can be stressful too. You have responsibilities in production, new product development, administrative, marketing, accounting, selling and shipping. While this can be very rewarding, it can also be very stressful.
I learned to crochet as a stress reliever and it was great to be able to come home from the very stressful and hectic job that I had at the time and unwind by creating something beautiful. I used this stress outlet in a positive way to hone my skills in addition to getting rid of that stress. Eventually I had made lots of beautiful things and had gifted most to family and friends. People started saying I should sell my items and so Holton Handicrafts was born.
Selling my crafts however brought new stress. Would people buy my items? Did I have enough inventory? Where do I find the best shows? How much do I charge? A lot of trial and error, success and failure followed. Now I have a good handle on what sells and how much I need for a show. I have a good list of shows I have done and ones that I want to do. So now that I know all of this crafting should be back to a stress reliever, right?
I seem to have this bad habit of overextending myself thus adding more stress to my life. As I write this, I have a craft show tomorrow. We have done a few this year with my husband’s art (The Lathe Junkie) but this will be the first one with my items too. Even though I have learned to limit my items to a few shows, I still seem to wait until the last minute to finish up inventory. I don’t have as much as I would like to take and I have another show in two weeks so part of me doesn’t want to sell out so I still have some inventory for that. On top of that I chose this month to challenge myself to try to increase my blogs by writing one each day. Add in my job, and household things and it sure doesn’t leave a lot of time for myself. Self inflicted stress!
So how do you get rid of that stress? First know your limitations so that you can keep stress at a minimum. Next, make sure to take time for yourself! Take a few hours to do something you enjoy. Maybe this is some spa time, a massage or lunch with a friend. Try something new like meditation or yoga. Exercise is also a great stress reliever so maybe a trip to the gym or a run works for you.
Don’t discount just hugging your pet. Animals can also have benefits to help relieve stress. They are very good listeners and will love you all day unconditionally. I love to come home after a long or stressful day and pet my cats. Their purring and soft rubbing is very soothing and helps me to unwind.
No matter how you like to unwind be sure to take some time out of your day for yourself. You will benefit in everything you do when you leave the stress behind.