Ever since I was little, I would be in the stands watching my sibling’s games and I would be stretching. It seems odd to me how much I knew the importance of this as a small child and forget as an adult how necessary it is to have complete movement of my body. Now that I am older and wake up a little stiff, I am finding the need to stretch more and more. Why I am writing about this in my art blog may make no sense but if you read any of the previous blogs about hiking then a parallel is formed. Hiking, running, climbing, walking or any activity makes demands on my body and stretching becomes a major necessity. I must remember to wake up earlier and start the day off right. Life humors me by the mere fact that I can climb mountains and be fine, yet tweak my back picking up a pen. Sitting in a chair and painting for hours on end is no easy task. I must remember to get up and stretch or move my limbs regularly. Breaks are so important.

Oftentimes, I can get so enthralled on a project that I forget to eat or go to the bathroom. Sitting hunched over for what feels like minutes, yet turns into hours, may not be the best course of action. Getting a nice reminder to use the facilities when I stand up is not always a joyous thing. Having to run to the bathroom when one’s body is locked up can be quite challenging. So remembering to wake up early and stretch, take breaks while painting, and move at a tortoise pace in life are a few things I have learned in my time on this planet. Hope this post helps someone else today. Hoping you are out, enjoying yoga, a book, time with loved ones, or just doing something to relax. Take care and have a wonderful Wednesday. Also, thank you for reading these thoughts on self care and maintenance.

-Karen Hilliard

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