We live in a world of constant stimulation. A world that values productivity and profit above all else. We are bombarded by the media and have subliminal messages of advertising trickling into our lives daily. We talk about how busy we are, how there is never enough time in a day to get through our tasks. We acknowledge how worn we become juggling work, kids and household duties. We feel that we need to be there for someone at all times as we say automatic “yesses” without thinking of what we really need for ourselves. We feel guilty taking a break.
I used to feel guilty having a break as from a young age I grew up believing that time is money and whilst that is true on one hand for obvious reasons, on the other hand if you dwell in this mindset you will experience burn out. We have enough on our plates already. If there is one thing that can benefit us almost instantly is time out. Fortunately I’ve learnt to quickly identify when I need to rest and I have a healthy toolbox of self care rituals that I engage in. But the first thing I do is to connect to nature. It’s very grounding for the nervous system and it is from that space where I get clarity.
For me, it is the best therapy.
During the summer months I find myself spending more time away from the studio. It is not a conscious decision but I realise I don’t feel the need to be focusing on finished work. I’ve always kept a list of “mini explorations to get to one day” and so I’ve been going through that list lately. I think it is a great way to enjoy having a break whilst spending a relaxing time in the studio. After all, the studio is our second home right!
I’ve been exploring large shapes within small spaces and allowing them to run off the edges of the paper. I’ve kept to a limited palette so that I can see the relationship of the different shapes in terms of size and placement without getting distracted by colour.
I limited these explorations to 15 mins otherwise I may find myself back on that hamster wheel. There is no expectation on the outcome. These bite size explorations are an opportunity to unwind for a moment in my familiar and comfortable space.
Try creating a list of mini explorations. Make it enjoyable so that when you are in need of a break you can choose something from your personal list. This can be a gentle way to nurture yourself and bring you a sense of calm and comfort.