Photo courtesy of @visionsthroughmyretina

Photo courtesy of @visionsthroughmyretina

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard

With the new year upon us, there’s a strong chance that, as a creative, you’re running full steam ahead and preparing for what could be THE year. But in the midst of the hustling, the stress and the potential chaos, you’ve got to remember to take care of yourself. Your work is only on point if you are. 

Now, unplugging can sound scary and also impossible for an individual who is running his or her own company, but it is also necessary. It can be defined as simply taking a break from the work and technology in front of you to create a clear new headspace. Below include a few vital reasons to get up and get away. 

1. Quality Alone Time

Solitude gives you the opportunity to truly reflect and expand upon yourself, your creativity and any future steps you have in the works. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to decompress and destress. A great way to clear your mind is to dedicate a time, once a day, to meditation. It can be as little as taking ten deep breaths on the way to your car in the morning or setting your alarm ten minutes earlier to welcome the day with meditation. It doesn’t matter the amount of time you dedicate, just as long as you practice the act of mindfulness for it can greatly improve your day and, with an extended practice, your life.

“Knowledge does not mean mastering a great quantity of different information, but understanding the nature of mind. This knowledge can penetrate each one of our thoughts and illuminate each one of our perceptions.” -Matthieu Ricard

2. Get Out and Connect

A majority of creatives spend the bulk of their time intertwined with technology as part of their hustle, not including an opportunity for play. As a result, it’s important to take the time and truly connect with individuals face to face; it can be as simple as working out of coworking space a few days a week or scheduling one lunch meeting a week because you have to eat anyways. Whatever the outing, put down your cell phone and engage with the world around you. After all, forming relationships is not only a large part of the job, but it’s a building block of life. 

3. Promote Creativity    
It is quite simple! When you are consuming, you are not creating. 

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” -Ray Bradbury

Here are a few super simple tips to add moments of unplugging in your day: 

  • Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning, allow yourself the luxury of a quiet and calm moment before throwing yourself into your daily grind. 
  • Power down for a portion of your day and give your brain a break; it’s a muscle that also requires rest. Go for a jog or to the gym, watch an episode of your favorite television show, meet a friend for dinner or drink, lay in the grass at the park. The possibilities are endless and an hour a day will do no harm!
  • Go completely off the grid once a month or every other month, whether it’s for a day trip or a full weekend. Give yourself this time to spend with individuals you truly care about or take a solo adventure to reset. Whatever you do, pay as little attention to your phone and laptop as possible because this time is about you. 
  • Most importantly, get a rest up and give your mind and body a break! Whether you’re a night owl who works best when the rest of the world is sleeping or you uphold regular business hours, make sure you’re giving your body the time it needs to recuperate. 

Recently Published in BUNCH Magazine