We spend so much time talking about photography—and for those of us who enjoy this pursuit as more than a passing hobby, we spend a lot of time in photography. Some of us who do this for a living spend most if not all of our time immersed in images and the world of art in general.
But what about the rest of life?
Things get so busy and hectic with not just photography, but our careers, the chores that need to be done, the errands that must be run and so much more. For a lot of us, I think sometimes it becomes easy to forget to set aside time to just unwind and live our lives.
And by that, I don’t mean setting aside time to plan and then go on a big vacation, nor do I mean planning an action-packed weekend for the family. These things, even though they’re fun, can be just as exhausting as all of the things we must do even if we don’t necessarily feel like it.
Rather, I speak of that occasional lazy afternoon stolen away from all those beckoning responsibilities, or an impromptu day off work. Perhaps a weekend where you have no plan in particular other than to spend the time curled up reading a good book. There are a number of ways we can unwind, and for everyone, I’m betting the answer will be something a little bit different. Depending on the day, your answer might be different! Sometimes, my idea of unwinding is an afternoon spent playing games, and other times, I want a cup of coffee and a good history book to read.
Whatever it takes for you, I think that this is an essential practice for creative people. For anyone, really, but especially for people who are regularly putting their creative muscles to the test. It’s the same as the need to rest after working out. That creative well tends to run dry after a while. There’s only so much output that any of us, even the most creatively adept of us, can maintain. At a certain point, continuing to force out new ideas and new art becomes exhausting—and those ideas stop flowing.
So make some time for yourself, and make sure that it is time in which you can truly unwind and do the things that you feel like doing in the moment. Don’t burden yourself with pre-planning or any of the rest. Just set aside time to live your life. It’s a crucial way to decompress, to let go of some of the stress that comes from pressuring yourself to always be creative. Think of it in terms of letting your batteries recharge or letting the creative well refill. Then, when you’re ready and well-rested, jump back into the action.