Today’s post is a guest post by Stacey Trock of FreshStitches (and also the voice beind the Crochet Chat podcast). She recently started a new series on her blog called Craft School Saturday where she shares the creative things she’s enjoying outside of her actual creative business. In this post she reminds us that it’s so important to find a way to take downtime for ourselves – in whatever way works best for us!
Why I Started Craft School Saturday
I’m not going to fib. I have a dream job. I design stuffed animals (that I adore) and I write up the patterns for customers who are truly appreciative of the work I do. My customers make my world go ‘round, and many of them are sweet enough to take the time to email me photos of the work they’ve made from my patterns! It’s amazingly fulfilling, and I can’t even pretend that there are awful bits to the work that I do!
Because my work is so gratifying, it’s very tempting to work too many hours a day. Skip my morning run to get a jump on answering emails from customers. Decide it’s not worth going to yoga in the afternoon because I’m caught up in an exciting new idea for a blog post. Refrain from spending the evening in relaxing chatter with my husband because there’s a new design I could be crocheting. Tempting, right? My job is so fun!
But I know myself. While working 12+ hour days is immediately gratifying, it only takes a couple of days before my body tells me it’s had enough. A headache. A cold. A sleepless night. So, I’ve learned that it’s incredibly important to stick to an 8 hour-a-day work schedule.
Polymer clay buttons that Stacey shared for Craft School Saturday
It’s so hard! I really want to crochet another animal or answer a few more emails from customers (or read some tweets… aren’t there always more tweets to catch up on?)… even if it’s not in the best interest of my health. THIS is why I started Craft School Saturdays: because I need an excuse to walk away from my job. The easiest way for me to relax is to tell myself that I’m doing it for someone else. Isn’t that silly? I have an incredibly difficult time playing with polymer clay just for fun… but if I’m sharing my experience with others… then it’s got a whole new meaning!
Every week, I work on a project that is just plain fun. I take photos, and I share what I’ve done every Saturday on my blog. There’s no pressure to post detailed tutorials. Or even to take stunning photos. My readers know that on Saturdays, it’s just me. Having fun. Doing something different.
It’s a win-win. I have an excuse to take some time off. And my readers enjoy it, too!
So, what can you schedule into your life to force yourself to relax?
Stacey’s question is so important that I’d encourage you to answer it in the comments below. It’ll help hold you accountable for taking that downtime! For me, crochet is a big key to my relaxation – that’s something I’ve written about in Crochet Saved My Life, which Stacey actually reviewed recently on her blog. Like Stacey, I can easily overwork myself because I love writing. And like Stacey, I’m more motivated to take the downtime if I know I’ll share it on a blog somewhere. Another trick I use is scheduling craft dates with friends; scheduled downtime makes sense for me. What about you?
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