This is partly related to my previous post about volunteering. I briefly mentioned how I was starting to understand the importance of balance between work and other elements of my life so I thought I'd touch on that some more.
I spent Saturday evening at my friend's engagement party in Reading, and stayed the night. She was one of my housemates at uni and because we are both busy and live a couple of hours apart, we only manage to meet up occasionally, so I am really happy that I was able to celebrate her engagement with her! However, I was only gone a day but I really couldn't help feeling like I should have been working.
It's crazy to have that mindset when I was away for less than 24 hours and the last time I had more than an evening off was probably Christmas! The plain truth is I feel guilty about the time I spend away from my work, even when I'm not particularly busy. It's always a constant presence in the back of my mind.
So far, I have only been able to put this down to the fact that my working hours are not set, I will work at all hours of the day and on evening and weekends too, so my brain doesn't shut off like it would if I worked a 9-5 job. Granted, I'm sure those of you with a 9-5 job still bring your work home with you on occasion and often find your mind unable to shut off; it's a given with any working role. The difference with self-employment is that the work is at home, so there is only so much you can do to forget about it "out of hours". It's especially tricky when your studio is also your bedroom, so there's always a constant reminder of what needs to be done.
I do make the effort to see my friends when I can, I just find it REALLY hard to switch off! I can't imagine how hard it will be when I go on holiday this year. I think it's bad when I finish drawing for the evening, settle in the lounge to wind down, yet am already thinking about what stage I'm at with a piece and what still needs to be done. I wish I had some sure-fire way of disconnecting myself from it all, even for a short time. I love my work but I also know how beneficial it is to relax and recharge.
Do you have ways you help yourself disconnect from work?