Editor’s Note: I love this post from Erin on Self-care Tips for Creatives Who Work From Home. It hits close to home since I often have to force myself out of my pajamas or out of the house to take a walk. Thanks Erin for these awesome tips + helping me force myself to turn off the Gilmore Girls and focus solely on my work! -Nicole
It happened again, I turned into a screen zombie. This time it started with a few harmless cooking shows while I worked, and ended with re-watching a TV series that I’ve already watched, un-showered, in my sweatpants, and barely embroidering.
I never realize that I’m in a TV rut until one day I find myself getting out of bed and turning on the TV right away. This is a sign that I am no longer functioning in any sort of creative mindset. I have morphed into a screen zombie.
What’s so wrong with turning into a screen zombie?
For me, it’s going through the motions of embroidering, and not thinking about the work that I am creating. I tend to make mistakes, my stitching takes longer, and I am also not creating any new content. My sales also seem to be slower, though I’m not sure if that’s directly correlated.
The years of hard work that I’ve spent making my dream of a full-time hankie embroidery business didn’t happen by extreme binge-watching seven seasons of a particular TV show. And I should be paying attention to what I am doing, after all, embroidering is still one of my very favorite things to do.
Like any sort of detox, getting away from the screen isn’t that easy. I start to miss the characters that I have started to think of as my companions. But guess what, they aren’t going anywhere, you are. Your creative process is far more important to be attached to than any fictional story line. So, employ a little tough love, and turn it off.
Working in a completely silent room does not work for me. It makes me crazy. If that rings true for you too, here are a few things that I do when I am “detoxing” from binge watching:
Listen to podcasts. There are thousands of great podcasts, and the content is so varied. I am a particular fan of the podcasts that focus on handmade business. I love listening to other people who are creative business owners talk about their growth, struggle, and success. It’s reassuring when I am trying to kick my Netflix/Hulu/Amazon habit. *Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for podcasts check out this post we did on 16 Must-listen Podcasts for Creatives.
Don’t exchange your binge watching for the tap trap (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, repeat.) There is nothing that is happening on social media that you can’t catch up on during lunch, or at the end of your work day.
Stand up and stretch every hour, and take a walk every day. It’s good for you, and can be a great way to clear your mind or spark creativity.
Read a book. Or a magazine. Enough said.
And, the most important one: Change out of your pajamas EVERY SINGLE DAY. You will feel better. Even though you work from home, it’s still work, and changing into real clothes (even if they are comfy) signifies the shift from sleepy time to work day.
Erin “Wren” Duncan is the owner and handmaker behind wrenbirdarts. She is a former bookseller, barista, grantwriter, event planner, and real estate agent with a Master’s in Social Work. Erin is known for her sometimes cheeky, hand embroidered hankies. Her work has been featured on Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Glamour Magazine, and in several local and international print magazines. Erin lives in Seattle, where you’ll find her walking around exploring farmers markets, the local craft beer scene, and scoping out local businesses. You can follow her on social media @wrenbirdarts.