Time Away From It All
I've just had the last 6 weeks off. It was great and very much needed. Since I went full-time on Morrocco Media over 4 years ago, I've not really had any extended period of time off, apart from those inflicted by illness, of which there have been many. However, that's not really the same because you're generally in bed or lying on the couch feeling miserable and sorry for yourself, which isn't much fun. I had read a few blogs and watched a few videos about creative people who take extended periods of time away from their work to recharge their creativity and regain their focus, so I thought I would give it a go!
I managed to build into my schedule a period of 6 weeks off from the end of November until today, my first day back to work and a completely new year. I didn't go anywhere fancy, in fact, I didn't go anywhere. I stayed at home and spent some much needed time with my family. I played with my boys, chatted with Ellie, my wife, and helped her out around the house. I did as much exercise as I could without getting ill and read loads of self-help books to help me deal with the anxiety caused by my Selective Mutism. I'm reading two amazing books at the moment, one about sports psychology by Tony Westbury, entitled Faster, Fitter, Happier. If you do sports, you must read this! The other is entitled 'Thinking Fast and Slow' - a fascinating insight into how our minds work. I spent a lot of time lighting and stoking the fire, because it's been a cold winter. Generally, I just chilled out and relaxed as much as I could. I enjoyed Christmas with the family and ultimately had a really peaceful and stress-free (as much as you can with a 5 and 2-year old!) time.
In terms of recharging my creativity, I spent a lot of time watching videos - I hope never to see another travel video of aerial shots of Iceland again - aaaahhhh! I now don't need to go to Iceland, I've seen it all way too many times! I did watch some truly creative and unique videos and have been creating lots of filming ideas for the coming years. I did spend a lot of time thinking about and planning future projects and the direction I want to take my career as you often don't get to do that when you are immersed in the day to day of the job. Watch this space for developments on that.
One of the main developments over the last 6 weeks is that I'm never going to look at another social media feed in my life, ever again, because I've realised that they are not good for my mental health (and probably for a lot of other peoples' mental health). I'll happily share my content (including this) for people who are happy to consume, but I've given up looking at social media. The negatives far outweigh the positives for me, so I'm on a mission to make my life as positive as possible If you want me to know what's going on in your life, give me a call or send me an email, I'll gladly chat to you or read your email. It feels really liberating not to look at social media feeds and having turned off social media notifications, I'm not totally bombarded with interruptions all day long!
So, has taking an extended period of time off been worth it? Definitely! I feel refreshed and cannot wait to get back to filming and editing. I've got a load of ideas that I am desperate to develop. 2018 is going to be exciting and I'm really looking forward to it. This is a year of new positivism and confidence!