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  • Ruth

Clarity, creativity, & the importance of taking breaks

Over the Christmas period, I took a break. A proper break from my part-time job as well as from my business. You’re probably thinking: Um, yeah, so what? But it just occurred to me that I haven’t taken a break for more than a week since 2019. Over the past few years, I’d get sick and need to take a break, but doing it voluntarily? It’s the best. It’s been a revelation, and from now on, I pledge to take my holidays seriously.

During this break, I’ve been doing all the good stuff that fills me up, like napping, spending more time with family and friends, and enjoying some time alone. As much as possible, I’ve been hiking, swimming at the beach, reading, journaling, drawing, and taking photos of plants. I have also developed a fascination with mosses and have planned an overseas holiday (I told you I was taking this break thing seriously).

By doing the things that just felt right and good for me at the time, I started nourishing my creativity. I didn’t set out to do this for the good of my mental health, relationships and small business; I responded to my whims. But it turns out that these whims happen to be deeper unmet needs.

I now understand that I have been starving my creativity and, as a result, my creative business.

My work output far exceeded the rest, reflection and play I needed to feed my creative career. It makes sense that I felt exhausted and creatively depleted come December—I had let my creativity go hungry for far too long.

By taking a break from all forms of work and doing whatever nourishing and weird things I wanted, I’ve filled up on the things that sustain my creativity, tapped into my inner truths and found so much clarity. It almost feels magical how easy it is to be clear and intentional about my goals and values now, having nourished my creativity.

I now know how I want to operate Ruth Evenhuis Designs. My business degree rarely comes in handy, but in this instance, it has helped me update and determine my vision statement and why statement for my business. These documents, dry as they may sound, have helped me to get granular with my planning and put systems in place to make real change.

Over the next year, I plan to make some shifts in my business that better align with my vision and support my why statement. Expect to see more experimentation in my work, a greater focus on illustration, and the use of reclaimed materials in a way that feels contemporary rather than vintage. After a few weeks of input, it’s time for some creative output, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

If you take anything away from this: take a break. If you have the opportunity, log off from work and fill your time with all the fun and weird things you want to do instead. I have learned that it is not a waste of time. Your creative self will thank you, and you may even find some clarity.


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