Although modern life can often push us to do so, no one should work non-stop. It’s important for our mental and physical health to take a step back, turn off our screens and re-energise. Here we’ve asked a few creative Papier pals what they like to do to unwind.
Suzie Dicker, À L'aise calligrapher
My job as a calligrapher and designer is very sedentary and super creative, so I always have a lot going on in my head. Recently, I have got back into running and it's such a welcome break from my daily routine. I made a promise with myself to keep it up over the busy Christmas period and although I was rushed off my feet, making time 3 or 4 times a week to go for a run really helped me to keep calm.
I usually run at lunchtime and I find it really re-energises me for the rest of the day. Endorphins really are wonderful. We live really close to a big area of woodland and I absolutely LOVE running through the woods. It’s so calming and I also get to see some really cute dogs on the way.
I process a lot of my ideas when I'm running, and address any worries I might have. I never used to be a worrier, but having a business means you have all sorts of worries and hurdles (excuse the pun) you need to overcome. Running makes me super decisive, which is great. But sometimes I just listen to a funny podcast, laugh out loud and look slightly mad!
Kate Cronk, Peggy & Kate illustrator
I love to swim in cold water at a lido. It’s VERY refreshing and makes you feel totally alive. If possible, I go first thing in the morning. I love to start my day outdoors as it helps me settle down to work for the rest of the day.
It’s the activity that keeps on giving! Before the swim you feel a bit scared, during, you can think of nothing but your breath and the swimming, and afterwards the feeling of slowly warming up is amazing – the warm inner glow stays with you for a few hours!
Liz Seabrook, photographer
I'm not a total gym rat/exercise fiend but I do find that I need to keep myself moving to stay relaxed. Riding my bike around town rather than taking public transport is an easy win, but I also practice yoga a few times a week. About 18 months ago, I started climbing. As someone who grew up in the countryside and has never quite fully adapted to London life, being at a climbing centre feels like a little oasis of likeminded people. The sorts, like me, who'd rather be scrambling about in the hills rather than dodging buses. When I hit peak London, I get out of town. Maybe heading home to the Cotswolds to hike and swim outside. I love waking up and being able to step right outside into near silence. Nothing blows the cobwebs away faster or lifts my mood quicker.
Being freelance can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to making time for yourself. When I started out, I couldn't afford to get away and then I got into a mindset of not being able to take the time even when I could. Last year, I worked hard to change that mentality and booked weeks and weekends off regardless of work that may or may not come in. I was quite lucky that I had very few clashes but it was an important change to make and I'm glad I did.
I'd love to say that I spent time dreaming of new projects and came back after a break feeling raring to go – but I genuinely do just power down. In that time, flashes of inspiration will come now and then but mostly it leaves me with a much clearer head to start thinking again when I do get back to work. I generally spend most of my time thinking about dogs, so that just carries on really, work or play. Apparently stroking dogs ears can increase stress-reducing hormones – so we should basically all just stroke more dogs.
Danielle Kroll, illustrator
I just started tap dancing again this past year. I moved out of the city and now I have a basement to dance around in without disturbing my neighbours.
I usually do it towards the end of my day when I still have a few hours left of working but just need a break. It makes me feel silly, playful and energised. I put on some disco or new wave and all I'm thinking about is the music and the sound of my taps.
Anton Rodriguez, photographer
Most days when I’m not on photoshoots I end up editing images or doing admin. It's hard when you’re freelance to give yourself a dedicated day off but earlier this year I decided to take up fishing again. I previously fished when I was around 10 years old. It gives me a reason to actually take a day off and enjoy the calm and peaceful views at many of the great fisheries around Kent.
I try to go once a week. It can be tricky if I’ve had a busy week shooting as I’m usually feeling drained but it gives me a reason to get out and not be sitting behind my computer all day.
I still get excited about it. It's the feeling of uncertainty and anticipation I like most – you never know what you may catch or how heavy it will be.
Cat Seto, Ferme à Papier illustrator
I love to go for long walks, particularly along the wild, unfettered coastlines of Northern California. It makes me feel alive, grateful and rejuvenated. It's nice to get the blood flow going again and escape into natural beauty after being cooped up for hours designing!
I'm very lucky in that the weather is splendid all through the year. I love wrapping a big blanket around myself during winter and stepping out into the crisp, cool air.