Herding Fish

coaching for artists and makers

Opposites Refresh

28 February 2024

I recently came across the idea that activities which are ‘opposite’ to your work allow the brain to refresh itself.

This Linked In post talks about tech execs learning Argentine Tango, and doctors digging their gardens.

People with high stress jobs seeking out creativity as a way to relax.

But what happens when your creativity is your job?

What provides a refreshing counter-point – a blast of number crunching or car maintenance?



Freelance projects and part time work often follow themes we’re already drawn to in our personal practice.

Subjects which are familiar and interesting.

People and organisations we’re comfortable with.

It’s great when our different projects align.

But sometimes overlapping our different roles erodes the clarity we need for our own work.

Being adjacent to our personal themes – but in someone else’s voice – can create a false sense of connection.

And leave us depleted.


Switch off

After juggling studio practice, freelance projects and/or part time jobs, we sit down for a good old scroll through updates on other people’s creative work.

Or we’re fixing, making, cooking and DIY-ing. All of which use similar parts of the brain.

What if you could switch it ALL right off, and do something totally different.


New year lists

I suspect those new year lists with the meditation and yoga and fresh food have faded a bit by now.

Would adding in something completely different allow us more scope to refresh.

Here are a few I’ve tripped over recently – what about yours?

  • growing orchids
  • metal detecting
  • bird watching
  • playing chess
  • litter picking
  • genealogy
  • keeping chickens
  • cycling down hills


Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash