By Beau Peters
The world we live in today is a hyper-connected one; almost everything we do can be supported or enhanced by some form of online technology. There’s little doubt that this presents huge benefits for creatives. It helps to expose your work to a wider global audience. Not to mention the inspiration you gain from other diverse users.
That said, our constant connectedness has its downsides. It can feel as though we are unable to switch off from the world, to separate from the constant stream of information that bombards us. Our closer relationship with social media audiences can also set unrealistic expectations and can create a demand to produce content that can be overwhelming. If you don’t have strategies in place to keep all this in check, it can be a recipe for burnout.
One of the preventative tools at your disposal is taking a cabin sabbatical. This provides time away from your various screens, and from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. Studies have shown that even 10 minutes spent in nature can reduce the effects of physical and mental stress. Your cabin away from the world can be both a relaxing sanctuary and a spur for creative productivity. Let’s take a look at where this can help, and some tips to enhance the experience.
Our contemporary world is filled with distractions. One recent study revealed that 36% of Millennial and Gen Z respondents admitted to being distracted at work by personal devicesfor 2 hours per day. These devices can be deadly to productivity which is vital in creative projects. Taking a cabin sabbatical can give one time away from the world, but it doesn’t have to be a vacation. Rather, it can act as a space away from the distractions of life to focus on a project, collection, or even just to gather and organize ideas.
Having these goals in mind can help direct your attention as you review potential purchases of rentals. Remember that in order for your time in the cabin to be productive, that space needs to be practically designed to suit your needs. Review if there is adequate space to set up an office, even if it only consists of the absolute essentials you need to reach your creative goals. Are there areas of the cabin that you can dedicate to specific types of creative tasks? Consider keeping these spaces distant from any devices that can access the internet.
Additionally, decoration is just as important here as your practical needs. Your cabin won’t serve its purpose if it is filled with lighting and furnishings that are so intense that they overwhelm you. Instead, look into whether you’re able to decorate the space yourself with decorations that calm the senses or the mind. For example, if you find yourself easily overstimulated, consider methods for sensory-friendly decor. While originally formulated for children with autism, the suggestions for a calming space can be universal. Even ensuring that there is enough storage to avoid clutter and mess can be a boon to your creative headspace.
To be productive creatively — or in any area of life — we must also keep ourselves healthy. This should be as much a mental and emotional focus as it is a physical one. Taking a cabin sabbatical provides you with opportunities to separate from the stress of everyday life, and undertake activities that are more conducive to your wellbeing.
As a result, location has to be a key factor in making a cabin rental or purchase. Is it situated near clear, safe, and quiet natural areas that allow you to take breaks from your creative work with a hike? While a snowy, mountaintop cabin might seem like a beautiful place to engage in meditation and mindfulness, this isn’t always a practical way for you to get your essential daily exercise. Remember, too, that remote hideaways aren’t always optimal. While you might not want the distraction of visitors, your mindset may benefit from the occasional social conversation with locals or store staff as you gather supplies.
You also need to review how the internal features of the cabin can affect your wellbeing. A small space might seem cozy at first but could have hidden safety risks. This doesn’t mean to say that you need to find somewhere palatial, or entirely free of dangers. Rather, you should ensure you use the most of your stay by creating a comfortable and safe environment.
Back to Basics
Above all other benefits, a retreat to a cabin represents a return to a simpler way of life. The technology and expectations of our contemporary activities generally add complications. Removing these complexities and embracing the back-to-basics approach of the cabin sabbatical can be freeing for creatives. The mind isn’t cluttered by the habits and tools of our daily routines, allowing you space to gain some clarity, and see the world from a different perspective.
That said, achieving this type of simplicity requires a cabin that doesn’t present additional complications of its own. When renting or buying a cabin, be sure to research its structural and infrastructural integrity. Are all the utilities in good working order? Does it have sufficient and operational heating in the colder months? Can the driveway be accessed easily and safely in the case of emergencies?
Similarly, making preparations concerning your own skill set in cabin life can reduce the potential for complex issues. Gain an understanding of basic home maintenance — at the very least some basic plumbing and drain clearancewithout professional tools. This means that you’re not adding additional stress from overflowing toilets or having to find a plumber to make the trip out to you. The more you can embrace self-sufficiency, the simpler your creative cabin sabbatical will be.
The tech-enhanced world we live in is not always conducive to creativity. Taking a cabin sabbatical can help provide a clear, peaceful area for you to focus on your projects. It also boasts health benefits and the potential for gaining new perspectives. However, the onus is also on you to find the cabin that best supports your goals and needs.