Five ways to switch off

Kate Jones

Catriona Pollard says a creative outlet helps per switch off.Catriona Pollard says a creative outlet helps her switch off.

Checking your phone constantly? Refreshing your inbox every few minutes?

It’s a sure sign you need to switch off.

But overcoming a technology addiction is easier said than done when smart phones allow us to bring work wherever we go. Turning off the phone and ignoring the emails just isn’t a realistic option, so can you kick the habit?

Find an outlet that doesn’t involve phones or computers

Her friends say she “plays with sticks”, but Catriona Pollard prefers to call it “the art of weaving”.

Pollard took up basketry after she started to feel the pressure of operating her public relations agency CP communications.

“A few years ago I got to the point where I felt I was starting to get burnt out by the intense pressure of constantly being on deadline,” Pollard says.

“I thought I had a creative outlet because my job was creative, but I really need other outlets to manage my workload.”

Photography appealed to Pollard, but she realised it involved yet more time in front of a computer. Instead, she turned to something completely new and different.

“I saw the local community centre was having a basketry weekend and I signed up,” she says.

“When I did it, I knew this was it. It was like a form of meditation and it was such a simplistic task – the exact opposite of what I have to do in my job every day.”

Pollard now regularly scours garden waste for plants she can use to sculpt and weave. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and she is on the committee of NSW Basketry.

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