"It can be really lonely staying in a hotel away from your kids. I was kind of hoping I wasn't going to play again, but I've been working with [sports psychiatrist] Steve Peters and that's really helped me.
"For me it's about finding the balance between my home life and being away from my kids, as well as the enjoyment of playing."
O'Sullivan is ranked 16th in the world and, as a result, was drawn to face the defending champion in the first round at Alexandra Palace.
But that is something he knows he will have to get used to if he is to play fewer tournaments.
"I have decided that if I have to qualify, I have to qualify," he added.
"[My son and my daughter] are what's important, so if I can get a bit of both, that's what I'm going to do."
Hearn said: "There is an awful lot of overseas travel and the bad news for Ronnie is that there's going to get more and more of that.
"It's part of the global expansion of snooker. It won't suit every player but every player has the choice of what type of life he wants to lead.
"The downside for Ronnie is that he will inevitable slip down the rankings through non-attendance, but I think that is a decision he made himself and I welcome the decision for him personally. If it makes sense in his life that's what he's got to do."
O'Sullivan will face Judd Trump or Stuart Bingham, who play on Monday, in the second round of the Masters.
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