When I started blogging, I don’t think I ever anticipated the amount of mental energy I’d need. And I definitely didn’t think burnout & creative blocks would be an issue. I’ve never really considered myself as a creative person. Sure, I love to write and my passions have become more creative over the years. But I don’t think I would have labeled myself creative. It took a while for me to finally understand my process and how I worked best.
If you watch my vlogs, you’ll have heard me talking about burnout a little recently. With so much content happening at once, my brain starts to scream for a break. The idea of simply creating made me freeze up. Luckily, I’ve learned how to hit the reset button on my burnout & creative blocks. So today I thought I’d share my tips with you for getting past those moments.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE BURNOUT IS HAPPENING/COMING
Based on experience, I can always start to tell when my burnout is coming. I start to feel overtaxed mentally and just want to do nothing. But before I can even begin to take the steps to reset myself, I have to acknowledge that I’m having an issue. If I don’t take the time to see that there is a problem, I’ll just keep pushing past it and make it worse. And instead of a few hours working to give me a reset, I’ll end up needing a week. Most creative people will tell you that sometimes you just need to acknowledge that now isn’t the right time. Giving yourself that space to breathe may be the thing that saves you from a massive creative block in the end.
TAKE A BREAK
Regardless of whether I want to or not, my mind loves to churn ideas in the background. If it’s a puzzle or a problem, my brain wants to find a way to solve it. But when I start to feel like I’m banging my head against the wall, I step away. I’m not a marathon gal when it comes to mental problems. I do a little at a time and find it’s the best way I give my all.
So instead of staring at my computer in frustration, I’ll go for a walk, spend some time cooking or just get out of the space I’m working in. I know that if I step away I can let myself breathe and come back with new perspective. Taking a break is how I keep going. It’s the mental gift I give myself. And I’ve learned that short breaks save me from long term burnout.
MAKE TIME TO DO NOTHING
Doing nothing may seem like a good way to get nothing done but it’s the creative person’s key to staying strong. This month my schedule is packed with travel, videos and blog content. And I’m super excited about all of it. My inner extrovert loves to be busy. But there’s also the part of me that requires a bit of nothingness to get it all done. If I see that my schedule is go go go, I know that I need to block out a few hours of nothing if I want to get it all done.
For me that means watching netflix or reading a book. It’s something that requires no people and no thinking. Others may opt for a bit of mindless internet browsing or a long run. Whatever your nothing looks like, giving yourself permission to do nothing takes that stress away. And you’ll be free to create again in no time.
CREATE A CREATIVE SPACE
I’ve said it before but for me the environment I work in matters. If I have a space dedicated to being creative, I tend to feel more inspired. It’s that extra mental push to be creative in a space I’ve made just for that reason. This means I have to be more strict about only using that space for creative purposes. I like to know that when I’m there it’s just to create.
Maybe it’s a room, a corner chair or even a spot on the beach for you. Find a space that you can create and make sure you honor it. Try to leave the stress out and maintain that area as a place of peace. I’ve found that if I’m going to avoid burnout & creative blocks, I need to feel safe and unstressed in a space. Sometimes that means ditching my phone in another room or a dedicated playlist. Making the extra effort to keep my creative space for creating helps me to focus in. And it keeps the blocks away.
DO THE OPPOSITE
When I step away to give myself I break, I try to avoid the things that remind me of my stress. Personally, I’ll opt for working with my hands and doing things that don’t require lots of thinking. I tend to cook or catch up on my favorite shows. I’ll also run errands or flip through a magazine. Anything that doesn’t require intense concentration.
If you’re stepping away to give yourself that break, make sure you’re really taking it. If you’re mental exhausted, pick the things that don’t require loads of problem solving. Maybe you need to burnout some frustration with a good workout. Find the thing that’s opposite to your frustrations and start there.
Wherever you’re at in your creative journey, I hope some of these tips can help you move past the burnout & creative blocks. As hard as it is to step away when you just want to finish, remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Take the time to take care of yourself and the rest will come.
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