At the end of last year, I had big creative plans. I wrote long lists of creative projects I wanted to do for Coffee on Sunday and for my brand photography business, and I was feeling energized and inspired to jump right into them.
Yet here we are midway through March and, I’ve been creatively burnt out for most of the past two and a half months.
There are a number of reasons for this, one being a big (and great) change in my nine-to-five life. But another reason is that I want to do it all while still only being one person. Something has to give somewhere, and my creativity has taken a bit of a hit. Thankfully, I’ve been trying to embrace burn out (I know –– that sounds weird to say!) and have put some new practices to the test.
Here are six tips on how to come back from creative burnout.
How to come back from creative burnout
take time to not do anything creative
This one might set you into a bit of a panic. It sets me into a bit of a panic. I know you’re probably thinking “Mel what are you even saying – I have to [keep creating Instagram content, post regular vlogs, etc.] And so do you!”
Pushing yourself to work when you’re feeling creatively burnt out will just feed the burn out. Sometimes the best thing to do is to step away and enjoy other things.
get proper rest
When I’m feeling creative burnout, I tend to sleep poorly. Mainly because I go to bed late trying to force myself to work through my to do list, or I stay awake making notes in my phone.
Burnout is tiring, so it makes sense that an antidote to burn out is proper rest. I’ve set a timer for my apps to shut down each night at 9:30pm, and I’m trying to go to bed earlier.
enjoy other creative things you love
Having your own business or creative venture tends to take up a lot of your time, and sometimes it’s tough to loosen the reins. Enjoying other hobbies will make you happy, help you relax, give you a refreshed perspective, and might even provide you with inspiration. Do you ever feel extra motivated after a vacation? Think of your break in the same way!
This is a big one. Getting back in touch with your peace does wonders for your mind.
Practice mindfulness whether that looks like doing some yoga, going for a long hike, or writing in a journal. It’s tough to slow down, but it’s necessary in helping us lessen stress, refocus, and get back in tune with ourselves.
When you’re coming back from burnout, get back into your work slowly. Set boundaries for yourself that give you time and space for creating, and try not to push yourself too hard. That’s likely what caused you to feel burnt out in the first place.
Even when we love what we do, too much of anything is too much. Your creative project won’t suffer if you’re not working on it 24/7, but your creativity might.
rethink your schedule
Think back to your creative burnout and the warning signs leading up to it. How can you prevent burnout in the future? Is it setting specific amounts of time you’ll work on your side hustle per week? Maybe it’s ensuring you get enough sleep, or turning your laptop off at a specific time each day. Burnout sucks, but it’s something we can learn from.
If you’re going through something similar, I hope you take the time you need to relax and refocus. How do you come back from creative burn out?