As constant creators, its easy to place production above most things. After all, we have the opportunity to produce things that our audience, friends, and family look forward to seeing. We don’t want to let them down. However, this often leads us to place production above our own sanity.
This causes us to loose sight of the big picture and focus too heavily on the here and now. Eventually, you may find yourself caught in the middle of creative burnout. Rather than ignoring it, and continuing to create, it’s important to take a step back and recalibrate.
My Struggles with Creative Burnout
For myself, this past year has been creatively intense. To give an idea, here’s a list of creative projects I’ve done this year:
- Created hundreds of lettering pieces
- Wrote over 40,000 words in blog post content
- Wrote thousands of words for my website copy
- Designed the material for several large projects and conferences at my internship
This is not to mention, the creative workload from my school’s design program:
- Spent hundreds of hours designing & crafting an 11-part design portfolio
- Designed 3 posters
- Designed a 70-page type specimen book
- Developed a complete brand identity
All of those project have been manageable for the most part. However, many of these projects were piled on in the last part of this year. They’ve crept up on me, and have gotten to the boiling point. It’s got to the point to where I need to stop banging my head against a wall, take a moment to pause, and address it.
Four Things You Can Do
When you’re in a constant state of creation, without an end, it’s easy to reach burnout. It’s even easier to continue working through that burnout; you may think that it’s unproductive to stop or to take a step back. You may think it’s better to be scraping by than it is to be falling behind.
However, scraping by with your work is doing nobody a favor. You need to take a break in hard times to reset. A break will help you be less stressed, become more productive, and create more interesting work. With that being said, here are four things you can do to unwind and recharge
1. Change Your Scenery
Go on a trip to a place away from where you’ve been creating. It’s hard to think differently when your atmosphere is always the same.
2. Do Something Completely Different
Sometimes what we do gets stale. Try something that you haven’t done before. Sometimes you’re just one new experience away from getting excited again.
3. Revisit Secondary Passions
When we’re all-in on a single passion, we can drain the life out of it. Take a break from your main passion and revisit the things you also love to do, but haven’t had time for. This will break up the monotony from your primary passion.
4. Do Nothing
Sometimes you just need to do nothing to get yourself back into the right frame of mind. Not thinking or planning what to do for your break might be what you need even more. Just let it go and be okay with doing nothing.
Remember, it’s okay to take that break and reset. You’ll be much better off emotionally, mentality, and creatively once doing so.
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