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Let’s Talk About Burnout

I shared a little bit about how I’ve been feeling burnt out on social media over the past few weeks and zapped creatively and had some really nice conversations with a few of you, so I wanted to bring this here. I know that I’m not alone in feeling the fatigue lately; my colleagues are feeling it and I see SO many of you sharing the same sentiment – it can be tough! Add in working from home (and the lack of boundaries between work/life), taking care of the little ones for those of you who have them, running errands during a weird time and trying not to get down when you’ve been at home for too long and it’s easy to see why this is affecting so many of us. We miss normalcy and we’re craving just a little bit of our old lives. The burnout is real.

burnout in creatives
Trying to smile that brain fog away…

When you’re feeling burnt out how do you get back on track? Creative friends: when the juices just aren’t flowing, do you prefer to take a step back and wait until you’re feeling passionate again or do you push through for consistency even if you aren’t feeling it?

Shaking Things Up When Dealing with Burnout

I’ve been trying a few things to shake things up and over the past week I’ve started feeling much more on track. I’ve been making little adjustments here and there, trying new things, and really trying to work on having a positive mindset. I can’t say if these things will work for you, but here are a few of the little things that I’ve started doing to help me shake off this fog so I can get fully back to that hustle.

What’s getting me through burnout:

  • A solid morning routine that puts me in the right frame of mind to tackle my day. I’ve been starting my day with a morning meditation (the calm app has been such a help for me), stretches to release any stiffness, and another 15 minutes of quiet time before I even look at my phone for the day.
  • Trying to set boundaries between work and life. Working from home, especially when you have many different jobs/tasks going on, isn’t always easy. It can be hard to turn off at the end of the day and I’m trying really hard to shut down by 6, if possible, so that I can clear my head. I’ve also been trying to separate my workspace from my living space so that I don’t associate relaxing areas in my house with it.
  • Stepping outside for a little fresh air, even if it’s only for a few minutes here and there. Winter definitely made this a little more difficult but spring is definitely starting to arrive, and I want to make a point of getting a little outside time in every day.
  • Turning off my phone half an hour before bed. I know that my phone causes me a lot of stress, and getting work emails before going to sleep doesn’t help anything. I’m working on letting my mind chill the eff out before bed so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night having anxious thoughts about work. The things that my monkey brains decide to focus on when they wake me up in the middle of the night are usually work-related, not all that important, and definitely something that I can’t do anything about at 2:30 AM when I’m half asleep.
  • Getting back into reading. Before the pandemic hit, I was a reading machine. When everything got weird, my desire to read went out the window. I still made it through some books but had a hard time getting into them or being able to focus enough to actually make it through. I’m trying to get back into reading (pssst. Hamilton friends – the Hamilton Public Library has a fantastic Grab and Go program on right now where you can get a surprise bag of books to read based on your interests) and I’m also including some non-fiction books that I think will help me wade through the fog when it comes up – I’m currently reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and it’s helping immensely.
  • Understanding that it’s okay to take time to feel it again. Forcing myself to create doesn’t help me; it almost makes me feel worse because I can’t do what I’m supposed to do. I’ve taken a step back from my creative ventures so I can refresh.

If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s okay to take a step back to refresh. Just keep pushing. You’ve got this, babes✌️ I would love for you to share the things that are helping you get back on track – you might even find a suggestion that will work in the comments!

PS. Want a daily reminder? Here’s a phone background to give you a little boost:

dealing with burnout in a creative mind