One of the worst feelings as a creative is being on a high with your work for so long and then suddenly it all fades away and you find yourself on a low. It's a vicious cycle that isn't fun and that many of us go through. However, I want you to know now that you don't have to let those moments get the best of you or your work. I know when you're in the moment, those thoughts are constantly racing through your head. You know, the ones like "what am I going to do now," "does this mean I am a failure," "I feel lost and don't know how to deal with it." Yeah... those thoughts. They are simply that though, JUST thoughts. If you find ways to deal with the burnout, thoughts, and stress of it all, the creative journey you're on gets a whole lot easier! With that being said, here are 3 ways YOU can recharge from burnout + re-center today!
1. Put Down Your Phone + Shift Your Mindset
I know this is easier said than done when you have an online career or any career, really. I myself have found that even when I am experiencing burn out that I still put pressure on myself to get things done and it's tempting to want to pick up my phone. However, the biggest lesson I have learned with burnout is that going back to the cause of it all not only makes things worse, but it drags out the time that you remain in that "low" period. Not to mention, if you keep trying to create while you're in that phase, then you're not only hurting yourself but also your work. Let's face it, we don't produce our best quality work when we aren't feeling at our best or like we are stung out. The best thing to do is to put your phone away in a drawer, put it on airplane mode, or simple just turn it off!
This leads me to my next point and that's what to do instead of scrolling through your phone. Personally, I like to turn to other things that make me feel happy and inspired. From going out for a hike to reading a good book, there are so many other things I have learned to give my energy and attention to. Most of the time, I start to find inspiration in places I never thought I would and during my break, I actually create some of my favorite ideas! You're probably thinking... well, does that really help? Let me break down my thought process behind it all for you...
Burnout means running on an empty tank. The only way to refill that tank is by focusing on things that make you happy. When we focus on things that make us happy, we start to feel more alive and before you know it, that tank will be refilled and you'll be back to feeling like your true self!
I always think of the tank metaphor whenever I need to assess where my headspace is at and to judge if it's time to take a step back. I am aware what works for one person may not work for another, but I do believe that it's all about mindset. Instead of thinking "I am a failure if I don't keep going," switch that to "I am strong for taking a step back and in turn it will help me to keep going." Thinking positive will lead to positive results. Sometimes, it isn't easy living in a society that tells you that you have to overwork yourself, but the strongest thing you can do is to listen and understand your mind and body and do what's best for YOU!
2. Journal/Write It All Out
One of the biggest things that helps me when I'm experiencing burnout is writing things down. From jotting down things that inspire me to things I want to accomplish, letting your mind run wild on paper can be one of the most beneficial things you can do during a burnout.
Right now, you're probably thinking "If I am experiencing burnout, how am I suppose to come up with things to write?" Well, that's something that I struggled with too and along the process, found out that I needed certain journals or notebooks that actually told me what to write instead of coming up with things on my own. I have actually made my own printable that I use whenever I need to do this and today I am giving it to you for FREE! That's right, you can get your own "What's On Your Mind" printable HERE! This is the exact same writing exercise I use when I need to get my creative juices going and I hope it can do the same for you! I understand that not everyone likes to write, but if you find that it still doesn't help after giving it a try, turn to other things that helps get that creativity inside of you spinning! Go out there and paint, dance, sing, take photos... whatever it may be, allow those things to help you find that spark to get back to the best version of YOU and your work!
3. Talk to Someone You Trust
This is definitely something I use to NEVER do. I always use to think that if others knew my struggles, that they would only see me in a negative or weak light. It wasn't until I couldn't hold it in anymore that I opened up to a couple of my friends about my burnout and mental headspace and let me just say that it was the best decision I could have made! I not only was able to vent to someone who actually listened, but I learned that so many others felt the same way as me and in a matter of minutes... I didn't feel alone anymore! EVERYONE experiences those moments. The funny part about it all that I noticed was that many others were also afraid to open up about it and talk it out. It was an eye opener and it definitely helped me realize that more of us need to start conversations, otherwise we all share a common feeling that goes unspoken and never gets resolved!
Talking it out not only starts conversations, but it also helps you release some of that stress and negative energy. Holding things like that in not only starts to effect your work, but it also effects your mental and physical health if you don't do a check in with yourself. Call someone you trust, set up that coffee or lunch date, and get it all out!
Before you go, I want you to take a second to remind yourself that you are not in this alone. We all have our ups and downs, but I've learned that no matter where you are, always enjoy the ride and know that amazing things are ahead! Even when you're at your lowest low, there's only going up from there! You got this!
In the mean time, you can also find me here:
Pinterest: Becca Isdale