How to Deal with Burnout as a Creative Person
Updated: Jan 6
Creative work and creative burnouts almost go hand-in-hand. With creativity, comes the risk of exhausting that bank to the point of burnout. I mean, all of us must have experienced that tiring, endless, and confusing period of a mental block, where your creativity seems to have gone amiss, right? And, we know how it feels–powerless, helpless, and directionless. Yes, having creative burnouts can be quite a tragedy for creative individuals, especially when that’s the route to your daily bread and butter. As a creative fashion designer, your artistic ability and creativity are your strength, something you place an entire career and livelihood around. And, when that itself seems to be lost, it can feel chaotic.
But, What Exactly is a Burnout?
Almost synonymous with the current lifestyle, burnout is nothing but exhaustion in every aspect of your well-being as a result of work or life’s other demands. It is the point of mental and physical draining that comes with overstuffing your daily schedule with too many tasks, physical, emotional, or mental. Burnout happens when you don’t prioritize yourself and some empty hours of resetting and doing nothing. For a creative fashion designer, this happens when you have overworked and overused your creativity to the point where it just doesn’t function anymore.
Source: The Daily Aztec What Leads to It?
Creativity is an asset to have and something that also needs constant fuelling of some kind. One of the many fuels it needs is taking a break. Over-optimizing it is often the biggest reason behind losing it. As a creative fashion designer whose work revolves around art and creativity, one needs to reset it all and keep seeking inspiration from time to time in order to retain it. Usually, over-spending those skills, overworking, unreasonable workload or deadlines, etc, can be the cause behind burnout.
Wait, How Do You Know That You Are Burnt Out?
First things first, you may feel unimaginably stressed, which can lead to other things like extreme anger, crying spells, irritability, and you know the list. Secondly, if you’re burnt out, you’ll find yourself unmotivated at work or something that you love doing otherwise. Your job, which you love, may end up becoming a source of stress, anxiety, and just pure repulsion. Every time you sit to work and channelize your creativity, you may instead find yourself blank, unable to perform tasks that you usually did effortlessly. If this sounds like you, there’s a possible chance that your creative head needs a break.
And, Here’s How You Do It
Just like, more or less, everything in life, there are quite a lot of solutions to this one too. Here they are!
1. Prioritize the Easy Tasks
Having a creative burnout can be overwhelming enough to take our minds off from the task at hand. With that, even the easiest task may seem like a mountain to move. So, well, when the basic tasks seem tedious, instead of trying too hard and breaking your head over it, it’s best to just jump to the super-easy stuff first.
Source: Toggl Say, if you have a design to illustrate, maybe just start with the easy and bare minimum like the colour theme of the design. You see? We’re suggesting you take it down a notch and break the task down to pursue the easy and effortless parts first. Once you do the easy and small tasks in a row, you’ll be surprised as to how much of the main work you have finished. 2. Bring Some Change
Sometimes, all it needs is a spark of change for you to bring back that spark! So, if you find yourself slipping into a burnout, then we say, re-imagine the task at hand with a fresh spin or simply re-introduce a new and different routine. Because more often than not, it’s the mundanity that may be one reason behind the burnout. As humans, as much as we love and need some kind of a routine, we also need some change to give our perspectives a twist from time to time.
And, it’s easy. All it takes is some sway from the ordinary and something to spruce up the work process. Maybe, some change in the location, your work style, or even something as concrete as pursuing a new project or the same one with a different, never-done-before approach?
3. Step Back and Opt for a Downtime
Hands down, the best remedy to a burnt-out mind! Simply hitting pause and taking that break is sometimes all you need to get back to the groove in your spirit. An overused mind and exhausted creativity can be hard to revive if nothing changes there. It definitely requires one to step back every once in a while to just, well, do nothing.
Source: Daily Caring Take this as a mental charger for yourself. While you keep working your mind and mental functions 24-7 and keep your creativity on the top, you’re bound to reach a breaking point there. And, that can only be set straight with some well-deserved downtime, where you do nothing but engage in relaxing activities or well, nothing. It’s going to be rewarding, trust us!
4. Introspect and Strategize
This one involves some work from your end. Often, there may be specific reasons behind our burnout that can be worked upon. So, what you got to do here is delve within yourself, dig deeper, and do some introspection. Try to find out if your burnout has a trigger that can be worked on. Say, a colleague or a schoolmate you’re working with, a project that you’re not feeling, unreasonable deadlines, or pressure from a senior.
Try to gather your thoughts and emotions and narrow them down to a few specific external triggers that may be a reason behind the burnout. Once you are aware of what’s causing that, you can sketch out a plan to combat it. Say, if the trigger is unreasonable deadlines and overload of work, then voice out your concerns to the said person and resolve the issue. The point? Introspect, identify, strategize, and do something about it. 5. Be Patient and Say No
This one goes without saying! Overcoming a mental burnout is not an easy feat and certainly takes time. You cannot put a date to when you want to resume your creativity, but you can make a plan. Of course, you got to give that time to work as well. So, whatever you do, here’s the key!
Stay patient and lay boundaries. This also means that you got to say no when you need to. Recovery takes time and peace. You cannot pursue the path to recovery without giving it the time and space needed. So, we say, give yourself some leeway and don’t hesitate to take a break every now and then to refuel and revive your energy. Creativity is power and anything that powerful needs that fuel, after all.