By Nicole Tinkham
Burn out doesn’t just happen when you’re overworked in the office. Listen up artists; it can happen to you too! And it could be even worse. You know those creative blocks you get when you just cannot think of any brilliant ideas or you’re at a loss when trying to complete a project? You’re most likely burned out and it happens so frequently among artists because when those creative ideas do strike, you’re in constant work mode jumping from project to project. We know many artists who work straight through the night on big projects. That’s tough on the mind and the body! It doesn’t matter what you do, whether it’s a job you’re not fond of or one that you love. Burn out happens to us all and we’ve discovered 6 tricks you can do next time you feel this way. Read on for ways to clear your mind and get back in the game.
1. Get out and stay active
Your first instinct when you need a break may be to sit yourself on the couch in front of the TV. While this may turn off your brain, there are better ways to disengage from work and really escape reality. Stay active and go out for a hike or a walk. Get out there and do something new and different. Go on an adventure and find a new park. Whatever you do, just get out of the house. Even if you’re at home doing nothing on the couch, your mind can wonder back to work related things. But if you’re staying active, you’re keeping your mind busy so you won’t worry so much about your stresses.
Drama lives online and can easily find its way to your Facebook news feed. If you really want to clear your mind and get out of burn out, you need to disconnect. Turn the phone, tablet, computer, and TV off. Get connected with yourself. Read a self development book, write in a journal or get out and meet with friends (it’s different in person than online!). The length of time you choose to disconnect is totally up to you but even just a few hours can make a huge difference.
3. Change your surroundings
Your surroundings can trigger your thoughts. That’s why they say not to have your home office in the bedroom. When you’re trying to sleep, your work in the corner of the room will remind you of all the things you need to and should be doing. Spending too much time in the art studio when you’re already burned out can become stressful. You’re putting all this pressure and stress on yourself. The best thing you can do is completely leave your work area even if you still have work to do. Head to a coffee shop or library to get some work done. Or meet up with a friend to swap creative ideas. Changing your surroundings tricks your mind. You’re in a new place and will hopefully have new ideas. If you don’t physically leave your space, just change it up. Clean it up, rearrange things, or get new furniture. Just make it fun and different! Even small changes can make you feel like you’re in a totally different place.
4. Get more sleep
Getting more sleep will help you feel refreshed every morning, ready to get back at it. But that’s easier said than done, right? Here are a few of our tricks to getting better sleep:
• Turn off your phone, tablet and any other devices ahead of time (they say the light from these will keep you awake longer)
• No caffeine after 2PM – even if you don’t think it affects your sleep, it can!
• Make sure the room is dark, cool, and quiet
• Read something positive before bed. This will help you de-stress and wake up feeling better.
5. Help someone else
The best way to help you is to help someone else. Plus switching gears and focusing on different problems other than your own will get your brain thinking in a different way. Then when you come back to your project, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go. On top of all that, helping others just feels really good 🙂
6. Schedule downtime
It’s easy to say you’ll take a break, go on vacation, turn your mind off, and escape but we rarely actually do it. The problem is we have this long list of to-dos marked on the calendar. We make sure to get the busy work done but we don’t schedule in any downtime to just relax. We believe the key to enjoying time away from work is to act as if this downtime is an important business meeting. Put it on your calendar and follow through with it. This could be taking breaks throughout the day, planning for vacations, planning for relaxing weekend time, day trips, or visits with friends and family. Schedule these times in advance and actually do them! When you say you’re going to give yourself a break, follow through on your commitment. Getting the proper rest will actually allow you to accomplish more when you get back to your list.
Next time you cannot think of that brilliant idea for a project or the thought of going into the office to put in long hours makes you want to pull your hair out, simply take a break. You’ll be amazed by how much more productive you are when you get the rest and relaxation you need. Be active and try something new, put down your phone for the day, change up your environment, get more sleep, help someone else for a change, and schedule that downtime for yourself. You deserve it! These 6 things will definitely rejuvenate you and help get out of burn out. Give them a try and let us know how it works for you.