Creative burnout is the feeling that you’ve drained all of your creativity, and there is no inspiration or drive left. If you’re dreading to start work, feel tired and stressed all the time, you might be experiencing a creative burnout. You are also scared that you will never create anything good again.
How does this happen?
Too much work, an unhealthy work-life balance etc, all of this can be responsible for the state of physical, mental and emotional stress known as burnout. If you want to understand what causes it, analyze your day to day lifestyle as well as the amount of work you have been doing as of late. This can help you locate where your burnout truly comes from. Sometimes, it can just be something simple as too much pressure.
What are the symptoms of burnout?
This is where you procrastinate for long periods of time and ignore important deadlines for work and otherwise. You also find it hard to start any work until it is hours before it is due.
Struggling to do basic tasks
This is where you do not even have the effort to take care of yourself, clean your room or even tidy your desk. These things could be a huge symptom as you are slowly becoming exhausted by even the smallest tasks.
Sometimes, we don’t get enough sleep and feel a bit sluggish the day after. That’s completely fine. But if the physical exhaustion is sustained over a long period of time despite a decent amount of sleep, you may be burning out.
Deadlines, complicated projects with many moving parts etc are factors that can cause stress. But creative burnout may make you feel persistently stressed without being able to pinpoint the exact cause.
If you are constantly eating junk food and large amounts of sweets, it may be a sign of unhealthy eating caused by stress. You could also be turning to substances like alcohol to relieve stress.
So, how to get over creative burnout?
Seeing a therapist or counselor can help you sort out your stress in a healthy way and understand why you are so burnt out. Burnout can be extremely harmful to your creative career so it is important to realize when the situation is out of your control and when you need to seek professional help.
Take a proper break—a few days off, go to a place where nobody will expect any work from you. The anxiety of knowing you are supposed to work but can’t bring yourself to is a vicious cycle. Taking a break is a way to escape that cycle so you can start afresh. Use the time to do things that have nothing to do work without feeling any guilt: spend time with your loved ones, read books, or just do nothing, that’s perfectly fine.
Remember its ok to be burnt out
When you are burned out you aren't producing work, which is your source of income. This will make you feel even more exhausted and stressed. Remember that everybody struggles and has bad days. It is okay to not be constantly making work. Take some time to yourself and just relax.