If you’re a creative professional, you’ve probably experienced a bit of burnout. Writer’s block, design paralysis…it’s common for us to feel a bit stuck sometimes, or even just feel “meh.” At this time of year, creative burnout is the norm. We’ve just come into a new year, everything is moving more slowly, and the weather can force us to stay cooped up.
So, what’s the solution for generating creative energy when you’d rather be sleeping? We’ve put together a few suggestions for beating burnout and getting your artistic mojo rising.
Get away from the computer and plug into a different creative outlet.
• Get a sketchbook and do rapid-style drawings of your environment
• Stretch out on a floor with huge sheets of paper and start brainstorming
• Use a camera to capture unnoticed details
• Grab a coloring book and put your mind in a meditative state
• Read poetry
• Make collages
Not only will this different form of creative expression help you relax, it will unlock resistance, open new channels of inspiration, and give you a completely different perspective. It also takes you out of the pressure to create something genius, and into the ease of fun. That’s when the genius comes rushing in—when you’re relaxed, enjoying the creative energy and the experience of play.
Mind your own business.
This is the perfect time to focus on your company’s creative punch list.
• Could your blog use some fresh content?
• Are you using your social media platforms? Look at the posts you’re sending (or not), and create a six-month plan for post ideas, supporting graphics, and photography. Get them done ahead of time and schedule for release.
• See where your website could use a fresh injection of creativity—from headlines to palette, there is always a way to turn things up a bit.
• What sorts of self-promotion materials do you have on hand? Why not create a new campaign for yourself? You’ll have ultimate creative freedom and a very agreeable client.
When you have the downtime, it’s a great (and smart) opportunity to look at your own business and see where you can shine some creative light. It will give you the chance to step away from the usual client work, and consider the endless design possibilities that you may not typically have time to explore.
Take care of you.
It’s easy to let our self-care slide in the dreary months of winter. But staying active and healthy (both physically and mentally) will keep your creative motor running. What activities relieve stress for you? Whether it’s playing with a herd of puppies, yoga, walking or taking a long hike…moving your body gives you more energy, positive endorphins and motivation. Keeping your body hydrated, eating healthy, nourishing food and getting enough sleep all help avoid the winter blahs. Want to go even deeper with the self-care? Try 15 minutes of meditation every day. It’s a phenomenal way to clear your mind of the chatter, get focused and spend some time in peaceful silence. It’s also a great way to allow in the creative muse!
Busy lives often result in a serious lack of self-care. By taking steps to really be there for yourself, mind and body, you’ll find a new sense of energy, inspiration, and health!
Be a trendsetter and a goalkeeper.
Why wait around for some group of experts to tell you what the next big thing is? Go out and discover some of your own. Stay on top of what’s trending within your demographics. See the patterns and expand on them. Get your dreams and impossible goals out and brainstorm how to make them happen. Go far into left field for solutions; you can always edit ideas. Identify what is needed. And most importantly, be authentic. Believe in what you’re putting out there, and they will too.
Find the beauty in everything.
Inspiration comes from experience, so get out there and immerse yourself in the world. Explore creativity outside of design, and allow new channels to open up for a more expanded view.
Some ideas for exploring:
• Head to an art opening or gallery
• Take a walk and stay completely present to what you are experiencing
• Cook a stunning meal for your friends
• Take an architectural walk and study the design and detail of each house
• Join a creative group for writing or art
• Attend workshops or lectures, exploring outside your industry (interior design, theater, cooking)
• Take a class outside of your discipline like dance, jewelry making, pottery
• Take a class that will expand your horizons, like welding or woodworking
If you’re feeling creatively stuck, there is a world of muses out there, in unexpected forms and unique experiences. Exposing ourselves to a variety of creative expressions allows for a much wider channel of inspiration.
A shutdown or burnout in creativity usually starts with the creative being too “in their head.” All of these suggestions will help you get in a different space, and loosen up the tension that comes with creative boredom.
Now. Get up, crank some music, take a shot of espresso, and get that creative mojo flowing!
That requires you getting out of bed…