4 Ways to Overcome Creative Burn-Out Today
We’re all part of a giant machine, working our hearts’ out until we’re too worn to go on.
The world runs on creative ideas but creatives themselves are frequently marginalized and thrown out after their usefulness starts to fade.
What you can you do about it? You can’t stop the machine — our world — but you can take active steps to disengage from the process, and take care of that delicate and wonderful spark that makes you unique — your personal creativity.
I’ve been through the process myself and when burn-out threatened to crush my spirit, I drew on other skills, those of the alternative healer and bodyworker, to find some answers.
It doesn’t matter what kinds of creative things you do— writing, drawing, painting, sewing, designing — we’re all in this together. If you’re a creative person with any of the following issues:
- lack of self-worth
This article will help you.
Daydreams and the Art of Mental Relaxation
There’s nothing quite so peaceful as staring out the window at big, fluffy, white clouds. The mind relaxes…and we drift. Ideas form and reform, wandering nomadically from one spot to another. It’s so wonderful that we wish we could just stay there forever.
But then, suddenly, something interrupts us and we crash back to Earth as if a pile of wreckage. Our sparkling ideas vanish like
Parents and school teachers snap at children when they daydream, telling them to PAY ATTENTION! This conditioning holds firmly into adulthood and adults tend to self-correct whenever they catch themselves daydreaming. Very few permit themselves the moments of timelessness needed to recharge a depleted imagination.
Take that permission back. Even if you have to do it in the bathroom, or the car, give yourself the green light for a moment’s mental rest during the day.
Don’t Bother to Sit Still…Move
When you hear the word — MEDITATION — it brings up images of saffron-robed monks sitting around in lotus position.
- I can’t sit still for that long
- My mind never stops
- I don’t have time
- I don’t know how
Okay… so you’re no good at being Zen. No worries. Why not try a moving meditation?
Walking meditations are a true variant, where you use the action of walking as your focus. By keeping awareness involved in the act of movement, your mind can enter an altered state, just as you would in a sitting meditation.
Many artists, including me, use another meditative variant. We let our minds relax when we create art. The process takes on a transcendental quality and becomes one of the highlights of the day.
Think about the coloring book craze for adults. Why is it so relaxing? Because it’s a moving meditation. It’s easy to relax your mind while coloring complex images.
If coloring isn’t your thing, any type of soothing art will do, as long as the physical skills are repetitive, enjoyable (to you), and that make good use of your artistic abilities.
Some people knit, garden, draw, or even sing, they can all be meditations. Personally, I like to draw highly-detailed pen and inks…but whatever floats your personal meditative boat is just fine.
Aromatherapy — Nose to Brain Healing
I’m sure you’ve already heard of aromatherapy. You probably have something scented with lavender around the house.
More than just a pleasing perfume…aromatherapy is a branch of botanical medicine which helps people to recover from a wide variety of problems from anxiety to arthritic inflammation.
There are many ways for use essential oils, wearing perfume is only one. You can add a few drops to your bath, sprinkle them on your pillow at night, or create a sachet. You can use a diffuser or a candle to scent the room. And of course, the easiest way is to just sniff the scent right out of the bottle.
Here are some great essential oils for stress and anxiety:
If you’ve got a great deal of fear to deal with then use Frankincense or Cedarwood.
Not everyone will like every scent, so check and see which one works best for you.
(I keep a blend called “Panic Button” (by Aura Cacia) on hand for bad days. It works like a charm!)
Similar in some ways to aromatherapy, flower essences are another type of botanical medicine. They’re even sold in similar bottles. But there are some key differences that make them work in different ways.
- Flower Essences have no scent other than the brandy preservative
- They work on the vibrational state of the individual (unlike essential oils which work through the senses.)
- They heal the psyche far better than Aromatherapy
- Each remedy is for a highly-specific emotional use
- They’ll have no effect whatsoever if you don’t need them
There are hundreds of flower essences available but there’s one blend that everyone should keep in their cupboard — Rescue Remedy.
It’s sold in bottles, sprays, and alcohol-free pastilles. For dosage instructions please refer to the label.
Rescue Remedy is the premiere essence for shock, stress, and trauma. It also works well for deadline anxiety, or when your boss chews you out, or even when the dog gets loose at ten at night.
I’ve helped surgery patients recover faster by wiping their lips with a rescue remedy-infused cloth, helped animals get over the stress of fireworks and physical injuries, and family members get over really bad days at work.
But there’s more.
A great many creatives live in a constant state of anxiety, burn-out, and low self-esteem. Rescue Remedy is great for helping people get out of a bad cycle.
Unlike conventional drugs, you don’t need to take it forever, only as long as you’re in a state of anxiety, then put it away for the next time.
(After the initial trauma is passed, other flower essences can be used to forward recovery.)
You Are Powerful
Many creatives have been beaten down for so long that they feel like powerless victims.
IT’S A LIE.
If you’re brave enough to see that your creative skills are being abused, you can take the appropriate steps to end that victimization cycle.
Make a list of what you like and don’t like about your current situation and what can you do to change yourself — grow your self esteem, take steps in self-care, anything…to make a change for the better. You don’t need to throw out your entire creative life because you’ve been poorly-treated. You just have to believe in your own value as a person who deserves to be here on this planet.
The creative collective of the world needs you. Take your power back and DON’T EVER LET IT GO AGAIN.
You are loved.
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