Being a creative comes with both blessings and curses. I think most artist would agree that it can be taxing, at times, to run your own business, put your whole heart and soul into your work, and keep producing art that you’re proud of. Sometimes as a photographer we can feel uninspired by our own images, and feel like we just need a break from shooting. However, there are a few important things that we as creatives can and should be doing to avoid feeling run-down or burnt out by it all. Here are 7 Different Ways That Creatives Can Avoid Burnout!
Take routine, scheduled social media breaks
We all know that social media can be wonderful for making connections, sharing our work, and finding new artists we love and admire. However, I think we all also know that social media can be a real energy drainer, and cause us to be harder on ourselves. Sometimes, the social media comparison game can even start to affect our self-esteem and overall happiness and outlook on life. We have to stop letting social media control us! And instead, we can learn to take control of our social media habits. If you aren’t already, you need to start scheduling social media breaks into your life. You can start small – maybe you put the phone down one hour before bedtime, and don’t pick it up until you have already been awake for one hour the next morning. Or, you can choose one full day a week to not be on social media. Sometimes it can be beneficial to detox even deeper: maybe once a quarter you take a whole week away from social media.
Not only will this help you realize that the world keeps on turning even when you’re not glued to your phone, but it will FORCE you to spend time doing OTHER things you love! This in and of itself will inspire you to create new things and new art!
Admire other artist’s work
This one sounds a little counter-productive, especially after my last suggestion! However, this one also comes with a caveat. Yes, you should be following other artists’ work – BUT! (and this is a big but 🙂 ) make sure you’re following artists that are COMPLETELY OUTSIDE your realm. If you’re a wedding photographer (like me) – STOP FOLLOWING SO MANY OTHER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS! And start following painters, weavers, crafters, calligraphers….any other creative who shows up and makes art and does it in a completely different way than you do! This will help you start to see shapes, patterns, colors, people, poses, the world – entirely different!
Spend time with people who love you no matter what
This goes back to the idea that we need to stop worrying about other people’s opinions of us. We need to stop comparing our worth to others’ work. When we spend time with people that lift us up and remind us we are whole, worthy, and loved no matter what successes or losses we encounter in life, then we feel free to make mistakes. And it’s only when we are willing to take risks that we truly create art we are proud of.
Review your why
Being a creative business owner has so many stresses that are typically unforseen when we first set out with starting our business. It can be daunting, learning the business side. Sometimes we might lose sight of the reason we got started on this journey in the first place! For me, it never was about money or about gaining a bunch of followers or even really about being recognized by the masses. So when I get wrapped up in some of those things, it helps me to remember the real reason behind my work. This helps me to keep going even when it’s hard or I’m fed up with the way things are going.
Go somewhere you’ve never been before
Of course traveling somewhere new can open our eyes and help us view the world differently, and in turn inspire us to create new art! Sometimes we can afford to pick up and travel across the world. Sometimes, however, that’s not reality. Sometimes, though, all we need is a trip to the other side of your neighborhood. Or a local museum you’ve never visited. Sometimes it just means hopping on the city bus and seeing where it will take us. Whether it’s to another country or just a new restaurant, it’s important that we continuously give ourselves new experiences and new places to explore. We can’t expect ourselves to create new art if we aren’t feeding ourselves with new ideas.
Try your hand at something ELSE creative
I dare you – no, I double dog dare you to join a class learning something new. If you’re a painter, take a photography class. Or maybe a pottery class. Or, instead, maybe get physical! Take a dance class or exercise class. Get your brain and your body working in new ways!
Make time for personal projects
Make sure you continue to create art for the sake of art. Make sure you make time for projects that are completely and wholly and yes maybe even selfishly for YOU and you alone! What fills you up? What gets your fire really going? Set aside the time and even the budget for projects that are only for pleasing you and no one else!
If you aren’t already incorporating at least SOME of these ideas into your creative time and space, you will most likely find yourself at the oh-so-common breaking point or “burnout.” I promise if you make time for these steps, you’ll find yourself feeling more EXCITED for your work and a long list of fresh, fun new ideas to keep you feeling at your most creative self!