Art to Inspire: Simple Tips for Avoiding Burn Out

Feeling uninspired and overwhelmed by your work?

Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. There are some easy ways to avoid complete and utter burn out. You just have to recognize when it’s time to step away and listen to that little voice inside.

So, let’s start with a couple of questions…

How do you know when you’re about to burn out?

Oh, you’ll know! Trust your instincts on this one. If you are starting to feel bogged down and unenthusiastic, that’s a tell tale sign that its time to step away before you hit the hard road to B.O. (yep, I abbreviated burn out as B.O. because, let’s face it, it stinks!).

And when do you know when you’re ready to come back after taking a break? There is no definitive answer here. It may take a few days or just a few hours. It really depends on how deeply rooted your burn out is. When you do come back you’ll want to trust you instincts again. Listen to that inner voice. It will tell you when you’re ready to come back.

(above) Trust your InstinctsYou Know More

Okay, so what are the steps for avoiding burn out or recovering once it has happened?

If you are teetering on the edge of burn out, you need to clear your head and your mind of the stresses that are causing you to feel exhausted. One of the best ways to do that is to change your environment. If you work indoors, head outside and away from the computer. Go do something fun that is just for you.

Hobbies are a great thing. So, don’t let your work run over the other things you really enjoy doing outside of your business, blog, or nine-to-five job. And along those same lines, taking care of your physical health is just as important as your mental health. Maintaining that balance will help you de-stress.

(above) Clear your HeadUnplug

When you’re feeling re-energized, slowly transition back into your regular work load. Maybe start by heading back to the drawing board. Brainstorm new ideas away from the computer if that is where you do the bulk of your work.

Working and creating in a new place just might give you that fresh start that you need. Who knows, the change of scenery might even lead you to the the brink of something wonderful.

(above) The Brainstormer On the Brink

And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Team up with like-minded people. Sometimes two (or three) really are better than one.

(above) Together

What are your tips for avoiding burn out or bouncing back after the big B.O.?

Share your response in the comments section below.

12 thoughts on “Art to Inspire: Simple Tips for Avoiding Burn Out

  1. Great post and great advice! I definitely have to step away at some point and I’ve become accustomed to recognizing when that is…usually late afternoon after I’ve been up early working it’s time to leave. I have to set some boundaries and that helps – like when my fiance comes up, that’s definitely a cue to wrap it up. When he is late or out of town, I’ll work and not stop and then I really do myself in.

  2. I have a hard time noticing when I’m burnt out. It totally creeps up on me and BAM!, I’m instantly cranky-pants, so I try to keep a consistent schedule as much as possible.
    My membership at a yoga studio helps, but I agree with Sarah above that taking a break when your other half gets home help keep the crank and stress away.

  3. This is excellent advice! It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the busy summer craft fair season winds down. Add to that trying to get new consignment/wholesale deals from shops and trying to keep my Etsy shop from getting lost in a sea of other Etsians, and lately my head’s been feeling like it’s going to explode!

    I have a real fear that if I let up for one minute, my income will drop to zero because all my competitors are constantly out there promoting and making and listing new items and maybe THEY aren’t burned out! So I guess step one is to deal with that fear that any minute that I’m not working is a minute I’m losing potential sales! My partner is always a good reality check too and has gotten used to me asking things like, “It’s not unreasonable to take a day off, is it?” :) He is pretty good at encouraging me to knock off for the day when it’s clear I’ve had enough.

  4. I think stepping away REGULARLY–not just when you think you’re about to explode–is the key. Lately I’ve been trying to spend one day a week totally away from work and the computer. It really lightens me up–and helps me feel ready to tackle the day when I get back to it all!

  5. I like the part that says to slowly transition back to work. I just came back from a three-week long vacation and man! it has been hard to start over. I actually haven’t really started yet, I feel a little lost – with the new season come a lot of new tasks. But it’s good encouragement to hear it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

    I really want to sit down and write a list of all the want-to and have-to projects I have in my head, categorize, and start working!

  6. As someone coming off of a major creative burnout, I can speak to this issue. So what did I do? Well, I took 3 weeks off from my regularly scheduled life to just BE!

    I realize not everyone can do this, but if you can just unplug for a weekend, I think it would help prevent a major burnout like I just went through.

  7. I rarely experience burn out, because my business is my passion. Once in a while I do get stuck in a non-creative rut, and then I try to learn something new. I’ve taken online classes (blogging, photography), hired people offering their services on Craig’s List (technology, home organizing) and have taken art classes through our community education program and local community college.

  8. I’ve started taking weekends semi-off, meaning I will answer convos, renew or relist items on Etsy, work on simple items in the evenings while watching tv but for the most part, I am away from my store.

    I think in this internet age, it’s good for my customers to know I’m a real person and I need to have time off too.

    If I lose the odd sale because I don’t answer a convo quick enough, well so be it.

    I watched my husband drop to the floor with a heart attack (at age 45) a few months ago, it’s become even more important to me (to us) to take care of ourselves whether it’s physical health or mental health…

    My customers are very important to me but they are also for the most part, complete strangers and I was spending more time with them and worrying more about their needs than I was spending with my family and tending to my own needs…something had to give.

    Since I put my business back down under myself & my family, my business has grown.

    Go figure!?!

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