It’s not uncommon for us to hit a wall and feel like the things we once loved we no longer seem to get enjoyment from, whether it be photography, design, studying or simply anything that you used to seek enjoyment from.
Creative burnout can often occur when one of a few things happen:
- Stretching yourself too thin – Knowing when to say no to people or simply letting go of things can help here. It isn’t always possible to do everything & be everything to everyone.
- Work – Your striving for to succeed in your chosen career but your working harder & longer than ever before, is this smarter?
- Not listening to yourself – quite often, I know I am certainly guilty of this, but not listening to your inner self and what it is you really want, this can go for anything from love, work, friendships & hobbies. You don’t need to fit the mould that you may have been placed into. People do evolve & change, who you were does not necessarily mean who you need to be. Listen to yourself and be yourself.
- Not taking time to relax – Working on that all important project for extended periods can cause you to become so fixated on the one task that you may lose track of other things that you want to achieve.
- Health – not getting enough sleep or getting enough nutrients in your body
- Doing the same thing all the time
By no means is this an extensive list, just a few things that I have come across personally.
Being able to overcome this burnout can be a long process and there can often be a number of steps involved so that you can get your groove on again. Here are a few ideas to help get yourself back on track:
- Take things one piece at a time, do you have a project or an assignment you are working on but can’t see how to do it? Make smaller micro assignments. Write the introduction or simply find the location for your next shoot and then another smaller task. It’s not so daunting then is it?
- Look at some of your old work, your favourites, your not-so favourites. What do you feel when you look at them again? Do you still feel a connection? This might inspire something in yourself, maybe you deviated a bit from your style that you felt most comfortable with.
- Explore other works, head to your local gallery or museum. Even if its something random that you normally wouldn’t look at. You’ll be surprised. Maybe in this different frame of mind you’ll see things in a different light.
- Try something different, do you normally do street photography? Well maybe try something different like macro or nature photography or even finding little things that you normally wouldn’t see on the street. Go in with an open mind.
- Take some time off and listen to yourself. Often we feel burnt out when we feel that we aren’t being heard by other people, quite often we can begin to do this to ourselves and not look after our own needs in an attempt to fulfil the needs of others. What would you like? It’s okay to look after yourself & listen to yourself. As you move through life, you & yourself are the only ones that will be there on your first day and your last day.
- If you find yourself becoming in a bigger rut that you may have realised it maybe beneficial to talk to someone about it, whether that is a trusted friend or family member or a counsellor. Here is a link to more information http://www.beyondblue.org.au
Another option which has worked for me quite well is meditation, it isn’t as difficult as it sounds and doesn’t require a large amount of your time. Simply 10 minutes a day will help you think clearer and relax your mind. If you would like to try guided meditation here is one that I use myself http://www.getsomeheadspace.com.