5 Tips to Avoid Burnout as an Artist

When you feel unproductive and non-creative, then it means you have reached a point of exhaustion or burnout; you feel fully overburdened by the numerous responsibilities on your to-do list. You have the impression that there is no way you will finish everything on time. You feel physically drained and feel like your brain has been squished into a pancake, leaving you unable to perform any actions or think of anything productive. It feels like everything has eventually become insurmountable and unmanageable.

If you have gone through something similar, let me reassure you that you are not the only one who has felt that way. According to a poll that Pirate.com carried out, 66% of creative professionals have reported feeling burned out at some point in their careers.

When burnout happens, artists believe that their life has reached a stalemate, and they are at a point where no amount of inspiration can convince them to get out of bed and begin living again.

So to help you avoid burnout as an artist, keep on reading because we’ve compiled a list of five tips to help you the next time you’re feeling exhausted.

1 Priorities Yourself

The best way to deal with burnout is to prioritize your body, mind, and yourself. You have to understand that your body is not a machine. It needs your time and care, and you can do this by meditation or going on a solo trip. You can also plan a vacation with your family and your loved ones. A journey with your dear ones will help you realize that there is more to life than work. Such trips will give you peace and will help you relax your body. If you cannot do this, then call your best friends to your home and have a pyjama party. Plan a girls’ day out. Go for dinner. Treat yourself to the things you love. Get dressed. Do anything you were planning but could not find time to do.

However, if you cannot do any of those things, then think about all the incredible artwork you’ve produced in the past, and then tell yourself that if you’ve been able to create that, then you can create something even more impressive. Time is all needed for you to recover and get back on the right path. Always remember that it’s just a short-lived phase, not your whole life. All you need to do is to change how you act to avoid making yourself and your situation more miserable.

2 Don’t Hold Yourself Back

The more you keep your feelings to yourself, the worse it will be for you. It will severely compromise your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You may feel as if no one understands you, but in reality, your inability to express your feelings and pain is to blame. So, consult your loved ones, such as parents, partners, friends, children, and your therapist, if none of these options seems feasible. Bring your feelings to the surface and let them know what’s on your mind. Tell them about your anxieties, tension, and pain. Tell them anything and everything you’ve got to say about it.

And if you cannot do so, write down all your feelings on paper. Drawing, doodling, colouring, making lines, or doing abstract art can help you relax and express your feelings. You can also keep a journal as an additional option. If you don’t have time to write about your day-to-day life, write about the most important things that have happened, the things that you are afraid of or the things that you are thrilled about. In addition to expressing how you feel, writing will give your mind a break so you can think of something creative to do instead of focusing on negative thoughts.

3 Shake Things Up

If you want to experience something new and positive, then you have to make a change in your personality or your environment. Change is essential in life because, without it, life becomes monotonous. So start thinking about how you can make a difference in your life or your surroundings. You could learn a new skill or techniques to improve an existing one. You can also change your personality by deciding to avoid junk food, eat only healthy foods, and exercise at least five times per week. You can also take up hobbies like gardening, cycling, or swimming. By making a change or by shaking things up, you will be able to bring back excitement to your life. Keeping your attention on the positive aspects of life is essential if you want to avoid artist burnout.

You can also bring a change by redecorating your room, art space, or studio. You can bring in a new flower pot, change the paint on your walls, or replace your carpet, rug, or curtains. If you don’t want significant change, try organizing your art supplies and tools. Numerous more possibilities exist as well; all you have to do is look around and attempt it, no matter how difficult it may seem. You must gather your guts and work on self-improvement to achieve a favourable end.

4 Don’t Underestimate Yourself

You can deal with your circumstances only when you know your worth. It would be best to stop taking yourself for granted when you believe you deserve better. You became an artist because you understood that you have something in you that you want to bring out and share with the world. So try to recall your ‘why’. Consider why you wanted to be an artist. You will get your answer, motivating you to start your life afresh.

It would be best if you shifted your mind that everyone is better than you or everyone is making it big out there as an artist, and you are simply lying with all your equipment spread on the floor. Stop comparing yourself to others. You don’t know anything about their journey or suffering, and they don’t know about yours either. It’s absurd to compare yourself with someone who started their journey years before you began. You have to quit being your harshest critic, and you should look at other artists’ work or experiences for inspiration, not for comparison, because comparison would generate jealousy or envy, which is not helpful for your artistic growth.

5 Lean in for Support

Sometimes our experiences and situations make us believe that asking for help or support is a sign of weakness. It shows that we’re less than others. Our experiences also make us think we should keep our struggles private so that no one else may see them. But at some point, we will all find ourselves in a position of difficulty. Demons and darkness await us all. Getting out of bed can be a challenge on some days. And on such days, it’s okay to ask for support. You have to understand that it’s not bad and isn’t an indication of immaturity or procrastination. Asking for help can save our lives and strengthen our relationships. I believe we might all benefit from a little extra support and motivation from time to time. And it’s okay to ask for help. We are just humans, and we can’t and shouldn’t expect ourselves to do everything independently. So reach out for help if you find it difficult to cope with your situation. And trust me, your loved ones will be more than happy to help you by bringing you back to your life.

Written By: Rabia Khan.
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