Last night while I was watching the Emmys and illustrating my favourite red carpet looks, I stayed up way later into the night than I should have. Try 4am the next morning!
I’m not sure about you, but when I’m on a roll creatively, it’s really hard for me to stop what I’m doing until I finish the task at hand. And for whatever reason I feel that I work better in the evenings. This is probably a habit that I formed when I had to go to a 9-5 outside of my home and then come home to work on my illustrations. But, now that I’m a full-time freelancer, I really need to change this habit.
Needless to say it isn’t doing much to help when I end up feeling burnt out, exhausted, tired, you name it.
I had a friend once that said to me “… every time you do something creatively, you give a little of yourself to that project …”. I totally feel that this is true.
So, I wanted to share five things that I do when I feel burnt out or exhausted after completing a creative project (no matter how big or small).
I know this one might seem like a no-brainer, but getting a good night’s rest really does do the trick for me. Sometimes I pull all-nighters and still have to get up early the next day. That especially doesn’t help if I have certain tasks that I need to complete. So whether it’s taking a nap during the day, or making sure that you get whatever amount of sleep at night that you feel is best for you, sleep is important to keep yourself from feeling exhausted. I also try to limit my use of technology (phones, tablets, etc.) at least an hour or two before bed. It really does the trick to get me to sleep faster.
This one, I didn’t really clue into until the last year or so. Taking a moment to focus on being still, listening to my breathing and clearing my mind, really helps to balance me. I didn’t really pay much attention to meditation before, but it’s something that I practice regularly now. Whether it’s for five minutes or 50, find a quiet space, a comfortable position and breathe. I also really love Saje Wellness & their Stress Release oils. They’re really great to put on to get me in the mood to meditate.
I’m a snacker. I love my snacks. But when I’m tired and feeling burnt out, eating unhealthy foods doesn’t do me or my body any good. So, I make sure to dial down on the sweets & sugars. I also increase my water intake, and look for healthy alternatives to whatever I might be craving. Because I gravitate to sugary foods during these trying times (sometimes they’re the easiest thing to grab), I just crash. And that does not feel good at all. And tea! I especially love to drink tea when I feel tired! Works like a charm.
Read a book – for fun.
A lot of the material that I read has to do with fashion illustration, art, branding, marketing, advertising, business. And while I enjoy these topics, I also find that it’s good to read something that doesn’t have to do with my creative business, just to take my mind off work.
I know this post is about what to do when you’re tired and burnt out. But tired doesn’t always mean physically tired. I like to go for walks or runs just to clear my head. It also helps me to get a fresh & new perspective on things. What do they say again about exercise and happy endorphins?
Let me know if you try any of these methods the next time that you’re feeling the creative burnout! Or, if you have any other suggestions, leave a comment below!
Featured Image by Jodianne Beckford Photography