Why creatives are prone to burnout & how to deal with burnout
Burnout is arguably the most common type of depression. Why does it hit creative people the most? Let’s talk about creatives and burnout.
We live in a capitalistic system. To survive in our current system we need money. That’s where this problem starts. A lot of creative people are either self-employed or they tend to have jobs that don‘t align with their passion to survive financially.
The unfulfilling job giving you burnout is kind of an obvious matter. But being self employed, having a side hustle or otherwise just having motivations to make your creation successful? That comes with the „hustling“ mindset and the mindset of little rest. We see highlight reels of others.That makes us feel like we constantly have to be on and makes us feel almost guilty for resting.
Take all of that and put it together with having a mind that soaks up information to make it into ideas and you‘re overwhelmed. And if your brain is overwhelmed all the time it will get sick and tell your body about it.
What is the solution to this problem? Boundaries.
You will slip with these boundaries and have to refocus on them because as long as the foundation of capitalism exists, you will have these outside effects pressuring you.
What kind of boundaries can you set?
You can look at when you are the most productive during the day and put most of your important work in there.
You look at less productive times during the day and split them into maintenance tasks and rest. Everyone needs a different level of rest and it can be quite hard to find a middle ground between too much and not enough. Don‘t go into this with the mindset of perfectionism. Your body isn‘t an AI, it‘s nature.
Other boundaries you can set are…
- strict screen time
- strict single tasking
- set work hours with set breaks
- 5 minute breaks with breathing exercises every hour
- following a set routine for the common tasks you do
- having a must-do self care day every week or every two weeks
- journaling your feelings at the start and-or the end of every day
And also ask others around you how much they ACTUALLY work and rest!
Another important thing I want to mention is the following:
If you have mental illness or dealt with it in the past you will be more prone to this than others, simply because there are already systems in place that allow it to grow faster and in random phases of life.
I remember the pandemic hitting and dealing with isolation well, launching my „How to get your life together“ workbook and then falling down a whole of not wanting to do anything. It wasn‘t quite burnout but also not really a depression like you know it from description. It was just one big executive dysfunction phase. If you don‘t know what executive dysfunction is: It‘s common in ADHD and depression. It‘s when you want to do something but physically can‘t bring yourself to do it.
What you need to know about burnout though, is that it will end if you do something about it with boundaries and self care practices.