It’s summer! School’s out, vacation’s in. People are traveling, heading out on adventures, and taking advantage of longer days by spending more time in the sun. However, if you own a creative business you can end be so immersed in your work that you feel unable to take a break. Many business owners and get no paid vacation and no paid time off, so any time away from work can feel like taking a loss. On the other hand, your hobby, passion, or purpose can feel so fun and exciting that you’d prefer working than taking a break. This is why creators so often forget to recharge and run the risk of burnout.
“Burnout manifests in my life as complete disenchantment and depression,” shared Krystal of Power Femme Tarot. “To combat burnout, I not only take breaks but also gift myself my own offerings. Tarot is not just a side hustle for me, it is a key component of my daily and spiritual practice that I need to consistently prioritize.”
Taking breaks like Krystal does, can help you clear your mental palette and allow you to channel new ideas.
“For me, burnout looks like a lack of focus,” Kristen Allison from Over the Moon wrote. “It happens when I’m juggling too many things without a sense of direction or purpose. I can always resolve burnout by asking the question why? Action without direction or purpose is exhausting. So taking time out to figure out why you’re pursuing some creative activity is necessary for clarity and vitality.”
When asked about them about their own experience with burnout, writer and translator Nita Tyndall shared, “For me, it’s a lack of interest in my own work, not wanting to even sit at a computer or try to write anything at all.”
It is actually very important for your creativity to recharge, rejuvenate, and get re-inspired by playing out in the world. If you push too hard, eventually you will run out of gas, opening the potential to feel like you have nothing left to give, and even resenting your community for what you perceive to be your expectations on you.
In fact, there are multiple studies that prove taking a break has a positive impact on your work and creativity. “Taking time off from work, or life in general, is necessary to make room for innovative thinking and creative breakthroughs,” writes Rick Peterson in Thrive Global. �“Disconnecting and taking time off — provides the framework to nurture the curiosity and passion that keeps ideas fresh and competitive.”
Studies like this one shared on Psychology Today, have shown that breaks from work actually help our brain combat decision fatigue, restore motivation, and increase productivity.
1. Leave your devices at home: Maybe even your smartphone (gasp). Taking a one-day break from your devices might rejuvenate you even more than taking a week-long vacation while still plugged in. If you can’t go without your phone, consider removing your social media and work apps from your it. You can always download them again once you’re well rested.
“I’d much rather take a break and refill my energetic reserves so that I can produce substantive and soulful offerings rather than keep churning out posts for the sake of it,” Krystal added.
2. Set up some automation: Ask your audience for guest posts submissions, sign up for Coschedule, or pre-schedule your articles to publish while you’re out. Automation can save you time and allow you to take a break without having to worry about losing engagement from your Patrons. Don’t forget, even your Patreon page allows you to automatically schedule posts.
3. Give your creative mind some space: Observing the word, taking time to meditate, making connections, and even letting your mind wander might not make you feel productive but they’re essential for creation. It may seem counterintuitive but our best creative work often comes from walking away from the computer and taking time for ourselves.
“One thing I do to sustain my creative work is incorporate an equal amount of creative play—creativity that’s just for fun,” Kristen added.
4. Read, Play, and Listen: Sometimes sitting down with an indulgent book, turning on a new video game, or getting out your coloring books can recharge your batteries and get you inspired.
“I've found the best way to combat burnout is by refilling the creative well,” Nita shared. “Whether that's reading fanfic or playing video games, consuming media that I enjoy is a really helpful way for me to get out of a creative slump. That and reminding myself I've been here before and I can get through it.”
Remember, your community wants you to create your best work and to be the best version of yourself. They don’t mind you taking a break, in fact, they welcome it. Plus, you’ll be leading by example, showing how important it is to make room for yourself and step back to reassess and revitalize your work.