Beyond Crafting: Creating Your Most Inspired Life.

Meet Burnout

July 13, 2020 Holli Mostella Season 1 Episode 7
Beyond Crafting: Creating Your Most Inspired Life.
Meet Burnout
Chapters
Beyond Crafting: Creating Your Most Inspired Life.
Meet Burnout
Jul 13, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Holli Mostella

At some point in your creative career, you’re going to experience burnout. I think it’s important than you know it’s normal, and it doesn’t mean you're failing. Burnout is common, and it’s real. It casts false shadows that you’re not good at what you do, that you don't find happiness in things you once did, or even that you’re lazy. 

None of those things are true. Let me tell you about what exactly burnout is, and how to take steps to overcome it. 

See the Show Notes: https://hollimostella.com/episode-07-burnout/

Support the show (http://patreon.com/hollimostella)

Show Notes Transcript

At some point in your creative career, you’re going to experience burnout. I think it’s important than you know it’s normal, and it doesn’t mean you're failing. Burnout is common, and it’s real. It casts false shadows that you’re not good at what you do, that you don't find happiness in things you once did, or even that you’re lazy. 

None of those things are true. Let me tell you about what exactly burnout is, and how to take steps to overcome it. 

See the Show Notes: https://hollimostella.com/episode-07-burnout/

Support the show (http://patreon.com/hollimostella)

A few weeks ago, I was getting things together to head out to the studio to work, and my 5 year old passed by me in the kitchen. She said “mom, my battery is at 1%. I’m in the red.” 


5 years old. At first I laughed and gave her a hug and told her she would be fine, she can rest while I work. Then when I sat down at my desk in front of my computer.. it hit me. My battery felt in the red too.


At some point in your creative career, you’re going to experience burn out. I think it’s important than you know it’s normal, and it doesn’t mean your failing. Burnout is common, and it’s real. It casts false shadows that you’re not good at what you do, that you dont find happiness in things you once did, or even that you’re lazy. 


None of those things are true. Let me tell you about what exactly burnout is, and how to take steps to overcome it. 


According to APA psychology, burnout really has a lot to do with experiencing chronic stress. Like maybe.. after a major holiday. I experience a MAJOR amount of burnout after Christmas. Because in the crafting world, we start crafting for holidays in what, February? Those that craft for income prep for months and months in advance for upcoming holidays. For my patrons, each year, I suggest they announce a cut off date on their social media, far in advance. This gives you a date to air quotes “turn it off,” and enjoy time with your family. So you’re not up at 3am working on orders, frantic about not getting it done. Also- give yourself a limit. Don’t take on too much, keep it reasonable and realistic. Trust me, this is something I had to learn the hard way. I wanted to take on all the orders and not just for the income, but because I’m a people pleaser and hate to tell someone no. 


One way to protect yourself from burnout, is to set your boundaries. And I mean really, really go by them. Set yourself your absolute limit, and don’t go past it. For anyone. Because this is you protecting YOU. 


So, back to the chronic stress thing. In my Facebook craft group, Cricut Craft Life, i see a lot of comments like, “i just don’t have the inspiration. I don’t have the drive. I used to love to create, I’m stuck.” Think about what we are ALL going through right now, together. A global pandemic. Uncertain times with uncertain terms. Remember how I told you to set boundaries for holiday orders? We can’t do that here. We have to go with the ebb and flow of life, and there’s not much we can control around us. I’m sure most of us, if not all, are under some sort of stress. 


According to Forbes.com, here are some major signs of burnout:

  1. Exhaustion. This can be mental OR physical 
  2. Lack of motivation. Remember when I told you that you’re not lazy? 
  3. Frustration 
  4. Cognitive problems. Remember all those times you missed a step crafting? Maybe you didn’t get the right supplies, you forgot to mirror your image, or you seem to just can’t get it together. This causes even more frustration and I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to just throw my hands up, toss all my craft supplies in turn trash, and slam the door shut to my studio. BUT- if i had done that, what does that help? Who does that help? I tell you that to say, every creator (yes EVERY single creator) goes through this. You’re not alone, and there’s not anything wrong with you. You’re not losing your touch, you’re not bad at what you do. When this happens, I step away for a bit. Maybe for the rest of the day. Listen, boundaries are so so important and I really can’t stress that enough. 
  5. There are a lot more examples of burnout on Forbes, and I’m going to link that article for you in the Show Notes on Holimostella.com; but what I really want to touch on are the next two: decreased satisfaction, and not taking care of yourself. 


So.. decreased satisfaction. Remember how it feels to create something really beautiful? You feel proud and want to show it to the world. If you’re in burnout, you can create the same exact project and it not satisfy you. Maybe it goes back to the cognitive problems. Maybe you feel like you messed up along the way and didn’t have the same outcome. Listen.. in art, there really is no “messing up.” That’s the beauty of the creative process. The amazing thing about crafters is, we’re resourceful. We can make beauty out of a mess. 


Then there’s the problem of not taking care of ourselves. Of course this means the normal signs of having the blues.. maybe not sleeping enough, or sleeping too much. Not eating, or eating for comfort. But with our creative minds, I think taking care of our mental health is just as important to nurture. If you’re mentally tired, you don’t have to push yourself. Sometimes I think, I *have* to get this done, there’s a deadline. BUT- if i take a step back, most of the time when I’m in burnout, there are times I can take a break, I just miss the opportunities. I’m working even when I’m not working, you know what I mean? Like sitting on the couch watching a movie with my girls, and going over things that need to get done obsessively in my mind. Does that help them get done? No. When I’m watching a movie with my girls, or spending any kind of time with them, I am continually learning to turn off that part of my brain. Because think about when it comes time to actually get the project done, I’ve already spent a thousand hours obsessing over it in my mind when I haven’t even started on it. 


And THAT’S where burnout creeps in. A lot of times it doesn’t happen in an hour, or even overnight. It happens over a longer period of time. Like after 4 long months of holiday crafting, or 4 long months of quarantine. 


Here’s some things I do to battle burnout. 

I unplug. If you know me, that’s super hard for me to do. So instead of going by what the internet says is a good amount of time to unplug, I gauge it for myself. If I unplug for even an hour, it helps. 


I clean my craft space. Even when I was crafting in the kitchen, organizing and cleaning my area has always been something that helps bring the spark back. It could be that I find new materials that I forgot about, or maybe clearing my space helps clear my mind. Either way, cleaning and organizing has always been a huge help with my mind. I guess It helps that I can find my supplies too, lol 


I try and get extra rest. Sometimes it’s actual sleep, sometimes it’s just taking time to rest my mind. With creatives, our minds are constantly spinning.. any time we can flex that creative muscle, we do. Even subconsciously. You know what I’m talking about.. walking through a store and identifying that font. For me, it’s a conscious effort to rest my mind. I like a really cold, dark room, and my favorite music. 


Here’s something else you can do.. try something new. Step away from the mundane and what feels like it is bearing heavy weight on your shoulders. You can try a new craft, tackle something that you’ve admired but didn’t have the confidence, or even do something as simple as going outdoors, feeling the sunshine on your face and feeling the grass under your feet.


More than anything, know this is a season that will pass. You are talented and you are given this gift for a purpose.. the important thing to remember is that after your burnout passes, you will find yourself in a new space of creativity, with greater talent and new found inspiration.    



Credit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/04/01/10-signs-youre-burning-out-and-what-to-do-about-it/#b858187625b4