11 Ways to Overcome Creative Burnout
11 Ways to Overcome Creative Burnout
At some point in our entrepreneurial journey, we'll most likely have to deal with creative burnout. It's a reality that so many creative entrepreneurs have to face from time to time. The key is knowing how to get past it and get back into flow and alignment.
In this blog post, I'll discuss what you can do when you're feeling creatively drained. I hope my advice helps soothe the soul and inspire the artist within you again!
But first, let's just answer the question, "What is creative burnout?"
Some signs of creative burnout are feelings of being completely uninspired and exhausted. It feels like there are so many things you "should" be working on to move your business forward.
Emails to send. Content to create. Social media posts. Articles write.
Reels. YouTube. Programs. Courses. Sales funnels. Lead Magnets.
All. The. Things.
It's a feeling of overwhelm, shut down, fogginess, and honestly... pain. There's a longing in your heart and soul to be expressing yourself and doing your creative soul work. Which is teaching, leading, creating, and showing up to make a positive impact.
But every bone in your body feels stuck. Like you just can't find your flow and you want to give up.
I get it, I've been there. I go through those same waves. I'm an artist first and foremost, and a businesswoman second.
I know the pressure one feels to be constantly outputting your energy. To feel like this fast-paced, high-tech world, doesn't slow down for anyone, and to stay "relevant" you must hustle, force, and push yourself to get to the next level.
I don't know about you, but that mentality exhausts me. I slip into it sometimes and have to constantly remind myself to slow down. To tune in. To go at my pace. To do what feels good.
To me, creative burnout and exhaustion is a sign it's time to rest, and do what I need to nurture myself.
So that I can connect with true inspiration again, which lives within my own soul and comes from Divine Source.
In this article, I want to share with you some of the practices I lean into when I'm feeling stuck, burnt out, and creatively blocked - and there's that voice inside my head telling me I'm not "doing" enough.
Hopefully, these practices will help you feel more freedom, more ease, and more joyful creativity, so you can do the work you're here to do, in the way that feels the most fun for you.
Ready? Let's dive in!
1. Move Your Body
For creative burnout, movement is a must to shift the stagnant energy. When we feel stuck in our heads overanalyzing everything, getting into the body is the medicine. It can move energy, move emotions, and release feel-good chemicals.
When I drop into my body, I give my brain a break from overthinking. It creates a meditative experience and some spaciousness from my thoughts. With that space, new ideas, ah-ha's, and breakthroughs can just pop right into my awareness.
From there I usually know what the next aligned action is. Or I have a creative idea that I want to get started on.
2. Clean Your Home
When I'm feeling creatively blocked, a cluttered home can be the worst. It's just one more thing to have on my "to do" list. Plus everything we need to "do" takes up space in our subconscious mind and takes energy to remember and therefore distracts us subtly.
From an energetic perspective, "as within, so without". So when our place is a mess, our thoughts and feelings can feel that way too. And vice versa.
I love to get into a deep cleaning mode when I'm feeling stuck in my creativity because it's all about clearing out what no longer serves us and making room for the new.
To learn more about the powerful energetic benefits of decluttering, check out this article HERE.
3. Do Anything Creative (even if you don't feel like it)
When you're in creative burnout, the worst thing to do is nothing and fall even deeper down the negative spiral. You need to move the stagnant energy.
So what I'll often do when my creativity feels blocked, is take action and create something anyway... even if it's just writing a few sentences or mapping out an outline.
It doesn't even have to be business-related. I personally love cosplaying, journaling, drawing, writing poetry, paint by numbers, and putting together cute outfits.
Sometimes just starting something can get the juices flowing again.
4. Write Poetry
Speaking of poetry, when I feel creatively blocked, writing poetry is one of my go-to's.
For me personally, it feels really good to express myself in this way when I'm feeling stuck. There is no "perfection" in poetry. It doesn't have to be "good". It just has to be honest, free, and flowing.
It's one of the best ways to move energy in my opinion. I even went through a phase in 2019 where I was SUPER burnt out creatively in my life's work and business and decided to create an anonymous poetry account on Instagram. I had 50 followers, but I didn't care about numbers. I showed up daily writing words from my heart and soul with zero rules, zero fucks, and zero validation. I felt soooo freaking good and got me back into the creative swing of things again.
By the end of my 30 days of poetry, I felt complete with that practice. And I had all these creative business ideas flow to me again.
5. Go Outside
If your creative burnout is so bad that it's affecting your mood, head outside for some fresh air. (I know, I know... this isn't mindblowing advice, but sometimes we just need to be reminded about what we already know).
Go sit under a tree or by running water (if there's any nearby). Just breathe in nature and move energy through all of your 5 senses.
Practice becoming aware that you are nature. That you don't have to "get anywhere". It is safe to just "be". It is safe to slow down. There is life all around you. You live in a beautiful wild world.
Notice your breath, feel your essence, and be grateful for things in your life. Connecting to the truth of your being.
Getting outside and being in nature, can open up your receiving channels for divine inspiration and deeper spiritual connection - which is where all creative ideas flow from anyways - Source Energy.
Allow yourself to be a conduit for Spirit to work through you as you remember who you truly are, and in no time you'll be channeling something that will move you forward.
6. Ask for Guidance, Receive, and Allow Yourself to be Supported
Creative burnout can be a sign that you're pushing too hard, and not allowing yourself to receive support, guidance, or ease.
You can ask Spirit/Source/the Universe/Your guides for wisdom and guidance. Tune into if there's anything you need to take off your plate that's taking up your mental, emotional, or energetic bandwidth? It could be habits, belief systems, identities, or even physical items, tasks, or routines.
Also, check-in if there's anyone who could support you in the physical world? Is it time to hire a VA? Someone, to run your social media while you take a break? Someone to run your ads? Or schedule out your content so you don't have to think about it?
Or maybe there are aligned tech automation that you can set up? And is can automatically distribute your creative work for you? Meaning there's one less thing for you to "do" that stresses you out. Which frees up more time for fun, ease and flow... and doing the creative work that you love! (I use Zapier, Later, and Kajabi to help me automate more things in my business).
7. Go Do Something Fun
Creativity doesn't have to be a serious business. Creativity is fun, and it should feel good!
When I'm feeling stuck in my creative work, one of the first things that comes up for me is "I don't want to do this anymore". And so what I've learned over time is to trust that feeling. And to take a break from the creative work, and go do something completely different for a little bit.
For me, that's hobbies like video games, bike riding, swimming, fantasy novels, ladies night, dates with my partner, and watching my fave TV.
Now I'm not saying just completely ignore the work you have to get done, but what I am saying is if you're at the point where you're creatively burnout and you've got nothing left in the tank, then go give your inner child some ice cream and let loose a little! Allow yourself to truly enjoy it. Get lost in the moment. Enjoy life. PLAY.
And once you've given yourself permission to be human, have fun, and VALUE "downtime", you might be surprised at how quickly your soul comes back online, and you're full of inspired ideas to share because you've been living your life fully and enjoying yourself.
8. Breathwork, Somatic Coaching, or Inner Child Work
If you're finding creative burnout is causing you a lot of stress, and mental/emotional suffering, there could be some deeper patterns playing out that stem from feeling unworthy and not good enough unless you produce quality work now.
This comes from cultures and family systems that teach us our only value is what we do and produce, not who we are.
So when we've attached "our value" with "our output" there's usually A LOT of resistance to playing, having fun, and just "being' - which is the root solution of most of the advice I'm given you in this article.
These false beliefs picked up in childhood can run super deep, so if you're finding it hard to turn off the inner critic and can't get off the hamster wheel of hustling for your worth, maybe it's time to do some deeper inner healing work.
Some of the best modalities I know to heal past traumas and worthiness wounds are breathwork, somatic coaching, and inner child work.
These modalities aren't the only tools that can help shift you into a state of knowing your worth and feeling confident in your creativity and in letting go a little, but they are the ones I know that work on a deep level to release stored emotions in the body - which could be stopping you from fully expressing yourself and your unique creative magic fully.
So if you find yourself feeling stuck, exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling frozen in your creative work and you know there are some deeper limiting beliefs and fears holding you back, then it could be time to seek out support from a coach or facilitator.
(If you're looking for recommendations for breathwork facilitators, just write a comment on this page, and I'll send you some names. Several of my past clients and peers offer Breathwork sessions.)
9. Follow Your Intuition
When you find yourself going through a creative burnout, it can be really easy to get caught up in what everyone else is saying. But the truth is there's no one "right way" of doing things. There are many paths that lead us to success, freedom, and our true soul desires.
And oftentimes our mind thinks it knows the quickest way, or it thinks if we just follow in someone else's steps exactly, then we're guaranteed to get to our goals faster.
But I like to think of my intuition as my own Divine GPS. And just like in Google Maps, when I type in my desired destination (aka. whatever goal or dream I'm working towards in my creative work) my intuition has a direct link to my Soul - who can see ALL the routes and obstacles to getting there.
So when I'm feeling burnout, stuck and in a creative funk, I oftentimes check-in and ask myself, "What do I feel like doing next?" or "What feels good to work on right now? What DO I have the energy to focus on?"
Because it might just be that I'm making a rule and telling myself I "should" do something in a specific order because it makes logical sense.
For example, I committed to writing an email to my list this week, but when I went to write it, I felt sooooo much heaviness and resistance. When I tuned into what I wanted to do instead, my intuition told me to write this blog content! And now I have content for my email without having to "Try" for it.
See how that worked?
When I follow the feel good like this, I see it as my intuition guiding me to the most easeful and aligned way to get to my final destination. In this example, I desired to write an email and got there. PLUS I checked off my blog post for next week which wasn't even "due" yet.
So I invite you to trust the feel good. Trust it's all working out for you. Trust the timing of your life and business growth. Even if it doesn't go in the logical linear way you think it "should", trust the steps you're taking now are all fitting into the puzzle in the order and timing they need to get done.
10. Have Sex or Self-Pleasure
Dropping into your body and activating your primal self (either with a partner, or solo) can help you let go of cortical control - which is the part of your brain that overthinks everything.
Similar to exercise, if you find yourself in your head, sometimes having an orgasm or makin' sweet sweet love, is the perfect medicine to connect to your pleasure, your power, and your divinity!
It can also be a place to release stuck emotions, connect to your authentic self, and feel present in the moment, and fill up with feel-good chemicals.
From an energetic perspective, your sexual energy is also your creative energy too, so by unblocking your orgasmic potential, you can also unblock your creative downloads.
Surrendering is a major key for me when I get into the creative burnout zone. And it's one of those things that can feel really scary to do, but what's the alternative? Control? Fear? Scarcity?
Personally, I choose to trust. I choose to believe there are an infinite amount of ideas. I choose to believe that the energy of creativity IS the energy of ABUNDANCE. That I can never run out of things to creative. What if this moment isn't flowing the way I like, then maybe it's just because I'm trying to force something that doesn't want to be?
And that by following the feel good, I'm actually being guided to the path of least resistance, where so much creative inspiration is waiting for me. Where it just feels like a channel opens up and I have so much clarity.
Surrender to me means I have faith it's all working out. I have faith in divine timing. I have faith that I'll know what to create when I practice creating the things that bring me joy, not because I "should" to be valuable to society.
From that place of letting go of control, and being at peace with what is, I often find myself revitalized and healed from burnout.
Then I just keep taking the next inspired action.
Integrative Journal Prompts:
I love to include journal prompts to help you implement these tips in a way that's custom for you!
So get out a pen and paper, and I invite you to do some self-discovery.
1. What movement pr exercise practices do you enjoy that you can do when you feel stuck?
2. What areas of your home do you know you need to tidy up that you keep putting off? What would it look like for you to create time to do that?
3. What creative hobbies do you enjoy that are pure fun and downtime?
4. What would it look like for you to write more poetry? Would it be in a journal? On a public forum? Social media?
5. What are some nature spots nearby that you'd like to commit to visiting more often when you feel in a funk?
6. What does it look like for you to ask for more support and guidance and allow yourself to receive it?
7. What feels fun for your inner child? What would it look like for you to prioritize more of that in your schedule?
8. Does it feel aligned to invest deeper into your healing journey with a coach, therapist, or facilitator? What would it look like to take that next step and reach out to someone?
9. What subtle nudges from your intuition have you been avoiding? What would it look like for you to take action on the messages you're receiving?
10. What would it look like for your to prioritize your pleasure and introduce more sexual wellness into your life?
11. Where do you notice yourself feeling controlling or attached to a certain outcome? What do you know you need to let go of?
I invite you to start practicing your intuition now and choose 1 or 2 practices to focus on first. By practicing the tips listed above as needed, you can not only prevent burnout but also re-ignite your creative spark when you feel like the light has gone dark.
With love and pleasure,
Amy Meraki xo