Burnout. It happens to the best of us and can practically spark a creative revolt. You know when you're in burnout if you suffer from the following thought symptoms:
Forget about it.
Hang out with other creatives?
No way, that means I'll need to talk about that "work stuff".
Leave the house?
Fuck it. I just wanna stay in my PJ's.
Is today Sunday?
Ahh, friends. I get you. Burnout sucks and makes you forget the reasons you started doing what you do in the first place: because you love it. Deep down somewhere you did all this for a reason and you know it. But somewhere along the way you got lost and are looking for some ideas of how to return to your senses.
Below I have a few suggestions on how to get your creative juices flowing again and put you back in the zone. These included places, things to do, and activities to take part in.
1. Take a full day out of your schedule (play hooky if need be) and take a good look at your neighborhood.
There's something about escaping the confines of boxed walls that make all the difference. Sometimes it's nice to just get out and explore the space around you, discovering little things about where you live that you've never noticed before. It's this noticing that helps break creative ruts: focusing on small details instead of big pictures to help you piece back the puzzle and get back to your heart.
2. Produce something that doesn't involve any of the tools you're used to using.
That means if you're a designer or digital ninja, make something that doesn't involve a computer. A coach, try writing an article or making something out of clay. A maker, try creating something with your mind and express it verbally. Really the ideas are limitless. The idea is to get out of your comfort zone and try something completely different. Sometimes it's the very act of doing something different when you start realizing how much you like that other stuff.
3. Do something that'll give you an adrenaline rush.
If you know me, you'll know I love dancing. Sometimes I'll go out and just dance my socks off, and it'll give me that feeling of "hey I'm actually living my life" once again. Basically it's getting out of the house and doing something fun/indulgent for a change totally for yourself. This works especially great is if it's something you've never done before or if it's been a really long time since you've done that specific thing. Excitement or nostalgia. You pick.
4. Visit the places or people that make you feel like you're at home.
For me, for example, that's around big bodies of water. I know other people who have a favorite coffee spot, or a corner in their house that they like to fill up with pillows. It may not even be a physical place, but perhaps hanging with a certain person or a certain furry animal. It ultimately helps put you back in a good place.
5. Write a list of small things you actually DO enjoy.
This includes those small things that you know you love, making you feel less cynical and reminding you that you actually do enjoy some things. Also, if someone offers these to you you'd gladly accept. Think chocolate mousse, playing with animal friends, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, doodling, getting your nails done, playing instruments with friends...whatever those things are, it'll get you to start focusing on the enjoyment of things rather than the annoyance of everything. This thoughtful process trains your mind to start thinking positively and back to your happy zone.