5 Ways to Manage Burnout
Hello friend, long time no see. I’m sorry that I dropped of the face of the Earth for a while. I’m sorry that I didn’t have the time or energy to post here or on Instagram regularly. I’m extremely grateful that you’ve stuck with me through my burnout.
I started the New Year with high hopes. I had many plans and ideas for Twist and Twine, and then suddenly it was like I hit a wall. I had no more passion and no more drive. I didn’t feel bothered to crochet and I had many other things on my mind. I started a graduate program for Creative Writing, and it has been so rewarding but it has also taken all my creative energy away from crochet. (I’m still working on that whole ‘balance’ thing.)
Have you ever experienced burnout before? Ya know, the kind that just sort of seeps in and makes you feel exhausted all the time. You come up with a brand new idea but you cannot bring yourself to work on it. Your creativity feels dried up, your passion feels meaningless, and you constantly think to yourself, what’s the point? I felt this way. Sometimes I feel like my efforts are futile and often I lose interest in my crafts. I often feel this way whenever I’m trying to devote my creativity to more than one thing.
I am a very creative person. I’m always making something. I want to live a creative life, but I struggle with burnout all the time. I put so much into one project that I don’t have anything left to give my other projects. Often it comes down to balance, and figuring out how to spread out my time so I work on one thing one day and something else the other. But I’m still working on developing that kind of a routine.
At one point or another, I think everyone has experienced some parts of burnout. It could come from school, work, crafts, honestly everything. So how do we deal with it? I’m sure if you’ve experienced it like I have you’ve come up with some of your own coping mechanisms. But if you haven’t and you need a push to get out of the funk here’s five things that have worked for me:
1. Take a GUILT FREE Break.
Taking a break from one passion to pursue something else is not a bad thing. Treating yourself like you are doing something wrong or like you are disappointing people is toxic and you need to give yourself space to grow. Every now and then I need to take a step back from crochet and the crochet world, and sometimes I don’t come back to it until I’m itching to crochet again. Delete Instagram from your phone, don’t check Twitter for a week, put away the knitting needles until you are ready to play again. It’s okay to stop for however long you need to. Everything will be waiting for you when you return.
2. Try a New Craft/Project/etc.
If it’s a specific craft that is causing your burnout, for example crochet, trying something completely different might recharge your batteries. Pull out a colouring book, try embroidery, read a book, write a story. By doing something completely different from what you were struggling with you’ll be using different creative muscles, which might be enough to get back into your original project.
3. Practice Self-Care/Find a Release.
I know this is such a general blanket term, so let’s break this down a bit. You need to discover what self-care looks like for YOU. Is it taking a bubble bath? Is it healthy meal prepping for the week? Is it getting drinks with friends? Or is it learning to say no and putting you first? Self-care is different for everyone, but it should make you feel good, calm, relaxed, and important. Part of the reason you are struggling with burnout is from stress and over exhaustion, so try doing something that is going to let all that built up stress out. Go for a walk or a run, join a gym, try a spinning or boxing class. Get your body moving, and give your mind a break.
4. Find Ways to Make your Project Fun and Interesting.
Get on Pinterest and gather new ideas, join a Facebook group for inspiration, engage with people on social media, try a new pattern, talk to people about how you’ve been feeling. It can be challenging to think of something new and fun to do when you feel like you’ve hit a wall. But trust me, finding something NEW to do is the key word. Leave your old projects behind and start something brand new, something that’s been on your bucket list or something that you’ve never thought of doing before.
5. Keep Going!
This is the one piece of advice that I need to listen to more often. Just keep going. Push through what you’re feeling and keep going. Dory literally sings, “just keep swimming” for a reason, because sometimes nothing can be going right but you HAVE to keep going. So pick up those knitting needles or turn on that sewing machine and finish that beast of a project. I know you can do it, I’m rooting for you.
One last thing I didn’t mention is to just give it time. Give your burnout time and give yourself time to breathe. The momentum and the passion will return to you. I promise.
I wish I could promise that I’ll be more reliable in the future, that I’ll have regular content all the time. But I can’t make that promise. I have so many ideas that I want to share with you, but I just don’t have to the time to dedicate to bringing every idea to life. I struggle with dividing my time evenly between my job, school, my friends, and my creative endeavours. I am an all or nothing person, I can’t change that. I can only try to do better. Thank you for sticking with me, I promise to try to do better.