There’s no denying that the past year and a half has taken its toll on many of us and I’m no exception. The lockdowns and social distancing have left us with no choice but to be constantly aware of how daily life has changed and have limited the ways we can creatively recharge. Not only that, but we’re also battling the general anxiety brought on by being aware of what’s going on in the world around us.
Non-creative people may be prone to thinking that being home more during these times might lead to more time to dedicate to creative pursuits and while that might be the case for some of us, or for some of the time, the prolonged constant stress we’re under can actually lead us to experience a creative burnout.
Simply put, creative burnout is when the ideas won’t come, or you experience a lack of motivation in working on or completing a creative endeavor. It can include feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, lacking energy, empty and unmotivated, and unable to meet your creative goals. In short, you feel stuck, exhausted, and hopeless… and most importantly unable to create or take joy in creative pursuits.
And I must admit that’s kind of where I am right now. Over the course of this pandemic I have experienced waves of depression and anxiety, though mostly I have been able to work through them and recognize that they are only temporary or caused by external means, but the constant battle has left me exhausted and feeling burnt out creatively. I simply feel as if I don’t have the emotional energy left to dedicate to the things I love, namely writing and editing.
Maybe you’re feeling the same way I am, or maybe you’ve been through this before and know what I’m talking about. It’s hard and there’s a temptation to get frustrated with yourself for not being able to be as productive as you normally are. But I urge you to be kind to yourself. The common treatment for burn out is to get some rest, take a break from what’s causing you stress, or make a change, so allow yourself the time and space you need to recover and remember; this too shall pass.