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How to avoid burnout | The White Thistle | Abi Hugo


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Tips for when you are feeling burnt out


We all experience burnout whether it’s in business life or creatively and when you are in the midst of it it can feel never-ending, a panic sets in that you’ll never experience the same level of creativity again 


I am not going to fill this episode with platitudes like it will all be ok, go for a walk, read a book!! These are all things that have been said to me when I am in that place and quite honestly it really doesn’t help! 


Although in reality, they are great things when you are in a creative burnout I want to share some real actionable tips that will help you take control, get through it quicker when the burnout inevitably stricks


What it might feel like 

Feeling like you have no ideas or inspiration


We all go through dry spells when the gears in our minds just aren’t turning. But when this continues for several days or even weeks, it is often a sign of burnout.


Inability to get into the “flow”


Normally when I have my full creative juices flowing I have ideas pouring out of my brain I just need to look at a slice of bread and I will be inspired. But when I hit creative burnout no amount of Pinterest scrolling, instagram binging Tiktok watching can get me to spark a single idea. No matter how hard I try I just can’t find my groove. 


A lasting sense of self-doubt


All creatives struggle with doubting if their talent and their work is any good. It’s because we care about what we’re doing, and we put a little piece of ourselves into it. So when doubt comes crawling in, it’s hard to keep it out. But for many creatives, if this feeling continues longer than it ever has before, it might be a symptom of burnout. Often the self-doubt comes from other symptoms of burnout: not being able to come up with ideas or get into a flow of creativity will quickly convince you that you’re no good at what you do when in reality you’ve just overworked yourself.


Finding other things to do instead


I am a sucker for this… hello binge cleaning anyone! Emptying every single cupboard in the house just to reorganise it because I can’t think of anything else to do. 


So what can you do about it? 


Take breaks 


I know, I know I said I wouldn’t say this but only because it is a great way to combat burnout I thought I would just say it and move on. We all know and have been given this advice multiple times. If you hit burnout, know when to stop, take a break rather than push through risking the burnout lasting longer.


Even better if you can schedule regular breaks into your year so that you recharge before you even hit burnout. In no other industry are thou expected to be ‘online’ and ‘creative and working 24/7 but for some reason being a content creator on a social media platform the expectation is different we are meant to continuously share and show up. 


In a normal job, you get a holiday so think about scheduling regular holidays throughout the year perhaps taking a week off each quarter. That was you always have something to look forward to and it should come and help you recharge before you hit burnout


If you are worried about not posting for a while you can simply create some content that doesn’t require much input from you, ask a friend to keep your platform ticking over, or repurpose some old but valuable content 


Have a hobby 


So often the reason our platforms take off is that we are sharing something we are passionate about and that passion probably started as a hobby or interest but when we monetise our passions we add pressure to it which can lead to burnout. 


So think about taking up a hobby that is literally just for you, you don’t share it anywhere else it’s purely for your enjoyment 


Personally, I draw, it is a hobby I had in my early 20s and I made the mistake of monetising it (I used to get commissioned to draw portraits – a little claim to fame is that I was commissioned to draw Anastasia the singer!) but because of that I completely fell out of love with it until recently when I just decided to start again for myself. 


Track your experiences 


This is something that has massively helped me. I tend to get mini burnouts when I am due on (apologies for any men listening but I am assuming my audience is primarily women) but without fail when I am due on I struggle to show up and be creative 


But since tracking my burnouts and almost keeping a journal of them has massively helped me to not beat myself up and know that ok this time each month I am going to struggle but I will also get through it in a few days so I no longer panic.


I also track the bigger burnouts and honestly mine tend to come in the summer months around July and August maybe its the nicer weather the kids are no longer at nursery and I just massively struggle but again I am now aware of it I expect it and so I make sure I schedule time ‘off’ and knowing its coming knowing when I can expect it to end helps take the panic away.


Try something outside your comfort zone


Sometimes when we run out of creative juices it’s because we are just stuck in a safe space of doing the same thing over and over. 


Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can help you feel creative again because you are thrown into a learning curve and when you are learning rather than creating it takes the pressure of things to be perfect and having to be the expert.


Be honest 


If you are worried about taking a break, struggling to create content, and showing up for your audience. Be honest about it.

Your audience cares about you. They follow you for a reason they will support you and want to help you.


Share how you feel, explain that you are struggling at the moment, and maybe even ask them what they would like to see from you. 


Take the advice but don’t feel pressured to use it at this time


 but it can be a great reassuring gesture when you are feeling creative again that the content you already create and want to share is what your audience wants to see from you 


Believe that this too shall pass


As with everything in life this shall pass, even if you don’t feel like it right now, eventually this moment will pass and you will get back to normal. Try not to panic, and go with the flow for this time. 


Forcing yourself to get through it quicker can only lengthen the burnout. 


We all need a break now and then and once we have had it we often come back bigger and better and even more creative! 


I also love it when you guys take a screenshot and share it on your stories and tag me 🙂 It fills my heart with joy to know you are listening! 

I am @thewhitethistle on Instagram. Please come say hi and tell me what you liked about this episode. I hope you have a lovely week and I will see you next Monday for more Influencer Insights. 

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