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Call it burn out or depression, there might come a time in your life where you just don’t feel like creating much to your dismay. It might be during a stressful time in your life or it might be following a highly productive time where you have created and worked on many projects. Whatever proceeds it, creative burnout or depression can be frustrating and unsettling. Here are some tips on how to approach this situation and ease your way through it.
1. Don’t fight it. It is a great truth that what we resist tends to persist. If you find yourself resisting this downtime you might end up causing yourself more stress than necessary which will further block your creative channel. Instead, go with the flow and know that this too will pass.
2. Remember that life is cyclical and that it has a rhythm to it. I tend to get panicky when I am faced with a creative slump. I start to worry that I have lost my edge or that I am in the midst of a depression. What helps is to remind myself that after periods of great productivity comes the need for rest. After acceptance of this process, I am able to eventually return to my work with a renewed spirit.
3. Start small and do not judge your preliminary attempts. If you tend to sketch or draw, let yourself doodle. Try something new like Zentangle, which is a relaxing mixture of doodling and drawing. It is also okay if the work you produce seems to be different from your usual work or “darker.”
4. Try something new but do not expect too much too fast. I think that us creative people sometimes expect our work to be perfect right off the bat and that just is not practical. It is important when approaching something new, whether it is a creative venture or anything else, that we are practical about it and let ourselves be the beginners we are. I think we all know people who seem to pick up new art forms or creative ventures like they have been doing it for years and that can be frustrating to us. But it is important to remember that the majority of people are not like that and that it takes time and steady work to reach that point. The idea behind starting something new when you are in a creative slump is to give yourself a jumpstart, not to judge yourself prematurely.
Creative slumps and burnouts, although they are not always pleasant experiences, are sometimes necessary to the creative process. We can honor this cycle in our creative lives by accepting it, going with the flow, starting small and trying something new. Before you know it, you will be back in the creative zone again, inspired and immersed in projects.
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