If you’ve been feeling exhausted or burned out lately, you’re not the only one. With all the increased stress over the past few months, many of us have been feeling less motivated lately. The projects that usually excite us might start to feel like a chore. The things we’re generally jazzed up to do might not be attracting us as much lately. Most of this is because we’re tired, dealing with stress and uncertainty, and feeling stuck. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Here are 3 ways to find inspiration when you’re feeling exhausted and burned out.
Why Does Burnout Happen?
As a lifestyle blogger and content creator for 9-years, to keep me motivated and give me fresh ideas for content, I’m constantly seeking inspiration from a variety of sources. Over the years, there have been many moments when I felt depleted, drained and less-than-enthusiastic about creating content. But I don’t let that stop me. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that an open mind is the best place to start.
So often we get stuck in a rut because we limit ourselves to our daily habits, our repetitive thoughts, and our repeated actions. Basically, it’s like we’re on a mental hamster wheel. We feel like we’re constantly doing things and being busy, but in truth – we’re not really getting ahead. Once we realize that, it’s time to step off the spinning hamster wheel and move in a new direction.
Whether you’re a creative person, work a 9-to-5 job, or are an entrepreneur, burnout is normal (so don’t feel bad about it). At times it can happen because you’re simply tired and need to focus on self-care to rejuvenate yourself. Other times, it’s because you’re bored with the same old routine and are craving something new and different. And then, most recently, it could be attributed to the fact that we’re all under more stress and pressure than ever due to global circumstances.
No matter what’s causing your burnout, there are ways to get inspired once again.
Take a Break & Focus on Self-Care
To start with, you’re a human being, not a human doing. Hyper-productivity is engrained in our culture. It seems like we’ve all been programmed to continually fixate on getting things done. However, this can quickly lead to burnout.
One of the best growing trends in recent years has been the focus on self-care. The reason why this is so important is that it allows us to take a break when we need it, to rejuvenate and recharge our minds & bodies, and to give ourselves some quiet time (away from work).
Have you ever noticed that new ideas and creative solutions often pop up in your mind when you’re doing something simple, like showering? It’s because you’re allowing your mind to relax and be still. Instead of constantly thinking about to-do lists and problems, by shifting your attention towards self-care, you give your creative mind a chance to work its magic by coming up with solutions and new ideas.
From pampering yourself with a DIY at-home spa treatment to listening to relaxing music, curling up in a cozy blanket, and doing deep breathing exercises, a regular self-care practice is a great way to boost your energy while finding inspiration.
Invoke Your Senses
From smelling a sumptuous candle and eating a delicious dish at a restaurant to listening to music or flipping through a beautiful book, a great way to find inspiration is to invoke your senses. Whether you enjoy touring an art museum, scrolling through Pinterest, or reading a magazine, using your ability to see, taste, touch, hear, and smell can get your mind brimming with ideas.
One of my favorite places to get inspired is in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar. To me, this is the epitome of luxury, elegance, and exquisite beauty. I devour every stunning page – from the editorial content to even the ads. Whenever I’m looking to be inspired to create beautiful photos, this is one of the first places I turn.
Do Something Else
When we’re feeling exhausted or burned out, that’s a cue to do something different, even for a few hours. Unplug from your phone, check out of work, and go do something else – anything else!
From a stroll in nature and arts & crafts activities to being silly and dancing around your home, giving yourself an opportunity to do something different than you usually would can revive your energy while sparking fresh ideas.
Immersing yourself in an activity that helps you become more present (instead of constantly thinking about the future), centers you in such a powerful way that it can actually become a source of inspiration for you. You might notice things that you didn’t before. You’ll probably find that you’re feeling more relaxed and joyful after doing it.
When you step away from your daily grind to do something different, it gives your mind a chance to take a break from the routine. By doing so, you’ll find that ideas and solutions come to you more easily, as you’re more receptive and open. So, if something sounds like fun – do it!
[Photography by Rachel Krueger]