As creatives, it’s extremely difficult at times to capture an innovative angle, or the Next Big Thing, or something that’s completely out of the ordinary, when we do all those things like it’s our job — literally. In the battle for attention in the social media saturated, internet-steeped society we live in, our right side brains are pushed to the limits, and more often than not, the burnout is real.
For as long as I can remember, my plate has been full. Not content full, but like, filled to the brim and things are about to topple off, full. Thanksgiving plate full, y’all. In high school, I signed myself up for five college-level courses, was on the dance team, served as student body VP, and joined a couple honors societies while being a Thespian and sang in choir. In college, I had a part time job with my student athlete schedule, while pursuing a double degree and minor. Out of college, I had up to eight jobs at one point. Call me crazy, but I thrived working on difference projects and like the busyness of it. And there’s rent to pay, so there’s that. I think a lot of us can relate!
Now, I’m doing creative work for 6 brands, and while I’m blessed to do what I love, I’m only human and the ‘young and restless’ in me can only go so far. Through learning the hard way and taking a toll on my mental and physical health, I’ve started to prioritize myself and health because you guys — YOLO. We have to take care of ourselves!
Here are some tried and true remedies that got me back to homeostasis, to the inspired millennial, and a sense of renewal.
5 ways to get creative juices flowin’ again and be human again:
1. Make breakfast.
Not only are there close to a gazillion studies on how it’s the most important meal of the day to the the brain and metabolism going, but I’m telling you right now, this will make you appreciate life a lil’ more. I challenge you to use your senses and pay attention to them. What does the coffee smell like? Listen to your eggs cracking and the yolks plopping into the bowl. The sizzle of the butter in the pan, and the feeling of your spatula cutting through the eggs. The sound of the cadence of the knife running through the parsley, releasing the earthy smell. Sit down and breathe, and take a full half hour to eat, drink, and be merry. Grab your second cup of joe. Bonus: put your phone and laptop away for this experience.
2. GET OUT!
Physically venture outside the norm. Hit up the mountains or the beach. Make a day trip or a weekend out of it. The serene surroundings will be so rejuvenating for the soul, and you’ll come back a new woman. Or man. Build a real campfire, take that road trip, taste the salty ocean and get sand in all the wrong places. There’s something about the outdoors that makes you think how grand this world is, how magical Mother Nature is, and how insignificant all your troubles and worries are. Road to hakuna matata awaits.
3. Digital detox.
I dare you to delete your most tempting apps, the ones that swallow hours of your time and the ones that literally keep you up at night. If you’re a total social media nut, start with one day. Take note of what you actually get done without the rabbit hole scrolling on Instagram. You’d be pleasantly surprised.
4. Early sleep.
Catching up on zzz’s is probably one thing your mind and body will forever thank you for. The thought that your to-do list is miles and miles long does not mean stay up and do it all. In fact, productivity shuts down when your body does too. An all nighter only yields a morning monster. A HuffPost study stated that “Twenty-four hours without sleep leads to cognitive impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent — at which point you are more than legally drunk.” I think no drunk driving and no drunk working are solid rules to stand by.
5. Practice gratitude.
This is a regular morning of mine, setting intention before I start the day. It lets me frame my perspective in a positive manner, and I enter the day balanced and on a good note. Set aside one minute to dedicate gratitude, or give yourself five minutes to write three things down. I find myself in a better mood, and my interactions and engagements have more meaning and purpose. I easily filter out things I don’t need to worry about. Sometimes, life feels like a field of flowers after I set my gratitude.
I hope you find these TLC for creatives tips helpful and make you too legit to quit.
Design Warrior / Dance Break Coordinator
Our resident literal and figurative cheerleader, Dee infuses mad creativity and positivity into our team and her brilliant branding, graphic design, and illustration work.