Creative burnout is very common among writers, artists, and other creative people. These emotional self-care tips have helped me practice self-care as a writer.
Creative burnout is not just about writer’s block but tends to include physical and mental exhaustion, as well as other burnout symptoms, such as depression and other ailments.
These signs of burnout syndrome – including emotional burnout (emotional exhaustion) and mental burnout (mental exhaustion) – should never be ignored.
Before you read further, keep in mind that if you’re experiencing physical and mental exhaustion and feel burned out at work, you must consult a physician to help you deal with your health concerns.
Also, please keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different. We all experience and interpret the world differently. Your experience may not be the same as mine.
Some of these self-care tips may work for you, while others may not. As Bruce Lee said, take what works and discard the rest.
- Why should creative people practice self-care?
- Best emotional self-care practices for writers & creatives
- #1. Bolster your belief in abundance
- #2. Take your attention away from the problem
- #3. Choose your workplace consciously
- #4. Ask for what you deserve
- #5. Don’t take on more than you can handle
- #6. Pace yourself & take breaks
- #7. Do the morning pages
- #8. Take a weekly self-care day
- #9. Cultivate a sense of humor
- #10. Go with the flow
- #11. Change your conversation
- #12. Maintain your inner peace
- #13. Learn to stay centered
- #14. Practice meditation & mindfulness
- #15. Get a restful sleep
- Success tips for creatives
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Why should creative people practice self-care?
Practicing self-care is not about taking long baths and massages. For your self-care plans to be truly effective, you must incorporate spiritual, mental, and emotional healing, as well as holistic self-care practices into your lifestyle.
As a creative person, you put a lot of spiritual, mental, and emotional energy into the creative process. In order to replenish yourself, you need to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, so that your body, mind, and spirit feel renewed every day.
Trying to create without connecting to your source of creative energy (Spirit, Source, or whatever you want to call it) is like trying to use a vacuum cleaner without plugging it in.
“When something really really really matters to you, let it go! Say to the universe: You know what I want. Give it to me in the path of least resistance. Give it to me the easiest way possible. Give it to me in any way I can get it.” ~ Abraham Hicks
It can be devastating for a creative person to feel burned out to the point where they cannot work. But, the best way to deal with creative burnout is to prevent it before it happens.
Although this may sound frustrating to those who feel like they’re on a hamster wheel, running in place despite working harder than ever, there are proven ways to prevent burnout.
In this self-care guide, I’ve listed the self-care tips I’ve used and continue to find useful to help me prevent creative burnout as a writer.
Best emotional self-care practices for writers & creatives
Having dealt with burnout a number of times over the years, I’ve learned to watch out for the early signs of burnout. I also learned several emotional self-care practices that help prevent burnout before it overtakes me.
I hope these self-care practices will prove useful to you in preventing and dealing with burnout, so you can nurture your creativity for a lifetime.
#1. Bolster your belief in abundance
At the spiritual level, burnout is symptomatic of a lack of belief in Universal abundance and flow. In terms of burnout psychology, I see this as a limiting belief that we need to struggle or work hard to get through life.
“Struggle doesn’t make success happen. In fact, struggle can prevent success from happening. If you seek struggle, you will find it. if you seek ease, you will find it.” ~ Rich Fettke, Success Coach & Author
The proof that this is a false belief is in the evidence that most people who seem to attract abundance effortlessly don’t even work that hard; while those who work three jobs to make ends meet barely eke out a living.
What it is that makes it easy for some people to manifest monetary abundance easily while others struggle through life? The answer lies in your beliefs! Whatever is showing up (or not showing up) in your life right now will tell you what limiting beliefs you have.
“What you are living is the evidence of what you are thinking and feeling – every single time.” ~ Abraham Hicks
Are you manifesting struggle, hardship, and burnout? Do you find it hard to make money with ease, joy, and flow? That’s an indication you have a limiting belief that “life is supposed to be hard, and it takes hard work to manifest anything.”
To me, this limiting belief represents a lack of trust in the Universe or a lack of faith in your ability to tune into and allow that Universal source of well-being and abundance that we all have access to.
“Like the air you breathe, abundance in all things is available to you. Your life will simply be as good as you allow it to be.” ~ Abraham Hicks
But it’s not your fault. Most of us were brought up with some form of lackful beliefs around money, that prevented us from attracting abundance with ease, flow, and joy.
These false beliefs are the reason why we end up feeling overwhelmed when life’s challenges, particularly around money and abundance, tend to wear us down.
For example, if you have any of these limiting beliefs around money, you will probably struggle to attract material abundance into your life.
- You can’t earn money as a writer/artist / (insert any other creative profession).
- You can either make money or have fun. You can’t do both.
- It takes hard work to make money.
- I can’t be spiritual if I have too much money.
- People who get rich are lucky or unscrupulous, or both.
- Rich people are not good people.
- Money is the root of all evil.
You may recognize one or more of these false beliefs about money in yourself and your parents. They may be preventing you from attracting abundance into your life in an easier and more consistent way.
“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.” ~ Louise Hay
Then again, your limiting beliefs may have more to do with a lack of deservedness and self-worth, or unprocessed negative emotions like anger, shame, and grief, that keep you trapped in a lower vibration and prevent you from allowing abundance into your life.
The good thing is that our minds work like computer programs. Once you know what your limiting beliefs are, you can reprogram your mind to rewrite the old programs and beliefs that are holding you back.
Yes, you can actually update your brain’s outdated operating system by installing more empowering beliefs that raise your vibration and allow the abundance you desire to flow into your life, easily and effortlessly.
“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” ~ Louise Hay
I have found that, if you fail to address these limiting beliefs, anything else you do is like putting a Band-Aid on a festering wound. It may give you temporary relief, but will never heal fully.
Change Limiting Beliefs is an audio hypnosis session that will undo the spell of those old negative messages, wherever they came from.
Here are some abundance resources that helped me identify my own abundance blocks, and reprogram my mind to attract abundance with ease and joy.
No matter how hard your financial situation is, these resources will help you overcome your scarcity mindset, and start believing that it’s possible for you to achieve the prosperity that you so desperately desire.
- Free eBook on Breaking Through Your Hidden Blocks – In this free eBook, Mary Morrissey highlights the limiting beliefs and paradigms that are blocking your connection to the abundant universe and shows you how to overcome the three biggest barriers to abundance.
- Free Abundance Meditation – The more you listen to this beautiful guided meditation by Mary Morrissey, the stronger your spiritual connection will be, and the easier it will be to attract more abundance, fulfillment, and joy into your life.
- Free Abundance Masterclass – Learn how to start dissolving the 3 most common abundance blocks to unlock greater joy, more fulfillment, and time and money freedom in Mary Morrissey’s free Masterclass.
- Free Masterclass with Marisa Peer – In this free Masterclass with a world-renowned hypnotherapist, you’ll experience a Rapid Transformational Therapy™ session to instantly reprogram your mind for abundance.
- Free Tap Into Money Webinar – Get access to a powerful free tapping session with EFT master practitioner, Brad Yates, to clear your blocks to abundance and lay the groundwork for accessing your abundant financial destiny.
- Abundance Mentality is an audio hypnosis session that will train your mind to properly appreciate what you already have. And to see all the opportunities that abound in the world.
#2. Take your attention away from the problem
One enduring image that comes to mind, when I’m faced with something overwhelming, is how Scarlett O’Hara (Margaret Mitchell’s fictional character in Gone With The Wind) would just say, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
As an Aries, I can relate.
“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” ~ Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind
The fact is, if you keep giving attention to the problem and focusing on it, you’ll only continue to give more energy to the problem and keep it active in your vibration.
To feel relief, you need to take your attention away from the problem and focus on the solution instead. Or, remember that famous quote by Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein
When you feel overwhelmed, it’s usually because you’re preoccupied with all the things that need your attention right now. Law of Attraction teacher, Abraham-Hicks, refers to this sensation as a bottleneck.
Overwhelm occurs when you have a strong desire, but do not allow the fullness of that desire to flow. It’s like a crimp in a hose: the energy is flowing, but you’re stopping it, causing pressure to build up.
“Be less intensely focused on the problem or the question, and feel more anticipation of the solution and the answer.” ~ Abraham-Hicks
You can relieve this pressure by quieting your mind, pivoting your thoughts, and shifting your focus back toward your desire, instead of obsessing about the things that overwhelm you.
Take things one step at a time, and focus only on the step you need to do now, instead of the things that feel overwhelming.
“Alignment trumps everything. Stay off the subject that disturbs your alignment, and everything that you are about will come into alignment.” ~ Abraham Hicks
In the book, Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther and Jerry Hicks, you’ll discover 22 powerful processes to help you go with the positive flow of life, and understand how our lives are influenced by the Universal laws that govern our time-space reality.
#3. Choose your workplace consciously
Pandemic burnout was exacerbated by job burnout which increased by 75% during COVID-19. Working from home blurred the lines between working online and just being online, resulting in longer hours and increased employee burnout.
A toxic, stressful workplace is also a major factor in work burnout. In fact, occupational burnout is so well documented, that it can be measured by a psychological assessment instrument called the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) comprising 22 burnout symptoms.
Working in a toxic or stressful workplace is not healthy for anyone. Toxic workplaces generate negative energy and constant stress that create mental and emotional exhaustion. They will make you feel burned out, even if you’re not putting in that many hours.
This extends to the remote workplace as well. Stress burnout symptoms don’t just include emotional and mental exhaustion. The signs of burnout at work can include physical symptoms of burnout, such as fatigue and stress-related ailments.
If you’re planning to switch jobs or start a new job, assess the work atmosphere in your first days or weeks of working there, just the way you would size up a new partner you were dating.
How do they behave on conference calls? Are the employees unmotivated and disengaged? Are there signs of rudeness, disrespect, or sarcasm? Do they expect you to work after hours?
Spot the red flags and quit before these stressors start to affect you too. There are many organizations out there that are very supportive of their teams and treat their people well.
“Self-care is the greatest middle finger of all time.” ~ Unknown
If you work from home, use these Feng Shui tips to create a comfortable and uncluttered home office that nurtures your spirit and creates energizing, positive vibes.
To attract your dream job into your life, use these Law of Attraction manifesting techniques for manifesting the perfect job for you, and then take inspired action to make it happen.
#4. Ask for what you deserve
When you ask for less than you deserve, you end up working more hours for less pay, which is a surefire route to burnout.
Many writers and creatives suffer from this tendency, which reflects a lack of self-worth and deservedness, imposter syndrome, and other limiting beliefs about what you can and should ask for.
“Know your worth, and then make sure to add tax.” ~ Unknown
As creatives, we must stop making excuses for getting paid less, which will keep us poor, hustling, and feeling burned out. Some of these excuses may look like this:
- At least I love what I do
- I don’t know any writer/artist/creative who gets paid well
- All the writers I know are poor
- I need to build my portfolio first
Frankly, if all your writer friends are insolvent, you need new friends! After all, we’re the sum of the people we’re closest to; and remaining in an environment where everyone has the same limiting beliefs around money and abundance will prevent you from growing.
Having said that, the abundance practices above will help you overcome these excuses and start believing in your deservedness. But you must also learn how to assert yourself, and negotiate for better pay, more time off, or better perks.
“Burnout is about resentment. Preventing it is about knowing yourself well enough to know what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.” ~ Marissa Mayer
Don’t worry about sounding arrogant or entitled, and stop needing people to like you. It’s not selfish to ask for what you deserve; and if you feel that it is, you need to work on that limiting belief.
In this free 20-minute Rapid Transformational Therapy session with the famous hypnotist, Marisa Peer, you’ll learn how to awaken your most confident self, rapidly bulletproof yourself against rejection, and reprogram your mind for a greater career, better relationships, increased self-esteem, and more.
#5. Don’t take on more than you can handle
This may seem like common sense, but if you haven’t learned how to ask for what you deserve, it’s very easy to take on too much work and end up feeling burnt out, especially as a freelancer.
If you find it hard to say no to people who push more work on you, the Saying No hypnosis session will help you remain calm and relaxed, avoid being rushed into making decisions you will regret or agreeing to things that will result in you being over-stretched and exhausted.
It doesn’t matter whether you need the money to pay the bills, save for a rainy day, build a nest egg, or take that holiday you’ve been longing to take; taking on more work only to feel burned out is just not worth it.
“No one on his deathbed ever said, I wish I had spent more time at the office.” ~ Paul Tsongas, Politician
Instead, you can find a job or start a business that allows you to work less and get paid more, whether you’re an employee, solopreneur, or entrepreneur.
And yes, this is absolutely possible! In fact, there are many people, like Tim Ferris, the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Work Week, who are living their dream life while making a very good living.
The trick is to believe (that being the operative word) that this is possible for you; and that you deserve to have an easier, more abundant life filled with joy and fun.
Because as long as you believe that it’s not possible, or that you don’t deserve it, you won’t be able to create it for yourself! So open your mind to the possibility by learning from others who are doing it themselves.
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” ~ Chinese Proverb
For instance, Eric Edmeades teaches a free Masterclass on how to build a business that sets you free, where you’ll learn his transformational business freedom blueprint to elevate your business into a launch pad for financial and lifestyle freedom.
To prosper in your creative career, you need to spend the majority of your attention on high-value tasks. You’ll find several ways to save time and effort in the tips below:
- Make use of the latest AI content writing technology and time-saving tools for writers to help you write faster and better with less effort.
- Learn why, where, and how to sell art online so you can succeed and prosper as an artist, sculptor, or creative.
- Learn how to sell your music online as an indie music artist or singer-songwriter so you can thrive as a musician.
- Use this list of virtual assistant websites to outsource your online marketing tasks and free up time to focus on high-value jobs.
#6. Pace yourself & take breaks
Pacing myself is a self-care practice that I learned rather late in life. I used to sit for hours at the computer without taking a break, lost in my work until I started experiencing fatigue and mental burnout.
Now I’ve learned to take plenty of breaks, so I can refresh my mind and focus better on what I need to do next. I also keep a sipper bottle handy to stay hydrated.
In between tasks, I watch a movie, listen to a meditation or motivational audio, watch funny videos on Facebook, or just chill with my dog – who also functions as my alarm clock, forcing me to take breaks every time she demands my attention.
You may find the Pomodoro Technique useful in helping you take regular breaks. Just set your watch, Smartphone, or a kitchen timer to break work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
#7. Do the morning pages
As described by Julia Cameron in her seminal work, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, morning pages are a daily stream-of-consciousness therapeutic journaling habit that is done first thing in the morning.
The goal is to wake up, open a self-care workbook or journal, and write three pages of longhand about any thoughts that come to mind without censorship.
This self-care practice is taken from Julia’s life-changing 12-week program, which millions of people have found an invaluable guide to unblocking their creativity and living the artist’s life.
I was guided to this book only recently, and have just started on my 12-week morning pages practice. But ever since I added it to my morning self-care routine, I’ve already realized so many areas where I have creative blocks.
Amy B. Scher’s program on How to Shift from Depression to Creative Expression is another program that will help you get through your blocks and boost your creativity with exercises and energy practices.
#8. Take a weekly self-care day
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends taking yourself on an artist’s date to do something fun, something you would not otherwise do in your daily routine.
It will free your mind and your inner child, and allow you to access thoughts and ideas you would not otherwise have while working.
Abraham-Hicks calls it getting into alignment or being “Tuned In, Tapped In, Turned On.”
This is a self-care practice I’ve been following for decades; I take myself out for a movie, a cup of coffee, or a delicious meal – sometimes even a solo self-care weekend to the beach – and spend time enjoying my own company and watching the world go by.
It’s helped my creative process and creative flow a great deal, and now that I’m reading Julia’s book, taking care of myself with a weekly artist date is non-negotiable.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ~ Albert Einstein
Whether you choose Self-Care Saturday, Self-Care Sunday, or any other day of the week as your self-care day, setting aside one day a week for taking care of yourself is eminently doable.
So don’t wait for International Self Care Day (July 24th) to start prioritizing yourself. Practice your self-care routine consistently and start taking good care of yourself by going on an artist date once a week.
#9. Cultivate a sense of humor
Life is not perfect, but when we can see the humor in things not going exactly as we planned, we can relax, breathe, and laugh, instead of getting stressed out.
“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” ~ William Arthur Ward
When we’re rigid about our schedule or routine, or attached to outcomes, it causes stress for us and our loved ones. So let go of the need to be perfect, or for life to go perfectly.
Laugh at your foibles, and don’t take anything too seriously. Look at the lighter side of life and make it a point to have a good belly laugh at least once a day.
“Don’t take life too seriously! Nobody gets out alive anyway. Smile. Be goofy. Take chances. Have fun. Inspire.” ~ Dawn Gluskin
Watch a funny movie or comedy show. Enjoy the funny animal videos online, share jokes with your friends, and milk the joy that humor brings to your life.
#10. Go with the flow
If you tried to paddle upstream in a fast-flowing river, people would call you insane. Yet, most people think that struggling through life is brave and courageous, and refuse to go with the flow or follow the path of least resistance.
“In your mind’s eye, lie back in your boat, feel it turn naturally downstream, and relax into the idea that this Stream will carry you to your inevitable Well-Being and to a fulfillment of your desires.” ~ Abraham-Hicks, The Astonishing Power of Emotions
In this video, you’ll see why it makes sense to let go of the oars and surrender to the current. Know that things are always working out for you. Trust that the stream of life will take you where you want to go.
The Go with the Flow hypnosis audio will help you learn to embrace whatever comes your way and develop the natural ability to deal with the unexpected.
#11. Change your conversation
The words you use in your everyday life are powerful. They can either help you succeed or sabotage your efforts. Words have a vibration – a frequency – that transfers energy to your resolve and either energizes or weakens it.
The words you use will show you whether you’re pushing upstream or flowing downstream. Here are some examples of thoughts and words that are upstream and their downstream versions:
Words that push Upstream
Words that flow Downstream
|I need to fight illness||I allow the well-being that is natural to me|
|I need to hustle to make money||I align with the flow of abundance|
|I need to work hard to succeed||I take inspired action to manifest success|
|I need to accept failure||I love to get feedback from the Universe|
|I need to struggle to achieve my goals||I can manifest with ease, flow & joy|
Can you feel the difference in the vibration of each of these sentences? Note how the upstream versions create resistance and don’t feel as good or as natural to your well-being as the downstream version.
By reaching for a thought that feels better, and choosing thoughts and words that help you flow downstream, you can tell a different story than “what is” and allow all good things into your life.
#12. Maintain your inner peace
Another practice that has always comforted me, and helps me decide what’s worth spending my energy on, is the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, which is very popular with the 12-Step programs.
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” ~ The Serenity Prayer
Whenever I learn about something distressing, I ask myself: Do I need to make this my business? Can I do something about it?
If not, I choose to mind my own business, let it go, and forget about it. Worrying about a situation you can do nothing about won’t help you, or the ones you want to help.
When someone in my circle, or on social media, tries to drag me into their drama, I just remember that Polish proverb, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
“Not my circus, not my monkeys.” ~ Polish proverb
And lest I get caught up in other people’s drama, I remind myself of this inner peace tip: “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
#13. Learn to stay centered
The term “centered” refers to people who can remain calm in any situation, no matter how chaotic. Being centered is an Eastern Martial Arts concept that implies using the ground and balance to maintain stability and control in a situation (or unruly attacker).
You can learn advanced mind skills that will help you stay centered in any situation. On a physical level, this means being aware, balanced, and self-directed rather than succumbing to the forces of others. This is also true on the emotional level.
If your happiness is solely determined by external circumstances, such as what happens to you or how other people behave, you’ll end up an emotional wreck, getting knocked off your feet every time the wind blows.
While external circumstances affect everyone, knowing how to center yourself, as surely as an oak tree puts down strong roots, will give you more control over how you’ll feel.
You can learn advanced mind skills that will allow you to stay centered in any situation with the Be More Centered Hypnosis.
Being more centered will allow you to be more present, have more clarity, and focus on what is truly important to you, no matter the circumstances.
#14. Practice meditation & mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness are proven ways to quiet the mind, live in the moment, and even boost creativity. Emotional self-care and mindfulness go together.
Many leading companies have introduced meditation and mindfulness practices to their employees, not only as a stress-reduction tool but also to boost creativity and innovation. Meditation helps switch gears, manage stress, and open your mind to new ideas.
In this free Masterclass on Meditation for Super Performance, you’ll learn how to use meditation to become a powerhouse at work and a magnet that attracts good things into your life.
Mindfulness practices switch on divergent thinking, improve attention, and make it easier to register the novelty and usefulness of ideas.
These free mindfulness workshops and programs by mindfulness experts will help you learn mindfulness skills and cultivate mindful living.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ~ Anonymous
One of the creativity-boosting meditations I’m partial to is the Silva Ultramind System, a highly optimized framework for awakening your mind’s fullest potential by giving you reliable access to altered states of mind.
With the Silva Ultramind System, you can learn to access the Alpha level of mind for creative problem-solving and healing, the Theta level for waking psychic and intuitive ability, and the Delta level to receive guidance from higher intelligence while your conscious mind sleeps.
To get an idea of how powerful this meditation technique is, check out this free Masterclass on how to Master Altered States for Rapid Problem-Solving, where you’ll learn a powerful mental problem-solving technique called the ‘Mirror of the Mind.’
This free meditation session is designed to get you into that elusive alpha state of mind where creativity, intuition, and self-healing happen at an accelerated rate.
You’ll experience relaxation, stress relief, and mind-body management right from the beginning of the training, followed by effective techniques to improve all areas of your life.
#15. Get a restful sleep
Keeping your brain and mind healthy is a must if you want to prevent burnout. Getting enough sleep is an essential self-care practice to nurture your body and mind.
Lack of sleep can cause brain cells to begin destroying their connections. In other words, when you don’t get enough sleep, your brain literally begins to eat itself.
Chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions in the long run, so getting proper sleep is an essential step for taking care of oneself.
Whether you’re suffering from writer burnout, artist burnout, or musician burnout, practicing self-love and self-care consistently will help you look after yourself and prevent creative burnout.
Neglecting self-care needs can be devastating for creatives who depend on their creativity to make a living. Remember that caring for oneself is not selfish, but an essential part of taking care of yourself and your family.
These practical self-care ideas will help you get started on your own self-care journey toward wellness and abundance, so you can create your dream life with ease and joy.
Success tips for creatives
- Free Abundance Courses to Attract Monetary Abundance
- 3 Powerful Steps To Start Manifesting Your Dream Life
- What is Your Dream Job Quiz: Free Career Quiz for Students
- 21 Best Occupations for the Most Meaningful Careers
- 3 Powerful Law of Attraction Techniques to Transform Your Reality
- 10 Best Ways to Raise Your Vibration (with High Vibrational Quotes)
- How to Learn Lucid Dreaming for Creativity & Personal Growth
- How to Grow Your Personal Power & Live Your Life to the Fullest
- Top 10 Counterintuitive Rules Of Success In Life
- How to Learn Creative Writing Skills and Be a Better Writer
© 2022 – 2023, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. Download her free personal branding eBooks and check out Devi2Diva, her book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, Priya writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.