In a world where content is king, social media is always changing, and we’re told to write every day, it’s no wonder that so many writers feel the effects of burnout. In fact, in a 2018 survey by Gallup, 23% of respondents reported feeling burnt out, especially at work.
Even if writing isn’t your job, you may feel burnt out every time you even think about sitting down in front of your keyboard. If you do, know you aren’t alone.
So, what exactly do you do when you’re feeling burnt out but want to continue making forward progress on your writing journey?
// What is Burnout?
Let’s start by defining burnout. It’s a nebulous term that probably conveys some vague ideas of feeling tired, mentally or physically.
Burnout is more than just feeling tired, though. Burnout is a mental, physical, and emotional state where you feel exhausted, worn down, frustrated, and stressed it. It makes it difficult to create, let alone meet deadlines or be productive.
This is especially difficult if you already struggle with other aspects of your mental and/or physical help. **If you’re struggling and able to see a professional for help, please do so and take care of yourself! Your health always comes first. If you need help finding a trusted mental health professional in your area, check out Psychology Today.
// What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the hot new buzzword on the internet, but don’t let that fool you. Self-care is actually really simple; it just means to take care of your own physical and emotional health.
Reading that phrase may even conjure images of face masks, bubble baths, and Instagram influencers talking about supplements. Those things might help, but there’s more to self-care than at-home spa days.
That being said, self-care comes in many forms, and what’s most important is to find something that works for you. It’s going to look different for everyone, so keep an open mind as you strive to improve your health and fight burnout.
Some popular forms of self-care include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Using face masks or other at-home spa products
- Cleaning the house/organizing your space
- Getting some sunshine and fresh air
- Taking your medication on time
- Hanging out with friends and/or family
- Spending time practicing another hobby
- Reading your favorite book
Of course, this isn’t an all-inclusive list, and you may find that your self-care toolbox includes many of the above!
Whatever you do, self-care should make you feel re-energized, rejuvenated, and relaxed.
// Practicing Self-Care
It’s one thing to talk about what self-care is, but how do you actually stick to practicing it on a regular basis?
I think the key to actually practicing self-care is to recognize and accept how important it is to take care of yourself. It’s in the name! But it’s hard to actually do this unless you can truly embrace the fact that you deserve to take care of your body and mind.
// When Self-Care Isn’t Enough
While it’s important to take time for yourself, you may still feel exhausted, burnt out, and unmotivated. If that’s the case, you may need an extra boost of help from a professional.
If you’re able to afford professional help and have access in your area, it’s a good idea to check in. If you don’t know where to start, ask your family doctor for recommendations. After all, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You wouldn’t skip the doctor if you had a broken bone.
You may benefit from one-on-one therapy, group therapy, medication, or some combination of these treatments. There’s no shame in getting help and utilizing the wonder of modern medicine to take care of yourself. In the end, it will make you a happier and healthier human. 😄
// Your Next Steps
Even if you aren’t burnt out yet, you should be doing a little something for yourself every day! To get started, choose two or three easy things you can do for yourself each week, then start a list. Build on this list as you find things that recharge your creative well and make you feel good.
Keep this list handy whenever you need an idea for self-care or when you’re burnt out and want to take the guesswork out of recovering.
And, as always, if you have any questions, please reach out either on social media (@btleditorial) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).