A Creative Burnout Coach helping small biz creatives stay out of burnout! Welcome to the blog portion of the site. I hope you find something that inspires you & helps you thrive in your creativity.
Download this *free* Interactive Guided Journal that helps break down four important aspects of Creative Burnout!
Quick question: What does self-compassion have to do with Creative Burnout? On the surface, doesn’t look like much but underneath, it has EVERYTHING to do with it! Self-Compassion for creatives is more than just a way to say, “Hey, be nice to yourself”. It’s more like a way to unlock the door to our most creative selves and to wellness in all areas of our lives. Self-compassion for creatives is like a secret weapon and guess what friend, you have this weapon!
I first started understanding what self-compassion was when my counselor suggested I practice “radical self-compassion” in one of our sessions. And, I kid you not, it actually blew my mind. I don’t know if I just had never thought about this concept, or if it was the way she presented it to me. Maybe it was both, all I know is that I couldn’t let the idea of it go. Practicing radical self-compassion for myself felt… odd but liberating at the same time. Have you ever had that feeling? I felt that it had exposed a part of myself that I had tucked away. I was NOT kind to myself… but I didn’t want to admit it! And as a creative, it felt silly that I didn’t want to face this. At this time of my life, however, I was in the woes of Creative Burnout and the idea of practicing self-compassion felt like it wasn’t going to do anything. Boy, was I wrong!
The first step for me was becoming aware of how I spoke to myself on a daily basis. Oy that was hard. We’re so used to letting our inner critic just run the background commentary on all that we do so when we finally stop and listen to what it is actually saying it can be jarring. Once I became aware of how I spoke to myself I then was able to reframe or rework my thoughts. It was the first time that I chose to be full-on compassionate with myself versus letting my negative thoughts run the show. It was freeing.
The truth is that self-compassion can help everyone! And that’s amazing! But how does it actually help creatives specifically? Well, after getting into practicing more self-compassion in my daily life I found that it helped me in my creativity just as much as it was helping me in my overall well-being. Since I was in Creative Burnout, I started to see it bring to light just how I might have wound up in burnout but also, how I could navigate out of it. This only led to more revelations and eventually understanding that self-compassion was a key for creatives in burnout. If you think about Creative Burnout as a pit, then you can think of self-compassion as one of the rungs to the ladder that gets you out of burnout.
If you’re wondering how self-compassion can stop or prevent burnout in creatives then I’ve pulled 3 important ways to take a closer look.
When we start practicing self-compassion we learn to hold our inner critic with less weight. We start to see the negative situation without judging ourselves and also we start to build compassion for ourselves in difficult situations. In turn, this helps us to start to react less negatively to ourselves. We might stop criticizing or being so hard through this. This actually helps us develop more of a balance for our emotions instead of them being purely one-sided negative. We can see more than one side and this can create that balance.
When we’re suffering through Creative Burnout, the last thing we need is someone to crack down on us and tell us just how terrible we are, how lazy or etc. Instead, we need someone who can listen and offer us compassion without judgment. In turn, we need to offer ourselves that same compassion so that instead of closing up tighter, we release and start to deal slowly with all the emotion coming from the situation.
According to an article by Mindful.org,
“The direct, measurable outcome of self-compassion practice is resilience. So we engage the power of self-compassion not just to feel better, but to function better.”https://www.mindful.org/
But how does being more resilient actually help in burnout?
Resilience is important because it gives people the strength needed to process and overcome hardship. Those lacking resilience get easily overwhelmed and may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Resilient people tap into their strengths and support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems. This is extremely crucial in not only getting through burnout because you see how you are working through your challenges and problems, but it’s such a great way to stay OUT of burnout since you learn to not get so easily overwhelmed and overcome. You learn to feel and process before you react.
Creatives have an ability to be closer to emotion since part of our work is literally pouring our emotions, feelings, and thoughts into a project, art piece, etc. Self-compassion offers us the chance to build resilience so that if our piece or project is rejected, criticized, or the like, we aren’t met with an overwhelm of negative emotions. If anything, we learn to process the emotions and tap into our strength instead of our first emotional response. And in turn, this hardy ability keeps us level-headed and less apt to crumble and further away from Creative Burnout.
Lastly, self-compassion is about mindfulness! Mindful self-compassion is a practice protocol developed by Chris Germer at Harvard and Kristin Neff at the University of Texas-Austin. Basically, their explanation about it is this:
“It simply brings awareness and acceptance to your emotional experience, no matter how upsetting it is. At an even deeper level in your brain, it brings awareness and acceptance to yourself as the experiencer of the experience.”https://self-compassion.org/
Essentially, this means you get to view the experience as you are going through it, with awareness and acceptance, and without judgment or criticism. It’s that combo of mindfulness, which we all know is good for being present and experiencing life, with that self-compassion, which is good for lowering our anxiety, depression, and stress. Put them together and it’s the perfect combo for preventing Creative Burnout.
Why is this type of mindfulness important for Creative Burnout?
This type of self-compassion helps us turn with loving awareness toward difficult experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). As we know, going through Creative Burnout is an incredibly difficult experience. The whole of mindful self-compassion enhances a creatives overall well-being, which helps lower and manage stress. And as a reminder, Creative Burnout starts with chronic stress.
If you’re interested in watching a brief explanation about the 3 Ways Self-Compassion can prevent Creative Burnout then take a look below!