Creative burnout is a thing. Here are 8 ways to help shake it off.

Submitted by on the 23rd of January 2019

For most of us in the creative realm, the end of the year often means fielding hurried client requests to spend leftover budgets before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. No problem, right? Not quite.

After a long year of pushing the creative boundaries, burnout is almost inevitable; especially as time inches closer to the moment you can pack up and skip out the door for the summer break. It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of burnout throughout the year, so you can deal with them as soon as possible and keep your mental health in tip-top shape.

Here are some signs that you’re suffering from creative burnout:

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion.
  • You dread getting up in the morning.
  • You struggle to concentrate.
  • You feel cynical and detached.
  • Things you normally enjoy seem trivial.
  • You find it hard to relax.
  • Basic tasks are hard to get through.

If you’ve nodded ‘yes’ to the above, here are a few things you can do to combat them and get on top of your creative fatigue.

Talk about it

This can be with a friend or your manager at work. Empathy and support can go a long way in taking some of the edge off. Plus, they might even have suggestions or ways of helping you work through it.


Take a personal day

And do something that you LOVE. Whether it’s going for a walk, checking out the latest blockbuster movie or even just sipping on a coffee at your favourite café. A day of downtime to recharge the batteries is always helpful.


Hit the gym

And maybe a punching bag (seriously). Whether it’s a yoga session, killer workout or some time on the treadmill; those endorphins will lift your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.


Pursue your craft outside the workplace

It’s easy to fall out of love with your craft if you only use it during the work day. If you’re a writer, do some journaling in your spare time. If you’re an illustrator, create beautiful things for your friends – heck, even for yourself. Use your talent for more than just client briefs.


Mix up your routine

It’s easy to switch over to auto-pilot but this is how ruts form. Think of the routine tasks you do during the work day and see which ones can change. Maybe it’s something simple like doing brainstorms outside or working away from your desk for 2 hours a day.


Change environments

If working from home is an option, take advantage of that. And if you’re not so keen on that, try somewhere like Thirdspace – a 2-in-1 coffee shop and workspace where you can get your creative juices flowing.


Divide tasks

When it comes to getting through the work, divide and conquer. By breaking large tasks into smaller, achievable pieces you’ll be able to create milestones that you can mark off as you go.



Diversify your work

If you work for a company that services multiple clients, chat to your manager and see if there’s a new client or project you can move on to. They’ll benefit from a fresh set of brains and you’ll get to flex your creativity in a new way. Winning.



When it comes to creative burnout, prevention is always better than reparation. Put small things into play, like getting away from your desk for short breaks or investing in a passion project that stimulates your creativity. It’s also a good idea take leave throughout the year to make sure that you’re regularly recharging your batteries and giving your creativity time to be rejuvenated.

While we’ve given you these options to try combat your creative fatigue, we know that there’s a chance that they won’t always work. If you’re at a point where you’ve tried every option and you feel yourself sinking further into a slump, here are some additional resources that can help you get back on track: