top of page

Mini Series: Self Care - Consequences of Ignoring Rest

Diving right into things this week we are looking at what can happen to creatives if and when we ignore rest.

Rest is essential in any aspect of life, but in creativity it is a prerequisite for abundance. Self care is difficult, and rest is something we all struggle with, especially when the narratives surrounding our path are filled with hustle and sacrifice; it can feel indulgent to take a breath and step into the rest aspect of self care. Today we are looking at the consequences of believing these false narratives and pushing self care aside in favour of burnout.

Burnout is a huge topic that needs to be addressed among creatives. It is intrinsically linked to the starving artist narrative as a badge of honour to be run ragged for your art. But running ourselves ragged to feel like we can say we put everything into our creativity and thereby give it value is crippling us creatively and robbing us of the abundance of delight we are aching for. When we ignore the signs that signal self care is required we turn off our ability to regulate our bodies. Rest becomes restless, sleep elusive and exhaustion makes our bodies heavy and our minds foggy. The work we create is less than our capabilities, our pace goes from a run to a stumble to a stagger and yet we can’t seem to allow ourselves the time to just stand still.

Body Burnout:

When we ignore rest it takes a physical toll. Our efficiency of movement slows down. Our sleep is interrupted and restless. Nutrition takes a backseat in favour of convenience and ease. Some creative pursuits are more prone to body burnout than others, but it’s not the physical arts, it’s the ones where we already have a lack of motivation to move - writers are a good example of this. When we begin to neglect our body and its needs to continue creating, we actually open ourselves up to illness and injury. Fatigue is not just a fancy word for tired, it is a condition that uses up our strength and energy just to keep our bodies upright and functioning. If you start to feel heavy, tired, weak or slow, take it as a sign that you’ve outpaced your rest to work ratio and for the sake of your health and wellbeing it is time to take a break.

Brain Burnout:

Burnout also saps us of mental energy and faculty as well as the physical toll. Creatives generate massive amounts of brain power to ideate, create, problem solve and keep themselves open to inspiration. A vast amount of creativity is done with brain power, conceptualizing projects, ideation and problem solving. When we ignore the need to rest, when we feel exhausted and frustrated and confused and helpless in the face of trying to realize our creativity our minds literally shut down. At this point trying to force ideas out and chasing inspiration is futile. Burning out mentally means we no longer have the capacity for the mental gymnastics required to be creative. Don’t beat yourself up if the ideas aren’t flowing and the process comes to a screeching halt’ take a step back, take a breath and, most importantly, take a nap.

Soul Burnout:

The worst part of the burnout cycle is the lack of feeling, drive or desire to create at all. When creating feels like a chore, just another have to you don’t really have time for, it is time to seriously slow down. Are there days in everyone's life where the get to's become the have to's- yes. Are there times when the things that bring us joy are also an equal source of frustration -yes. But this is different. This is losing any semblance of desire to have creativity in your life. There is a difference between taking a break from things and not being able to care about them anymore. When your soul is overcome with burnout you know it’s time to replenish that well because you cannot give what you do not have. Give yourself the grace to rest in these moments and replenish your well of creativity.

The big takeaway here is not an earth shattering revelation. The consequence of ignoring rest, of denying yourself the chance for true and proper self care is BURNOUT. Don’t be afraid to step away from your creativity for a time if you need to for self care; I promise you it will be waiting patiently for you when you return to it.

8 views1 comment
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page