Are You Headed Towards Burnout?

Are You Headed Towards Burnout?

I rarely share a post recently shared on my own blog, but the topic of burnout, especially with artists, is so relevant and too prevalent. When you’re about to hit the wall, you can feel the loss of creativity and passion. You feel the apathy setting in, but you’ve convinced yourself that it’ll just pass.

The good news is, burnout is so preventable if you just recognize the signs early on.

I do my best to walk the talk, but there are times when I don’t realize the toll, stress is taking on me, my relationship with my family, and my own skillset. I get overly focused – obsessed with deadlines, projects, and work. I find myself dreaming that I’m working – nothing worse than waking up after feeling like you worked all night.

So, I hit what “This is Calmer” refers to as Stage 2 of burnout and the start of symptoms. I don’t want to turn this into more than a blog post, but here are the symptoms for this initial stage – anxiety, avoidance of decision making, change in appetite or diet, fatigue, forgetfulness, general neglect of personal needs, grinding your teeth at night, headaches, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, inability to focus, irritability, job dissatisfaction, lack of sleep or reduced sleep quality, lack of social interaction, lower productivity and unusual heart rhythms.

Whether you’re taking life on an even keel or not, take the time to read the article. Here’s the link.

It’s not rocket science. We all have stressful days, and if we worried about each symptom, we’d all be a society of burnouts! But the great thing about being in tune with stress is the ability we all have to turn it around when we start to feel those physical and emotional aches and pains.

Last week was one of the busiest I can remember, and I missed a couple of posts, not to mention appointments and calls. I was on overload from the minute the “bell” went off on Monday morning. So, by Friday night, I was fried. The solution/remedy was what Sheila and I call a “slug day.” We did absolutely nothing over the weekend. We simply relaxed and spent time together. We even got out for a long walk around the neighborhood. Exercise has been absent since two puppies came into our lives two months ago – getting back on track felt great.

And there’s my point – whatever time you need, and everyone is different – remember to recharge your battery. Take the time to step away from the business. Spend time with those people most special to you, phone a friend, read something besides email or articles related to business. Take a walk, with or without a camera. In other words, just play! Everyone is different in what they need and how long they need for a break, but we all need to recognize when it’s time to step back.

It’s a lot easier to avoid burnout than beat it once it’s got hold! It all starts with focusing your energy on you rather than everything that’s your responsibility.

Sometimes in life, we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey!
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This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

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