burnout - Live Life Well

Rising Above the Shadows: Navigating Creativity After Bad Experiences

Dear Creative Souls,

Life is a journey filled with peaks and valleys, and for us, the artists, creators, and visionaries, it can be especially tumultuous. We know all too well the weight of past bad experiences that can cast a shadow over our creativity. Whether it’s emotionally destructive employment situations, challenging clients, or loss-making contracts, these experiences can dim our creative light. It can feel like a lonely world, and frankly, it sucks.

I don’t mean it to sound cliché, but in the midst of darkness, there is always a glimmer of hope. As creative beings, we possess an innate resilience that allows us to rise above adversity and find inspiration even in the most challenging circumstances. Here are some empowering ways to navigate the aftermath of negative experiences and reignite your creative spark: Continue reading “Rising Above the Shadows: Navigating Creativity After Bad Experiences”

The Therapeutic Power of Art: Nurture Your Mental Health Through Creativity

It’s crucial to remember the importance of your mental well-being. In the middle of the pressures and demands of our daily lives, there’s a magical realm that can soothe the soul and heal the mind – art. Engaging in creative endeavours holds profound benefits for your mental health. Let’s explore how art can become your therapeutic sanctuary. Continue reading “The Therapeutic Power of Art: Nurture Your Mental Health Through Creativity”

The dark side of creativity

Stories of movie stars and rock stars self medicating themselves into oblivion, chefs and doctors suiciding, and designers burning out are common in the news. There’s an aspect of creativity that isn’t all sweetness and light. Some of the brightest and best end up hurting themselves or taking their lives, and end up breaking the hearts of the people who love them the most. And there’s always that lingering question: “Why? They had everything going for them, they had everything to live for.”

The dark side of creativity refers to the potentially negative aspects or consequences that can arise from the creative process or creative individuals.

While creativity is celebrated and valued, there are several aspects that can be problematic or detrimental: Continue reading “The dark side of creativity”

Working-Mum Guilt: How to Overcome It

Being a working mum is hard work. Balancing your career, your family, and your own needs is a demanding task. They don’t exactly teach you how to do this at school and suddenly you’re trying to do it. It can be so easy to feel guilty about not being able to do it all. But working-mum guilt is a normal emotion, and there are ways to overcome it. And if not overcome it, then at least find some ways to help cope and maybe come to terms with it. 

Here are some tips for overcoming working-mum guilt:
Continue reading “Working-Mum Guilt: How to Overcome It”

How to Work Smarter, Not Harder as a Creative

Ever seen the sunrise after an all-nighter? Another summer day and you’re still in the office seeing the sunset?

As creatives, we know that working hard is important. But you need to know that working smarter is even more important. When you work smarter, you can be more productive and creative, and you can also save time and energy.

Here are some tips on how to work smarter, not harder:
Continue reading “How to Work Smarter, Not Harder as a Creative”

Finding Authenticity: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a Creative

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong in your creative field? Like you’re not good enough, or that you’re a fraud? If so, you’re not alone. Many creative people experience imposter syndrome, which is a feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy. You might’ve experienced the feeling of being overawed by someone with astounding talent – creative works just drip off them seemingly effortlessly or they seem to lead charmed lives. Or you go to a conference or a lecture theatre or a studio or an exhibition or an audition and everyone *EVERYONE* is a thousand times more talented, skilful, cool, better looking, better connected, better blah, blah, blah. You’re just not good enough. It’s a horrible feeling.

Imposter syndrome can be really tough to deal with, but it doesn’t have to control you. There are ways to overcome imposter syndrome and embrace your authentic creative voice.

Here are some tips: Continue reading “Finding Authenticity: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a Creative”

How Good People Thrive in Tough Times

How good people thrive in tough times
Life is full of challenges, and tough times can often test our resilience and character. But it’s the strength of good people that shines through.

Somehow, no matter how overwhelmed, burnt out, tapped out, and/or freaked out, individuals with integrity, empathy, and creativity manage in tough times, often connecting with other creative people who are also navigating adversity. And that’s one clue right there. Continue reading “How Good People Thrive in Tough Times”

How to cope with failure

Failure is an ugly place, I’m not going to pretend it’s not. I hate it when my plans don’t turn out.

Even as I write this I can feel the bitter taste of failure welling up in my throat. You might recognise that taste, that feeling, too. I wish I could give you some deep and meaningful quotes that makes it all go away. But it doesn’t. It’s a condition of being alive and you can take some comfort in being alive.

Sometimes that’s a small comfort. I know that. Things go wrong and *bang* I’m that determined (but misguided) four year old who sewed the oven cloth to my clothes. By mistake or misunderstanding, it makes no difference, the only way out was cutting my work off me. My sister made a big deal of my failure, and that really hurt.

I’ve failed so many times I’ve finally began to build a relationship with failure. Along the way I’ve learned a few tricks to make the depressing ditchwater taste a little better. Here are a few suggestions – tips for how to cope:
Continue reading “How to cope with failure”

Achieving a Work/Life Balance

Neon sign inviting you to work harder. A healthy work/life balance is essential to sustain passion and prevent burnout.
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is crucial for creatives to sustain their passion and prevent burnout. The media is full of stories about stressed out executives who reinvent themselves as artists or undertake a midlife apprenticeship – but it’s nigh on impossible for a carpenter or a fabric designer to reinvent themselves as a corporate high flier. People in the corporate sector might even have the luxury of going part-time while they pursue an art or trade as a hobby that becomes a side gig that becomes an income. Good luck with reversing that flow if you’re milliner. Drain layer. Gardener.

In the realm of arts and trades, finding a balance between the tensions of professional pursuits and personal well-being becomes an absolute priority. Sure, right? Sounds so easy but before you know it you’re working through the night, through the weekend, 24/7 no problem. That’s not unique to arts, trades, corporates, business, or even a job of any kind. We throw our lives at our work. Before you know it our precious lives are quickly fading echoes.

Actually, that’s if you’re lucky…

You know among your extended family and contacts there are people who’ve experienced mental and physical health issues that are at the very least catalysed by their daily work. Stress, trauma, long hours, disrupted sleep, drugs, alcohol, self medication, suicide. “It’s only rock ‘n’ roll” is not an acceptable, mature response.

Establishing clear boundaries and prioritising self-care are key to finding balance. Setting realistic goals and managing time efficiently helps creatives maintain a sense of control over their workload. Embrace creativity outside of work, explore new hobbies, and seek inspiration from diverse sources to reignite passion and prevent monotony. Collaborating with peers and mentors provides valuable support and guidance. Maybe do some volunteer work. A weekend workshop. Get a coach. Striking the right balance between work and personal life not only enhances overall well-being but also fuels creative growth, productivity, and long-term success.

Photo credit: Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash