Igniting Inspiration in Burnout

Have you ever experienced burnout? The fire goes out, and you don’t even feel like fanning the embers. This lack of inspiration and motivation is difficult to overcome, although the endeavor feels less like a mountain ahead and more like a ditch to push out from. The slump doesn’t last forever, but if you want a boost, try any one or a combination of the suggestions that follow. 

A few of the Nine Muses in the Vatican

Adjust Your Setting. I’ve mentioned before that changing the look of your home by moving the positions of the furniture is helpful in changing mindset and the dynamics of the household. For inspiration, the most effective home shift for me is changing the angle of my bed. You literally wake up with a new view! Adjusting your setting for a spark of inspiration might also involve getting out in nature (walking, skiing, sunbathing, etc.). You could move your work station to a new room, near different people, or to the other end of the desk. What I need to do to help my creative/work/problem solving process is walk away. Sometimes this means taking a shower, doing some other mundane task, refilling my beverage, taking a drive, or even temporarily relocating to a friend’s house or hotel. 

Hit Refresh. I’ve noticed a pattern in myself when my motivation runs low. I tend to look for instant gratification through buying something. New clothes have served as a temporary fix for me, but I don’t suggest getting into the habit of making purchases to try to fill your void. Too often the novelty wears off quicker than expected and I’m back in the ditch. Start with a smaller treat like an ice cream cone or an enticing magazine. Similar refreshments come with washing your sheets, creating a new playlist, or doing something that you do every day differently. Recycle what you do or have in way that makes them more interesting. Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with your other hand? 

Light an Actual Fire.  Fire is very transformative energy. It symbolizes release in addition to igniting ideas and drive. Often in order to find inspiration or regain interest you have to clear out what is no longer serving you (materials, perspectives, whatever isn’t working). Like creating a ceremony, I’ll write on strips of paper what I’d like to release or hold the intention while blowing into a stick and burn them. If you are unable to create a fire safely, use a candle or three. You don’t have to physically burn something, sometimes all it takes is the flick of the light.

Like Greek mythology? Set an intention to channel any or all of the Nine Muses to elicit their magic. The Celtic goddess of inspiration is Brigid, and she is often pictured with flames. Keep an image of her around or a fiery phoenix as a reminder to focus on possibility rather than how drained you feel. 

Brigid, Goddess of Inspiration

Time is On Your Side. Did anyone else sing the Rolling Stones while reading that? Well…yes it is. It’s really hard to be patient when you’re trying to feel some sort of spark. I find that once I give myself the space to experience the burnout, I naturally “come back.” Sometimes looking too hard for it proves unhelpful. It’s not your fault when your ambition meter plummets. Burnout is a sign of boredom, being overworked, and other feelings that all indicate it’s time to make a change. When you don’t take the time to reflect on what it is that might need to shift, it’s too easy to fall into more dangerous territory like depression or impulsively seeking an unhealthy method of feeling something. Write down or talk about what might have caused the life you’ve been living to suddenly become dimmer. When did it start? When was the last time you made a change? What do you need in order to feel more fulfilled? Where is all of your energy going? Maybe the change you need is to simply take the break. If I allow myself to feel uninspired, usually the next day is a fresh start. Sometimes it lasts longer, and that’s okay, I’ve had an off month! Just be sure you’re getting support and do not surpass the signpost of giving up the desire to feel better. Inspiration and motivation may arrive spontaneously and organically if you let it. It’s all part of the creative process(coming soon!). You’ve got options! You’ve got time!

Go make room for changes and feel the heat of lit ideas! Have any other methods that work for you? Feel free to send a message or comment below! If you like this page, please share it.

Image from mockofun

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