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Article: Surviving Burnout


Surviving Burnout

I spent the last 4-5 months settling into a new space, new life, new routine. The pace has slowed significantly from my time in New York and very little has stayed the same. I think it was time for that kind of change. After several years of 70-100 hour workweeks broken up between two jobs -- I needed a change. 

Part of the transition included dealing with the burnout I was experiencing from overworking in New York. I can honestly say I've made some significant progress in dealing with it and wanted to share with you how I'm working through it:

  • journaling as needed
  • sleeping 8-10 hours a night for four months
  • watching hours and hours of Netflix to the point of boredom
  • various attempts at exercise & meditation
  • learning to cook meals with vegetables and *gasp* SEASONINGS
  • not eating takeout or excessive amounts of carbs or sugar
  • baking for pleasure and then giving away my pies
  • making time to connect with old friends via phone or IRL when possible
  • slowly experimenting in techniques vaguely related to my primary art form 
  • during my work days: focusing on the administrative and logistical elements of running a business so I was still completely productive
  • keeping a massive to do list to track all the tasks that need attention, then once items were checked off, sorting them into another list of everything I had done by week. seeing my progress is encouraging - and the lists help minimize my anxiety about how much still needs to be done, because they're super organized

At no point did I try to force myself to make new work directly related to my field, other than to tweak designs I'd already started back in NY, or experiment with a technique I was curious about. I didn't want to resent my art practice any more than I already accidentally did. And it wasn't until recently -- like the last two weeks -- that I started to get an itch to make something from scratch.

Yesterday I sorted through a box of leather that couldn't bring myself to part with before leaving NY and this weekend I would like to get into the studio for a bit and start playing with the idea I've had in the back of my mind. I don't have any expectations for how this idea will pan out -- just need to get going again. Part of making art is accepting that some of it will be absolute shit.

I have some photos of the process a technique I was experimenting with back in December, but never posted. Will get them up for you soon -- it's on my to do list 😂

If you're going through burnout -- remember: art and life are both marathon experiences, not sprints. Time heals all. 



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