Monday, November 12, 2012
If you're like me, you like to work hard. If you're a writer (or any kind of artist), you like to devote a ton of time and energy to your craft to the point that it almost borders on obsession. Also, if you're like me, you may work a day job, too, so that leaves you with very little YOU time.
Often I reach a point where I feel totally drained. I've given all of my energy to my day job or my writing. I spend countless hours on the Internet trying to respond to emails and Tweets and Facebook posts in a polite, timely manner. And I reach the point of getting burned out.
I have found that the best thing to do when you reach this burnout stage is to Unplug. If you have a day off from your day job, you don't have to spend every waking minute on your hobby. It's GOOD to get away from it all, to unplug your laptop, to (gasp!) turn off your cell phone! Just leave it behind for a little while--it'll be there when you get back; I promise.
Get out in nature, if you can. Take a walk. Or if that's impossible, go to a quiet room in your house where there's a window. Open the curtains and let the daylight in. Sit and let your mind drift away from all the things it feels chained to, and soon you might get an idea of just the thing you need to do to make you feel refreshed. Go with your instincts--unless they're saying to plug in and get back online. Don't do that. Rewind back to a time when we didn't have all this technological distraction. What did you do for fun back then? How did you feed your creativity? How did you nourish your soul?
That's what I'm doing today. I'm writing this post, and then I'm turning it all off. I'm going to clean house, maybe decorate a little, possibly go to the library. I'm going to paint my toenails and read a book and cuddle with my little weenie dog.
Don't worry, I'll be back, and probably sooner than I think. But bottom line is this: unplugging, even just for 30 minutes, is sometimes necessary. So when you feel stressed out, try having some YOU time, too!