Managing Burnout Is A Life-Long Journey, That’s Why I’m Prioritizing Self-Care

Michelle Mac
3 min readJul 4, 2022
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I’ve had a terrible few weeks with no creative output.

I was burned out, anxious, and unable to work on anything related to my creative practice. I’m just about seeing the other side of this burnout but I know it will happen again. I want to be able to manage this going forward so when it strikes I can accept it, deal with it, and move on.

So I’m writing this to my future self as much as I’m writing to you, dear reader, to share my perspective and advice on creative burnout and how to focus on self-care.

Signs Of Burn Out

1. Always trying to fill your mental space with something. You can’t just watch TV, you have to also be scrolling Twitter. You can’t just sit an enjoy a cup of coffee, you also have to listen to a podcast or watch a video.

2. Overdoing it on social media. You infinitely scroll all available social media platforms every chance you get. You’re not looking for anything but you still scroll until you can tear yourself away and do something else.

3. Feeling pressure to create or always be working on something. You feel like you need to be chained to your computer to get stuff done. This results in headaches and an inability to do creative work.

4. Stress and anxiety become too much. Things get overwhelming and take up a lot of your headspace which results in stress and anxiety which further reduces your ability to be creative.

5. You’re not leaving the house. You know when you’re stuck in the house all day you’re not feeling your best.

6. Healthy diet and water intake go out the window. You don’t feel motivated to eat healthily and you’re more likely to snack on junk food and have fizzy drinks over water.

Self-Care Steps

1. Practice focusing on 1 thing at a time and remember this throughout the day. Try sitting and drinking a coffee without watching a YouTube video. Try watching TV without opening your phone.

2. Set up limits on social media. Your phone allows you to set time limits on different apps so you can easily do this. Remove social media apps from your phone to limit the…

Michelle Mac

The *heavily edited* ramblings of a technical writer & frontend dev. I write about creativity, design, and productivity. Start here: