in Burnout Tips

Burnout in creatives- Joy Langley’s insight on stressors and solutions

We are quite pleased to introduce an extraordinary person to you today.

We are providing a window into an empowered woman’s life– one who has had a total career switch, has been lost in life, and has rediscovered herself. Despite all of the difficulties she has encountered, she has never lost her spark.

Meet Joy! In her previous position in music PR, she conducted interviews with artists like Beyoncé, which made her realize how much she loved knowing about other people’s lives. After a difficult separation, she enrolled in a quick beginning counseling course and gradually realized that this was the “signpost for a new lifestyle and job.”

The best part of my job? Watching human beings live up to their full potential.
Because when they do, they become energized, focused, happier and successful. The creative spark is critical.

– Joy shares.

Joy Langley is a qualified Coach and Stress Management Therapist based in the UK who focuses on treating anxiety, stress, and depression. She specializes in working with creative entrepreneurs, founders, and C-level executives. She fulfilled a lifelong goal in 2021 when she published her book “Navigating Stress.” Joy helps her clients understand the stressors and commit to changing negative emotional patterns, behaviors, and thinking habits. Especially those that lead to creative burnout. According to her, mental and emotional well-being should be a non-negotiable way of living a creative life. No one should sacrifice health, relationships, or sanity, because of the rules their industry operates.

We had the pleasure of getting a peek into Joy’s mind. The interview depicts her perspective on creative burnout, advice for improving work-life balance, and the everyday stressors among creatives.

  • What are the most common burnout risks among creatives?

Joy: Creative industries with a reputation for long hours lead to the team pulling all-nighters to get the work done due to short work deadlines. This practice disrupts relationships and family life. Work pressure can lead to poor sleep, poor eating routines, and substance abuse /dependency (alcohol, unprescribed medication) to reduce work stress, boost your energy, or stimulate creativity.
Unhealthy work practices impact mental health. The drive to do a great job all the time can lead to over-working, perfectionism, and never knowing when enough is enough.
There is industry pressure to produce award-winning work to attract and win business – you are only as good as your last piece of work. Comparison leads to feelings of low esteem or competition with colleagues. Such talented people surround you, and it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. It’s a competitive, fun industry most of the time, and full-time positions are hard to come by. You like your work and your colleagues, so you feel guilty about complaining about being one of the lucky ones.

  • What is your understanding of creative burnout?

Joy: A range of symptoms happen to all humans, but most of them destroy innovation and the ability to come up with fresh creative ideas. The toxic mix includes loss of passion, focus, and motivation, low energy and extreme tiredness, inability to think straight and hold on to thoughts, self-isolation and not wanting to connect or communicate, anxiety and depression, and loss of confidence in your abilities.
Fear and negative thoughts switch on your survival response. Your body experiences this as stress, which helps give you the energy to run or fight. So even a deadline can feel threatening. Your body is sensitive. It notes your apprehension and thinks you are about to be chased by a tiger! Of course, that’s not the case. The mind becomes fixed on one thing – survival! Imagine a brick wall suddenly appearing. It prevents you from overthinking anything that takes you away from its prime objectives. It cuts you off from your rational mind. But no thoughts mean no creative ideas.

  • How can creatives overcome burnout?

Joy: A change of mindset and attitude is needed. Not setting it up as a ‘fight’ or ‘battle’ is step No.1. Get yourself a non-negotiable self-care plan. Remember why you are doing a given task. Remind yourself you are contributing to a greater goal that’s bigger than just you. It’s a team thing. A reward follows the action. Rest, recharge, recover, and have fun when you complete the task. The stress cup is always filling up, so it’s your job to empty it by following a self-care plan.

  • How can we achieve a work-life balance?

Joy: Remember, you always try to do your best. Get to know your unique patterns of stress. Rest, recharge and recover from unusual bouts of pressurized work. Develop activities or moments during the day that allow your mind to focus, then relax (zone out). It’s OK to work hard and play hard, but don’t forget that the recovery phase builds resilience.
Your work-life balance is unique. So look out for yourself, and introduce self-care practices as no one else will rescue you. Only you know your breaking point signs. No one cares more about your physical and mental health than you.
It’s OK to work hard and play hard. But balance this ‘old-fashioned’ cultural way of working with recovery time. Give the mind, body, and soul activities that help you relax and recharge. That resting may be taking a short walk, reading an inspirational quote, exercising, or trying a new hobby different from day-to-day work.

We want to convey our appreciation for the wonderful Joy once more.

There is still more research on the sub-topic of burnout in mental health. Despite the discussion about workplace wellness, it appears that the message isn’t getting through because recent reports indicate that individuals are more burned out than ever. We hope that each of our readers will be able to learn something from Joy’s experience and advice.

If you’re curious to learn more, look into Joy’s book “Navigating Stress” which covers:

  • methods and resources for using “down-to-earth language,” which can help you overcome feelings of stress, despair, anxiety, overload, and concern
  • actionable tactics you can use when you’re feeling stressed out
  • how to get a better understanding of what’s wrong with your emotional well-being
  • how to develop more self-assurance, resilience, solid relationships, and professional success
  • how to regain your creative edge and spark

How to reach out to Joy:
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