Burnout recovery tip 11: How to be creative with foggy-brain

This post was written by Megan on December 4, 2010
Posted Under: burnout and recovery

Creativity with burnout cartoon

'Creativity' is a word that is being bandied around a lot lately. Many around the world are yearning to do something 'more creative'.

But this doesn't necessarily mean they believe they actually can be more creative. Why? Because one of two comments generally follow:

  1. 'Creativity isn't going to pay the bills', and
  2. 'I'm not artistic.'


For those with burnout, our response would be one of two comments:

  1. 'I have no energy to be creative', and
  2. 'Huh?'

Even though you are tired, you still have to move your body around otherwise it will atrophy, right? So even though your mind might feel either foggy or completely non-functioning, moving your mind – like moving your body – is worth wiping the drool off your face for.

Doing something creative is usually a good way to move your mind. Just for the sake of doing it, not to create something tangible necessarily. In this instance the saying "It's the journey – not the destination" actually has some legs. Except you can journey while lying down. 


12 ways to be creative while lying down

  1. Play DJ
    Listen to music that you haven't heard before
    (avoid death metal if you're not used to it).
  2. Pretend you are Ansel Adams
    Take atmospheric photos from your bed (this may involve making
    a photo of a sleeping cat look interesting - a creative challenge indeed).
  3. Scribble whatever comes into your head
    into a notebook and be amazed at how much
    you can ramble on about nothing. 
  4. Write postcards from your bed
    Send an imaginary message to people your really admire
    (they could be famous, they could be dead). 
    Write about something other than your health. Please.
  5. Be the Zen Master of Technology
    Turn off your TV, computer and/or phone, stare at the blank screen
    and imagine what you are looking at.
  6. Be your own Idol
    Hum or sing along to some music you like.
    Try not to do this with the headphones on.
  7. Draw a picture with your other hand
    The one you don't normally draw with.
    After this experience, you will sympathise more with 3 year olds.
  8. Give each piece of the furniture in your room a name
    and start a conversation with them
    (what personality does each piece of furniture have?).
    Warning: don't tell friends or loved ones that you are doing this.
    They won't understand.

  9. Go back
    Recall a time in your life when you were really creative
    (yes, there was one) and then feel it.
  10. Write down your dreams
    The dreams that happen while you sleep, 
    even if they are Salvador Dali-creepy.
  11. Find the craziest yoga pose possible
    Carry it out while singing the national anthem.
  12. Don't make a vision board
    It's going to take more discipline to restrain yourself from his activity.
    But not having a vision board it will make you truly original
    amongst those with time on their hands.

Of course, you might have some better ideas…care to share? That is, when you turn your computer back on.


This is the eleventh post from my series: '13 things towards recovery from burnout'.

And the premise remains the same: what works for me might not work for you.

This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer and cartoonist who sometimes is too tired to think of something clever to write in a byline.  Find out more about Megan

Reader Comments

Oh Megan, this is a painful one for me. I used to be highly creative- in work and private life, I have about a bookcase full of journals…but once I fell ill I just didn't have the energy to write, or do other creative things. Or if I would, the realisation that something I used to love so much but completely took for granted was now so very difficult was very painful. I also have the same with reading- I used to loooove reading. Now it just hurts my head. I still do it of course (addict), but it makes me sad. The past six monhs or so I have made a major leap- and have been able to do more of these things I love, and wow am I grateful!! In the end I hope my creativity will soar because I appreciate it more than ever….fingers crossed.

Written By Amber on December 4th, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

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