Burnout Solution 1: The walk
Updated: Jul 27
There are plenty of causes to burnout and you will have to give a lot of attention to all of them. But if there is anything that my experience has taught me, is that battling the symptoms can be just as effective as finding the causes. So for this first solution blog we will focus on the simplest yet – for me – most effective way to treat yourself successfully: the walk.
(In the past, and as creator, I have suffered from the usual big creative anxieties, which I have now fully overcome, as far as is possible of course. This unique blog series is for those right now dealing with creative anxieties, stress and burnout symptoms, to help them restart and recover. Check out my book Restart.)
If you suffer from anxiety, or worse, even a burnout, the first solution is always to focus on the physical. And the simplest of them all is walking. Going for a walk, even a very short one, does something super positive for your body. It immediately reduces burnout symptoms related to your stress hormones, simply by moving. Being outside is beneficial for you too, rain or shine. Plus, it is a forward motion that triggers your mind to think and feel forward more. In short, it snaps you out of the negative a little. I am aware that even going out is hard for some of you guys and girls reading this, if you are suffering from the more severe anxieties and stresses at this moment. The advice I can give you is to think of it, as the Japanese do: Kaizen. The idea of Kaizen is to always take very small steps towards a much bigger goal. In the book we call it ‘a thousand tiny steps’. This means that even taking a stroll around your house is already an option if you are truly burned out! I too found it very hard to go out during my burnout period, where I had to relearn my creative life. I took five to ten minute walks, simply because I couldn’t do much more before the stress caught up with me. Yet, I kept going out. These days I walk for hours on end without a single shred of anxiety. So give this a go, see if it suits you. We’ll be back for more solutions on these pages that will enable you to restart. And take it easy. You will recover.
Rogier van Kralingen