The Fastest Route to Burn-Out

Can you really have too much of a good thing?

Everyone has experienced burn-out in one form or another.  I can list a handfull of areas that seem to frequently pop up for me: Motherhood, caring for a home and yard, keeping up a business, and even my little ‘ol creativity.

The quest for balance is never easy.  Nor should it be.

The balancing act requires a bit of give and take in order for us to learn proper perspective about what is most important in our life, and those things always require sacrifice.  Always.

I don’t have all the answers for achieving that blissful sought after state,


I do know some things to beware of… and  knowing what to avoid can be equally helpful.

As I admitted last week in my Graduate School Confessions...Spending three years only composing music to please a small panel of faculty didn’t exactly fuel my passion for my art.  I left creatively exhausted and defiantly determined to abandon musical pursuits till I could learn to love it again.

Dramatically sad.

But one of my biggest mistakes could have been avoided… and perhaps even been my saving ticket to keep me from reckless abandoned burn-out.

Who do you work for?  Who do you serve? Why do you create?

If the answer to these questions doesn’t include YOURSELF–at least in portion–the road will end soon.

Not once in three years did I pause to compose a piece for myself.  Oops.

A reoccurring mantra that I see photographer, Jonathan Canlas, preach, is the need to shoot personal work.

As if I didn’t even learn from past experience, I spent all of 2010 shooting for everyone but myself…leading to–you guessed it–more dramatic burn-out by the end of the year and a proclamation of 2011’s Sabbatical Journey.

I’m growing tired of the drama… and finding that just a little bit of “self time” can make all the difference.

Not surprising that one of Julia Cameron’s two fundamental routine activities for caring for the creative self–involves TIME FOR YOURSELF.

Like… regularly.

Remember how it will require some sacrifice?  The most important things always do.  It feels a bit selfish too (thats the censor trying to keep one away from what is most helpful and absolutely necessary).

Our family has had to make a few sacrifices in order for me to have some self-time to keep from regular life/mom/wife burn-out.  Whether its forking out the money for a babysitter, getting up a few hours earlier before everyone else is awake, scheduling in “spontaneous fun”, or changing up traditional roles in the family, it’s helping.

And the best part?  It really does affect more than just you. Everything is just better.  (so there, censor!).

Its dramatically important, but very hard to make it work.  What do you do to help make time for yourself?  Please share!




Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  She gets up each morning at 6:00 a.m. for… you guessed it, time for herself.  Journaling, meditation, reading, and simple crazy prevention.  Its worth the late night sacrifice.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as seasonal photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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