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  • Kaity Meade

How to avoid designer burnout

I think my fellow aspiring designers will agree with me when I say that coming up in UX design is hard. You're already taking in an insane amount of new information to learn the basic framework of becoming a designer and constantly creating case studies to add to your portfolio to appear more job-ready. Not to mention, the tedious and mentally exhausting process of the job search itself.


There can be a lot of stress and pressure when you're trying to make your mark in the design world. While I can't personally speak on the feelings that come with landing that design job, I can assume that it comes with its own feelings of stress and the possibility of being over-worked.


These last few weeks, I completed my intensive UX design program, was prepping for a design interview, and still trying to maintain this blog and other side projects I was working on. I felt so overwhelmed that I caught myself doing nothing on my to-do list because I didn't know where to start. So this past week, I decided to take some time away from writing content and dedicated more of my time to focus on self-care and pressing the reset button.


What came from this time off? A refreshed and fully energized version of myself feeling excited about designing and continuing the UX come-up!


Here are some ways you can avoid burnout and make sure you're taking care of yourself.

 

1. Take a break from your computer

Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Bake some bread. We are all so tied to our computers because our lives are intensely virtual, especially now. It's so important we step away from our computers and spend time with hobbies or other passions aside from our work.


2. Create something fun

Designing doesn't have to feel overwhelming or stressful. Have an idea for a side project you've been eager to start? Now's the time! Passionate about creating logos or want to try your hand at VR? Go for it! This is also a good way to remind yourself why you love design and have decided to immerse yourself in the field.


3. Schedule breaks

Design can feel like a never-ending cycle. There is so much to be done that it can feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. Taking breaks could not only help your mental health, but it could help boost a creative idea you might not have known you had because the constant grind was blocking it.


4. Connect with other designers

We all need people to open up with that understand the stress you're facing with your work. Create a network of designers that you can vent to and also share ideas with!


5. Get outside

My favorite things in the world all revolve around being outside. Whether it's hiking or reading a book in my hammock, that's where my happy place is. There's something about being in nature that brings a sense of serenity that everyone needs when they're feeling overwhelmed. Get some sunshine in and have a journal on hand, because who knows what creative ideas you could come up with after stepping away from your computer!

 

This is a quick list of some ideas to help you avoid that creative burnout that so many designers face. It's easy to get caught up in work and forget to take care of your mental health. Remember to take some breaks, drink water, and get some sunshine! We all need breaks.


Reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed and want to talk through a plan to avoid burnout! From a fellow people-pleaser and perfectionist, I know how challenging it can be to allow yourself time to reset. Remember that self-care is crucial for your mental health and can only help your creative work!


- Kaity



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