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On the road to burn-out? This could be just the detour you need

Rediscovering your creative spark

It's your time to sparkle (image by Stephanie McCabe)

Burn out, wear out, whatever term we use for it , more and more people are feeling the challenge of balancing busy, always-on lives. From being productive at work, spending time with family and friends, looking after our health and well-being to pursuing personal endeavours which bring us growth and fulfilment, much of the time we are living life on the high wire, trying to find that magical balance.

In an effort to find better balance, we’ve seen a significant growth in people attending health retreats and the overall market for “wellness tourism” has exploded. But, is there a missing piece of the puzzle? A way to incorporate a new style of creative learning and exploration that in combination with physical activities could better help people recharge, rebalance and refresh, ultimately helping avoid fatigue and burn-out?

There’s increasing research on the power of unleashing our creativity to help us explore new perspectives, build new skills and ultimately make our lives more enjoyable and meaningful.

In a recent global study of over 5000 people conducted by Adobe*, people who were focused on improving their own creativity reported significantly higher levels of happiness, energy and fulfilment. And yet in the same study only 31% percent of people believed they had reached their creative potential.

How many times have we heard someone say I am not very creative or wasn’t born creative and yet the data shows us that creativity, besides being fun and energising, is an activity we can all learn. In his best-selling book “Think Smart”, author and neurologist Richard Restak, acknowledges how critical creativity is in solving problems and that we can always learn new techniques to be more creative.

Taking ourselves out of our everyday environment, opening ourselves to new places, people and ideas, and learning new techniques and tools to think and communicate differently can all help us shift and grow our mindset to gain fresh perspectives.

Immersing ourselves in creative experiences and creative development can help us to reset our approach and regain that youthful quality of exploration, adventure and wonder. It can help us to break down some of our existing habits, open new ways of thinking and problem solving and help us see the world, and importantly ourselves, differently.

For some it may be revisiting a creative endeavour they once enjoyed, starting one they have often considered, or pushing themselves to try activities which are new and challenging – and perhaps a little out of their comfort zone.

These creative activities with new environments, techniques and people bring a joy and energy into our lives, and also provide the opportunity to help avoid the wear-out and fatigue that can be so impacting on a personal and professional level.

So if you are feeling that constant sense of burn-out or imbalance, or simply need to recharge the batteries, consider taking some time to find, or perhaps re-ignite that creative flame. It could just be the spark you need.

Jeremy Stone is the co-founder of Creative Cities 21. They re-energise people through creative learning experiences in great cities of the world. By combining the benefits of acting, painting, innovation & travel, they ignite creativity, helping people realise their personal and professional potential.

  1. *Adobe:
    State of Create 2016

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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