Working in ministry can be extremely fulfilling, but also hectic. The ramp-up to Christmas and planning for the new year can feel like an entire year packed into a few months. Now that you’ve made it through to the start of 2020 we wanted to know —how ya doing, friend?
Hopefully, you’re getting back into the swing of things, and likely getting your Easter plans underway. We’re curious, what do you do to avoid burnout? How do you relax?
We asked some of the designers here at Ministry Brands what they do to relax and to share some encouraging verses as desktop backgrounds to help encourage you.
Here’s what they told us:
Janis Jack, Designer
"One way to avoid burnout is to not only step away from the computer but to also step out and go on a trip! Whether it’s a trip to the refrigerator for a snack or a trip to the beach, it’s a guaranteed way to break up the monotony of desk work. It is healthy to take breaks because without time away people tend to grow stale and unenthusiastic about their work life.
After a full day at the computer, many people come home to their families. There are several ways to go on a trip! You could literally go on a trip and leave town or you could simply go on a trip to a different part of your house. Realistically, not everyone is able to go on vacation or leave their house every day. You could visit your kitchen for a snack or better yet cook a nice meal. Just the act of stepping away from your computer is enough to avoid burnout for some or maybe some people are just very food motivated. Once you know what kind of trip you need to take to avoid burnout, your work-life should remain fresh and enthusiastic!"
Juliet Townsend, Designer
“As a designer, I am constantly dealing with the ebb and flow of creative energy. My level of inspiration and excitement changes from week to week, and yet I still have to create, even when I don’t feel like it. Here are a few strategies that I use to overcome a creative block:
Try new design styles.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new can be a great way to start a project when you’re not feeling creative.
Explore different creative forms.
Reading, studying current artists and art history, picking up a new painting technique, and taking a drawing class are great ways to spark creative inspiration. Take a break. Step away from the computer. Do something physical and give your eyes a rest. Forcing yourself to stay behind a computer until you finish your projects will eventually lead to burn out. Punishing yourself for not being creative will not lead to more creativity.
We all live inside of our own heads. Everything we do is steered by our anxieties, insecurities, and exhaustion. Take a moment to remember why you create, and who you’re creating for. Calm your mind and let go of negativity and stress.
Remember to always be kind to yourself.
You’re not a robot that can turn out design after design without taking time to rest and recharge. Most likely if you’re experiencing a creative block, there’s good reason for it. Spend some time exploring why you feel the way you do, and try some of the ideas above. Remember, it’s a cycle and this too shall pass. You’ve got this.”
Jenn Craycraft, Senior Designer
“I find that after a long week of designing on the computer, I just need to get away from a screen. I try to find ways to keep my creativity boosted as a way to relax by drawing something for a friend, building legos with my son and reading about artforms I’ve never tried. Getting out some watercolor or some building blocks really causes me to think differently and also gives sensory feedback where my keyboard and mouse feel so lacking.”
Jenna Chambless, Designer
“To avoid burnout, I take a break from all screens—including my phone (gasp!) and TV, and I decorate cookies! You know those sugar cookies that look more like works of art than a dessert? That's what I enjoy doing. I'm still able to use my creativity, but in a completely different way than I do behind the computer so it helps me relax and decompress while still being creative.”
Tim Cross, Media Director
“Burnout. It is something that I think every creative person inside of a church will face at some point in time. It doesn’t matter if you are in worship, design, communications, or you are the Creative Pastor. Burnout is one of those things that we are constantly facing if we are not careful. I know for me one of the best ways for me to unwind and avoid burnout was taking a break and going for a walk. There is something about going outside that is just refreshing to the soul.
Often times I would take my team and just take an hour or two break and hit up the local park and throw the frisbee around. The reason I would do this is burnout is something as a creative we want to avoid at every opportunity. If we hit burnout not only does our work suffer, but our ability to serve God does too.
I am reminded of one of my favorite verses that talks about not being anxious but, instead, to pray. If I know I am facing a big task and I am nearing the end of my rope, I take that needed break, get up and go for a walk, and begin to pray about the mountains I am facing. I cannot begin to express how many times God has met me on the walk around the building when I was needing to unwind or I was trying to solve an impossible problem. The moment I would step back and bring God into the situation is always when the problem seemed to solve itself.”