Creative expression is one of the most sacred rituals in my life, and it’s nearly impossible to remember a time when I didn’t prioritize my constant pursuit of hobbies—which currently include crocheting, painting, sewing, quilting, jewelry and metalsmithing, and mapping out plans for my first dollhouse project. These hobbies are all things I come back to time and time again, especially in times of uncertainty or stress, and they have played an instrumental role in helping me navigate severe job burnout and one of the most difficult years of my life.
Through therapy and dedicating more time to creativity, I reached the other side of job burnout and learned to cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs. But, a couple of years later, it felt as if the pendulum swung too far to the other side, and those feelings of exhaustion began to creep back in—only this time, it was connected to my favorite pastimes. I felt overwhelmed and drained and soon lacked inspiration and desire to do the things that once brought me so much joy and relief. It was burnout all over again, but for my hobbies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as an occupational phenomenon caused by “chronic workplace stress,” and that’s how it’s been broadly understood and di