Getting Over the Hump
Happy hump day! We are midway into the 12th week of our national stay-cation. While the US continues its efforts to flatten the curve, I am managing getting over the hump of stress brought on by Covid-19. While I wish "the virus that should not be named" did not come up in every conversation, it's a very real fact that impacts everything, even design.
As a remote designer, working from home for me was par the course. But with the pandemic came changes for colleagues that in a very short time changed my day to day. The 9am EST morning daily recurring check-ins were a brutal melee to my once tranquil 6am email notification audits. The language used on all ads and projects needed to be reviewed, reworked, rinsed and repeated until things were as compassionate and aware to the issues that our customers faced. Work ran over more often, and dinners that missed being cooked were replaced by UberEats.
All this to find myself, along with many others, with zero hours on the time clock and no place to go, due to stay at home orders. With the end of a contract ending prematurely, I realized I had been climbing this hump which I barely recognized as a bump back in February.
Having reached what I believe to be the peak I found myself in need of a creative stimulus package. The passion hadn't left, but the burn out was indeed real, and I was still on top of this hUMp. Instead of my normal pattern of managing stress, throwing myself into any project I can think of, I stopped and waited.
I took time (roughly a week) to stimulate the creative process, and release the hump of stress.
Here's what I've experienced - The Creative Stimulus Package:
You can't flatten this hump physically, but you can manage stress and your expectations.
Falling back to the basics brings clarity and grounds you to creative roots. Grab a pencil a sketch pad (whatever your weapon of choice) and get to business.
Start a new project for yourself, not something related to a client/job. It will allow you to be honest and critical with yourself, while you refine techniques and skills.
Loss will never be fun, but creative talents are something you learn and refine over time. You don't lose them just because a job ends.
When all is said and done, even hump day ends with a sunset. I'm not at the bottom of this hump yet, but stick with me kid, I'm on a roll.