I’m a creative, or so I call myself. This means that I enjoy creative pursuits. Whether that involves finding inspiration in a museum, flipping through a design magazine or getting a scene out of my head and in watercolor. I enjoy things that inspire me to create. But, as much as I enjoy these things, life has a way of…well…getting in the way.
I work six days a week. I get Fridays off but spend most of that day doing my laundry, cleaning my home and planning for the girls meeting that I lead later that evening. Every once in a while I get that creative bug and take off on one of my ventures. But, about halfway through (or…less than half) I hit a wall.
I became frustrated with this pattern of ‘non creativity’ and decided I would combat it with everything I’ve got. Which at that moment was nothing. Now, months later, I feel that I have a couple of things that have proven themselves to be effective ways of getting those creative juices flowing (and staying that way) and I would like to share them with you. These are my 5 tips for keeping those creative juices flowing when they’ve slowed down:
Maybe this is just me (I don’t think it is) but I CANNOT think in a space that is overly cluttered. If I can’t think, then I definitely can’t create. Take a minute and look around you. Is your desk covered with unnecessary knickknacks? Relocate them. Is the trash bin
in your office/workspace/studio/bedroom overflowing? Empty the bin. Is your bed a mess? Fix it. Spend a little time decluttering. It’ll help your mind to be able to focus on what you want it to focus on and not drift off to that pile of junk in the corner.
2. Set the Mood
When I’m getting ready to get into my creative mode I like a certain atmosphere. Music helps me attain that brain space. I prefer to listen to music without lyrics, it helps me to focus and the lack of lyrics stops me from having a concert in my room. You may not like music, you may prefer white noise, the tv in the background, nature sounds or silence. Find out what works for you and brings your head into that calm, inspired state and run with it.
3. Get the Blood Flowing
Speaking of running, when I’m in a real creative slump and I just can’t seem to even want to do anything remotely artistic, I exercise. Not intensely, but I like to go for a brisk walk with my dog, or hit the treadmill for a few minutes. I find that working up a slight sweat gets the endorphins pumping and completely changes the way I feel. I’m happier and inspired. Give it a shot. Put on your shoes, head outside and see what happens.
4. Change Your Surroundings
Another thing I love about going for a walk or a jog while in the middle of a creative slump is that it changes the scenery. Sometimes all your mind needs is to get away from those same four walls for a bit. Go to a different room. Do something new. Grab something to eat. Go for a drive. Sometimes I’ll even allow one of my friends to invade my space for a little while just to give my brain a break. My favorite thing to do when I’m resetting my brain is to go to a park or public garden and just sit for a while. The best part is, you’re very likely to see something that will inspire you.
5. Put That Phone Away
I know. I know. Our phones are pretty much attached to us 24/7. Although that’s great for staying up to date on everything thats going on everywhere, I’ve found that it’s actually pretty terrible for the creative process. I don’t usually have the intention of going on social media while I’m in the middle of a mental explosion of inspiration. It’s when that moment passes and I’m coming off of an inspiration high that I’m more likely to reach for my phone to see who texted me, who liked my Instagram post or who tagged me in something on Facebook. As soon as I enter that social media wormhole, I’ve killed my creative process. I even have to resist the urge to take pictures of what I’m doing while I’m doing it or I will get distracted with all the other fun things to do on my phone. It’s okay to take breaks while you’re on your walk or grabbing a bite to eat, but when you’re in your workspace, tuck that phone in a sweet little spot where you can find and cuddle it later.
Hopefully you found that helpful! If you did leave a note below. If you share my struggle with being easily distracted creatively and have found tactics that work for you I’d love to hear about them!