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Think of creativity as ocean waves; there are ebbs and flows. One day you might feel extremely inspired, creative ideas rushing in and crashing to shore. The next day you may experience a lull, the still quiet of a peaceful sea. Generally, it’s best to ride the wave of creativity rather than push against it.
Sometimes, though, you may find yourself stuck in creative rut with no sign of a new wave approaching. Here are five things to try when you find yourself in that space.
1. Go For A Walk
A little fresh air can work wonders for your creativity. As you walk, focus on the rhythm of your feet on the ground and allow your thoughts to drift. If you can, leave your phone behind and instead, enjoy your surroundings. Notice the color of the sky and texture of the leaves. Even a short five-minute stroll around the block can be the catalyst for your creativity to flow back in.
2. Have A Go-to Playlist
There are countless studies that show how music affects our mood, productivity, and creativity. Find or create a playlist that gets your wheels turning. You may want to listen to classical music, but I also suggest listening to music in a different language! I love listening to French music, for example. I can listen passively which creates the type of undistracted flow that lends itself perfectly to the creative process. Try out various styles of music and see what sparks your creativity in the moment. Then, save it on your phone so that you’ll have a go-to playlist.
3. Do a Brain Dump
Sometimes what stands in the way of our creative flow is feeling like our minds are too full of uncompleted tasks. When this happens, do a brain dump. Grab a sheet of paper and write down everything that comes to mind that needs to be done. From emails to send, to dates swirling around in your head, to ideas for a new project, write it all down. “Dumping” your brain onto paper creates space in your mind for creative thoughts to come out and play.
4. Watch a TED Talk
There are many wonderful TED talks on the subject of creativity. Some of them go into the scientific aspects about what makes us creative beings, while others speak about creativity as a muse that chooses when to interact with us. Hearing experts speak on creativity can take us out of our own heads, open up our perspective, and encourage us to keep creating. 5. Change Up Your Setting. Get out of the house, go work in an open space like a library or coffee shop. Alternatively, you can refresh the space within your home. Swap out artwork on your wall with something new o try that chair in a different spot. It can be as simple as adding a bouquet of flowers to your desk for a vibrant pop of color. Creating a fresh flow of energy in your home, or workspace, is one of the most effective ways to inspire creativity.
If all else fails, when you find yourself stuck in a creative rut, close your eyes and picture the ocean. Breathe deeply and remember that there is an ebb and flow happening within you. Your creativity won’t stay away for long.
D’Ana Joi is a lifestyle blogger, copywriter, and creativity coach who believes that having multiple passions is a gift, not a burden.