Move from TIRED to INSPIRED: 7 Ways Jump Start Creativity
There are many excuses we can bring up when we're not feeling "inspired." I used to think setting aside more time would fix my lack of creativity or would help me create more, but have found this not to be the case. Rather than waiting for creativity to hit like a bolt of lighning, there are small, simple ways we can help ignite the spark of inspiration. These are my top 7, so feel free to add your own to the list!
1) RUN. I say it all the time, but running is the best way I know to transform me from being cluttered, foggy or less-than-alive into a clear-headed creative badass. Running is a strange, yet beautiful synthesis of strain and release. Running can help me think and problem solve, as well as meditate on what really matters to me. Rather than spinning your energy on meaningless things, you'll get an endorphin high and energy ready to be applied to whatever medium.
2) Sit in Silence. The start of many-a-meditation practice is a good destination in itself. Turn off the screens, unplug, lie down. Find a posture that is comfortable for you that will not simply lull you to sleep. For me personally, lying down is actually preferable. I find the tensions or anxieties I can carry sitting somehow drift off. Sometimes I am present to an overactive mind into rest, other times I simply recline and relax. It might feel like a waste of time at first because we're not "doing" anything, yet I always end up finding it rewarding. As Rumi said, "There is a place where words are born of silence." Perhaps all you need to do is create the space of being to let your ideas flow.
3) Phone a Friend. I use the term "phone" loosely, but you get the idea. Calling or sitting down to talk with someone you care about is a great way to reconnect you to your passions and purpose. Tell them how you are feeling, talk about where you feel stuck, get some input. Go to someone who you know cares about your heart and will not just pass the time chit-chatting. Enjoy the good company and see what happens, you could surprise yourself.
4) Read a book that inspires you. Pick up that old favorite or pick something up whimsically from the library to revitalize your inner conversation. There are few better ways to learn new things or shift your perspective on things you already care about. Sometimes I grow tired of my own voice. I want to make new connections, hear someone else's story, see things in a new way. For people who say books are boring, I say you're boring. Turn the next page of a book and spark the next action in your own life.
5) Journal. I don't mean keep a diary. I do mean create consistently in a personal way to jot down ideas, sit with the questions in your life and record some meaningful experiences. I know some people who are terrified of writing a book but already have journals full of information and stories. You have done most of the work already! Even if you're not looking to write a book, you can spark your own ideas and keep them for future reference. Record it. Write it down. Get it out.
6) Walk Outside Barefoot. Fight me on the barefoot aspect if you want to, but sensory experience is great for thought training. If you have been inhabiting lands of carpet, cubicles and concrete, your body could use a chance to reconnect to nature. Breathe some fresh air. Walk through muddy grass. Enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling things. Walking will boost creativity by giving your body a relaxed and rhythmic way to help your mind process, adding the barefoot component will help ground you in your body and environment.
7) Play like a kid. It doesn't have to be Lego, puzzles or action figures, but it does require you get out of your headspace that screams "Work, work work!" It might not even mean a change in activity, just a change in attitude. For me, climbing things, getting lost in play with my kids or throwing a frisbee remind me how life is for the living and not to take myself too seriously. Get the project and to-do list momentarily off your shoulders. Be a kid. PLAY.
You may have noticed, none of these exercises cost anything. Minimal equipment or investment is required. Whatever your excuse, from tired, bored or stuck in a rut... move on to inspired. If you are feeling down and out, this isn't about escaping from your feelings, it's about honestly expressing yourself in what you do. Move from tired to inspired. You can do it.