Ah, the winter. On our little mediterranean island, it tends to come quite late (and we’re not unhappy about that). But we’re loving those shorter, moodier days because they just provide such a comforting opportunity to just take a step back, take things slower. To be a little more mindful of the present moment, to introspect a little and make room for things that truly nourish our soul. Intentionally so.
To David and I, that way to live intentionally is through cultivating creativity. Sometimes it happens that we’re in a rut, or feel a little lost in time. It happens to everyone and of course that’s completely normal. Call us crazy though, but what we like to do in this case is not just take a break, but rather try to naturally sneak in little activities that can get those juices flowing.
Creativity is something that needs exercise. If you want it to be part of your daily life, it’s great to turn it into rituals for you and yourself only. We’ve recently come up with some favourite ones, that are perfect little additions in the short & gloomy days of winter.
I don’t know about you, but we find it so tough to get up in the mornings during winter. Just today, we had to leave our alarm clock snooze for about x10 times before we even opened our eyes – we do need to work on that, for sure.
That said, we have learned to embrace slow mornings. In the winter, slow mornings are not just something we do on the weekends, but also during the week. Yes, that will probably mean we’ll finish our workday a little later. But on the other hand, we find that taking your sweet, sweet time in the morning helps to wake up gently and get all your creative ideas in a good place before you rush off to your projects for the day.
Our recent little ritual (after struggling with the alarm clock) is to actually get up, make a slow brewed coffee and prepare some breakfast with fresh local fruits. We then actually have some proper sit down time together where we can chat about the day (or nightmares and revelations from last night). While we’re at it, we may grab an inspiring book or magazine in our collection, slowly flicking through the pages to get all some visual inspiration in. It’s such a good thing to do, because we really feel that it sets a positive, stimulating tone for the day. And sometimes many ideas, too!
I will admit that our friend Katie and her sketching sessions in the nature totally inspired this new ritual of ours. In the summer, it was a little too hot for us to hike here (plus we were crazy busy with the renovation of our house) but now that we have those cooler winter temperatures, we love to bundle up and go for a little walk in the nature just before the sun comes down. There’s something about those short days that just forces us to go out have that refreshing outdoor break. It’s good for our health, it’s good to appreciate the place we’re in. It also happens to be a great opportunity to hunt for inspiration or just to do something creative outside of the context of our home. There’s something really special about sketching outside, for example. Doing that while listening to the leaves rustling, feeling the crisp winter air, smelling those forest smells is a very special experience that heightens your senses. When your senses are heightened, so are your creativity levels. We’re definitely one of these people that get showered with ideas when we’re out in nature and I believe that it’s simply because it’s out of distractions and out of our usual comfort bubble!
If you’re in a creative rut, I would urge you to try this out. Grab some of your favourite tools in a backpack, grab a thermos with hot tea or coffee and just go get lost in nature for a couple of hours. You’ll see what a crazy difference it makes!
There’s something special about the winter days being so short, and the nights falling so early. It really feels that the evening hours get a longer chunk of the day, and because everything feels so calm during that time, it presents itself as a lovely opportunity for intentional creativity & self care. That’s definitely how we see it.
Sure, sometimes we would rather just lay in bed and watch Netflix, and that’s totally ok too. But recently we tried to limit that sort of passiveness and really make use of the evening hours to slowly and mindfully explore some activities that we love doing and that keep us happy – or as others would say, our “side-hustles”. In our case, it’s music for David, and art for me.
It’s just so special to be all alone, in a room where you can experiment with a new skill, work with your hands, perhaps find yourself in a trance (or a creative high) in those dark, quiet evening hours. It’s especially useful if you feel that you never take any time for a personal project or interest of yours. Do it and surrender yourself to it! That sort of ritual is an experience that you ought to gift to yourself.
What do you think about these little creative rituals? Do you think they would benefit you if you gave them a try? In what ways?
I hope that some of these inspired you to incorporate in your winter days. And if you have some rituals of your own that you’d love to share with us, please do tell in the comments. As you know, we’re always on the lookout for things that keep life creative & exciting!