So you are stuck in a creative rut? I feel you! Sometimes, it can really feel like running out of gas.
It happens to me too, and I hate it when it does, especially when I was counting on being ultra-creative for a project with a certain deadline. Or when I find myself having a hard time thinking “out of the box” and just doing the same old things over and over again.
Rest assured, though. Maya Angelou once said, “you can’t use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have”. It’s true. Being creative is a mental, not physical job, so you got to treat that brain and stimulate it with things that do it good.
Here are my 3 favourite ways to do it:
1. Take a break from the obvious
When you’re looking to boost your creativity and your ideas, do you stop by the super obvious Pinterest and look at stuff other people have created? Yep, me too. Although it’s a pretty cool tool, it’s not always the best to unleash your true, personal creativity. It’s a place full of “finished” ideas, which doesn’t allow you to truly connect to your intuition and what makes you stand out from the rest. So when you feel like you’re in a creative rut, just take a break from it and seek inspiration where you wouldn’t normally look for it. Go for a walk in the forest and observe natural patterns. Visit your local museum and memorize colors that speak to you. Watch an old movie and check out the way people dress/move in it. Read a book from front to back. Scribble down the things that tickle your mind.
2. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone
Creativity thrives on all things “unusual” and stimulating that can happen when you push your limits. So get out of your comfort zone! Talk to people who are not your usual “type”. Don’t be shy – start a conversation with people who don’t think or live life the way you do. You might learn a few things from their perspective. Leave your car at home and take the train to work. Sit next to a stranger. Pick a strange vegetable in the grocery store and learn to cook it. Maybe even say “yes” to doing something crazy and childish for once. This will hit the “reset” button in your brain and will open up new opportunities and thoughts you didn’t even know existed.
3. Change your routine.
A teacher once told me that routine is the worst enemy of creativity. I totally agree! When all your days have a schedule that’s too repetitive, too similar, when you don’t allow yourself to switch things around, you will quickly feel that your creative energies are stagnating. The good thing is that you don’t have to do much to reactivate them, just look for something to make your day a little different. You can change the way you start your day for example. If you usually have a sweet breakfast, how about trying something salty? It might not sound like much, but trust me, there’s an activation that happens in your brain whenever you try something that’s usually not in your routine. I personally like to try new rituals for example, as they make such a difference to the way my day can unfold and how I think: miracle mornings, breakfast brainstorming, evening forest walks… And nothing is ever settled as I always keep looking for the next thing to try. This keeps me excited and creatively alert most of the time, even when life feels pretty dull (at periods void of social activity or travelling).
Bottom line: stay curious & keep life exciting for yourself. If you do, you will not only keep your creative levels high, but you’ll also be more likely to surprise yourself and even find things that you didn’t even know you were good at.
I hope that you found this advice helpful and inspiring! Have a lovely week everyone 🙂
Credits: visual (hand drawn graphics & hand lettering) by Kinlake.