Flashback to that time I rented a cabin by myself in Topanga Canyon, California and woke up at 4:30 am and watched the sunrise because I was on east-coast time. That was a good morning. The kind when you wake up feeling excited to take on the day.
Maybe you’re bored with your routine. Maybe your energy levels are low. Maybe something didn’t work out the way you wanted it to. Insert whatever situation is causing you to feel uninspired. Do you ever get into a rut where nothing feels exciting and you feel like you need a change to set things right? I’ve seen a lot of posts lately in regard to blogging inspiration, but I thought I’d do one that can be applied to life in general. I’m certainly not an inspiration guru, so these are just easy tips and tricks that have worked for me. Please share your own in the comments! What ideas do you use to shake things up?
I get some of my best ideas when I’m working out. I can’t explain why. I’ll be jogging along thinking about nothing in particular and then sometimes a great idea will pop into my head. Even if there aren’t any “Ah ha” moments, at least you will feel invigorated and healthy. Moving your body goes hand-in-hand with a healthy mind.
2. Get outside
Sunshine and fresh air is good for the soul. This could take the form of hiking, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, gardening, or even taking a solo trip to the mountains for the weekend. In my world, nothing is as invigorating as time spent in nature. Inspiration really can’t be forced, in fact quite the opposite, so if you just enjoy being outside and let your mind wander, unexpected things can happen.
3. Shake up your routine
You never know where you might find inspiration if you do something outside your normal routine, even if it’s small stuff that isn’t groundbreaking. Go to bed earlier. Make a smoothie instead of coffee. Call a friend. Wear a different outfit. Download some new music. Try a different shampoo. You name it, switching up the little things can make life a bit more interesting.
4. Cancel your Netflix subscription
We’ve all been there. Binge-watching Netflix and feeling bad about things. I once watched the entire first season of The Killing over the course of a week (January 2014, not my finest moment) and I could not have felt worse. Granted, it’s pretty much the bleakest show known to man and January is the worst month, but seriously, doing a passive activity for hours on end can really but a damper on the creativity. Just rent a movie on iTunes or watch Hulu next time you feel like a little screen time.
5. Start a new project
This may seem counter-intuitive to begin a new project when you’re not feeling creative. But if you start a project that really has nothing to do with your rut, then it can be a fun and needed distraction that can spark some excitement. For example, if you’re an artist and you’re feeling ho-hum about your work lately, don’t try to force a new series of paintings right away. Instead, plan a party (summer kick-off BBQ, anyone?), plan a vacation or a day trip, redecorate your living room, or do some spring cleaning.
6. Change of scenery!
I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone away on a trip and then came back feeling all kinds of inspired. If you’re like me and just forked over a bunch of money to Uncle Sam on your taxes this year, a vacation may not be in the budget. So just exploring a new town within a couple hours of your house can be pretty satisfying, too. Or, just go somewhere you’ve never been in your own city. Try a new bakery, visit a museum, walk a different hiking path.
7. Make ‘happy’ lists
At the beginning of a new season, I like to make lists of things that I find exciting. This spring’s list looks something like this: the new bird feeder I just installed; the smell of Mrs. Meyers cleaning products; Deliciously Ella’s recipes; colors: pale aqua, candy pink, spring green; Charleston, SC (I want to plan a trip); lemon water; that new Maroon 5 song, Sugar; scents: coconut and rose; etc. These are little things, but they are specific and I can bring more of them into my day to feel a zest for life.
8. Browse Instagram
Normally I wouldn’t recommend mindless smartphone use to find inspiration, but there are some crazy talented people taking pictures of their artwork, recipes, animals, nature scenes, style, or whatever interests you. I always discover new artisans, places to visit, and loads of other dynamite things when I spend 10 minutes browsing Instagram. One of these days I’ll do a blog post with links to my favorites.