You’ve been there. Maybe you’re even there right now:
– You’re tired and depleted
– You have a heavy heart
– And you’re out of ideas
Your creativity which once was bubbling over seems to have gone dry and you miss it. You feel like you should be doing more. You’re judging yourself for not being as creative as you were in the past.
There was a time, maybe when you were younger when you couldn’t wait to pull out crayons or paints or direct a play and put it on for your parents. And you want to feel like that again.
Your creativity is one of the most deeply nourishing resources you have. And please, don’t tell me you’re not creative.
The nature of being human comes from a mutation that resulted in the brain never fully maturing – that’s why we can still learn new things at every stage of life. Since our brains stay stuck in the learning state, they thrive on playing and experimenting. This is creativity. Everyone who has a human brain is creative. And by that, I mean you!
But if you’ve lost touch, don’t despair. There are small and simple steps you can take to reconnecting with your creativity.
Here’s 6 Ways to Fill Your Creative Well:
1. Walk alone in nature or in an urban park.
The natural world is the ultimate work of art. Beautiful wild 3D living sculptures, rich colors, the soundtrack of birds or rain pitter pattering and bright and beautiful smells. Studies also show even being in a grassy patch of a city reduces stress and stress is the enemy to your creativity.
Walking in a park will leave you relaxed, playful and inspired. So start with 20 or 30 minutes and see how it feels. If it feels good, stay longer. If not, 20 minutes is enough.
2. Do playful low stakes creative activities.
Do something creative that you’re not going to show to another living soul. Be as silly and wild as you dare. Make something but don’t worry.
Pull out a script that you like and pretend to be a character in your bedroom. Or paint something. Or make a collage. Or sing in the shower.
You’re not going to sell it or even post it on social media, it’s just for you. Draw. Scribble. Sing. Write a silly story.
Start small. Set a timer for 15 minutes. If it feels good, keep going. If not – 15 minutes is enough.
3. A prescription from the creativity doctor…
Take one week off from doing professional creativity.
And if you’re reading this section thinking, “WHAT?? I’ve never done anything professionally creative in my entire life!!” Don’t worry, number four is the prescription for you.
But if you have deadlines or work obligations, see if you can schedule 5 or even 3 days where you don’t work on anything that you’re going to submit or publish.
Let yourself rest for a little while. Fields need to go fallow so the nutrients can be replenished. And so do you and your creativity.
4. Alternative prescription…
Now if you’re at the other end of the spectrum where you never share your art or creativity publicly, you might need the opposite prescription. Art isn’t meant to be created in a vacuum so you need to share some of your art publicly in order to get the creative juices flowing.
Try sharing one tiny piece of your creativity, 10 seconds of a song or 30 seconds of your play on Instagram or Facebook. Or one photo or a draft of a painting or a line drawing or a pic of your half knitted scarf.
You’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised by the support from your family and friends. Or if social media is too scary, email it to 5 friends to start.
There’s an alchemy that happens when others experience and respond to your creativity. Tap into that source of inspiration.
5. Start a gentle sleep routine.
In order to be your beautiful, creative self you need to be as rested as possible. Now if you have a newborn baby this might not be possible but for the vast majority of us, it is.
One night this week turn off the lights one hour before you want to go to bed and use low light or candles.
Put all screens away. Read fiction or listen to music that you love or anything else that is gentle and nourishing for you. Create a beautiful cozy nest to go to sleep.
You won’t regret it.
6. Know what to do when you get overwhelmed.
As I mentioned earlier, stress is the enemy to creativity. So you need to know how to defuse your overwhelm. What works for each of us is different but I wanted to share the exercise that works the best for me. And don’t worry, it’s only 10 minutes.
I this exercise learned from Buddhist monk and writer, Pema Chodren and the anxiety begins to melt away even more.
It’s breathing and some focus that really helps me to feel calmer and more grounded. Oh and bonus points – you don’t have to do any strange arm movements so you can really do it anywhere and no one will know ;).
I’m including the audio file too so you can download it on your iPhone and have access to it at any moment.
Overwhelmed? Try slipping into the hall or into bathroom and listen to this exercise on your phone and you’ll begin to feel a sense of relief.
And even if you just do one of these 6 steps this week, it will support you in filling up your well. So choose one and start small.
And even if you just do one of these five steps this week, it will support you in filling up your well. So choose one and start small.
You’re going to feel more alive afterwards. You’re going to wake up feeling satisfied.
Creativity is your birth right, even if you never sell your art. It’s part of being human. So take good care of yourself and try a drink of the magical elixir that is creativity.
Take good care of yourself,
Career Burnout Coach
PS Feel free to hit me up in the comments or shoot me an email if you have any questions!!