Whether you’re stuck on that essay you’re halfway through and just want to call it quits or are feeling uninspired on a new photography or graphic design assignment, a creative slump can be a killer for your confidence and productivity. But every creative, whether a painter, musician, writer, or entrepreneur, has hit an imagination low at one time or another. I’ve gathered together some easy ways to press the reset button on your ideas. Just remember that sometimes a little patience and fresh perspective are all you need to get inspired again.
- Meditate. Close your eyes. Yes, really. A study by Leiden University found that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. It also relaxes your body, helping to calm anxiety and move you into a new state of mind.
- Brainstorm ideas with others. Sometimes it’s all about getting another brain into the equation. Try spitballing scenarios with two or three friends—you don’t need to use everything that comes to mind, but collaboration helps bring new ideas to the table.
- Doodle. Not a visual artist? No worries! As reported in Time, doodling even without a clear goal has been proven to improve your focus.
- Try stream-of-consciousness writing. Write down every thought that comes to mind, even if you feel like you’re writing gibberish. After you’ve moved beyond any anxious thoughts or fears, new ideas will start to emerge. Put that pen to paper and see what happens.
- Go outside. Sometimes all you need is a little fresh air. Taking a walk or hike can clear your mind of stress and help you focus.
- Get inspired by history. By watching a movie from decades past or putting on some golden oldies, recharge by revisiting the classics.
- Know your peak creative time of day. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Figure out when your mind is completely on, when you are at your most alert, focused, and energized.
- Exercise. Need some motivation to get moving? In another study by Leiden University, cognitive psychologist professor Lorenza Colzato found that individuals who exercised four times a week were more creative than those who lived a sedentary lifestyle.
- Switch up your medium. By testing your creativity in a different area, you’ll not only expand your mind but also give yourself a self-esteem boost.
- Go to a museum, concert, play, or performance. Whether it be with live music or a simple stroll through your school’s gallery, seeing other artists’ passion and work can be super inspirational.
- Step away from your work. Oftentimes, it is best to step back from a project for a minute if you feel like you’re hitting a block. Doing so can help you see your piece in a new light and free your creativity from perfectionism.
How do you improve creativity and get out of a creative slump? Comment below with any additional tips!
Featured image by @kelly.carbery.