How to Stay Creative and Motivated in the Summer

How to Stay Creative and Motivated in the Summer

Often the sleepy days of summer can mean endless Netflix binging and hours at a job that most likely wasn’t your first choice. If you’re like me and many of my friends, the perfect, inspiring, résumé-building internship did not exactly fall into your lap. The summertime can feel lethargic and discouraging as you leave four months of rigorous and passion-filled college hustle for days spent doing any number of odd jobs from waitressing to retail. As an English major in search of creative and career fulfillment, these are some of the ways I’ve found to keep myself creative and forward-looking, even in the suburban heat of mid-July.

1―Read. Specifically Big Magic by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. This is one of those books that you read and are instantly convinced that everyone and their mother needs to read it right now. All of the sudden you have six copies sitting on your desk ready for grad parties, retirements, and even birthdays. Maybe that’s just me. While admittedly cheesy at times, and falling into my oft avoided genre of “self-help” Big Magic explores the creative process and how we can bring it back into our lives be it as a writer, photographer, or painter. Big Magic got me back into thinking about how I write and create and even had me brainstorming on the sales floor. Even if you can’t be at school, you can still be learning and indulging in a little self-education.

2―Exercise. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not exactly the poster child for fitness, but this summer I committed with one of my best friends to train for a 5k in August. While I still groan every time my alarm goes off at 6:10 A.M., deciding to run with a friend not only keeps us both accountable but also gets our brains going for the day, talking out our ideas and plans as we glide through neighborhoods and let the endorphins flow. Running is my activity of choice as it does not really require any equipment and is a great way to take in the quiet nature of the early mornings.

3―Make a Vision Board. This is one of those “successful millennial” things I’ve been avoiding for a long time, but after some careful Pinterest research, I sprawled out on my bedroom floor surrounded by magazines and got to work visualizing my future, an exceptionally daunting task. But ultimately, assembling my life on a cork board was as freeing as I could pin my dreams of law school right next to an image of what I imagine to be the Editor-in-Chief’s office at Vogue. Visually laying out my goals helped me to re-center and remember what it was that I wanted and what I needed to do to get it. Decoupaged in vibrant colors and bold type, the future didn’t look all that scary. In fact, it looked quite bright.

How are you staying creative this summer? Let me know in the comments below.