There are days when I feel completely unmotivated. I don’t feel creative or productive, gravitate towards the T.V., and just feel plain bored. That ‘spark’ as you may call it, is just not there. While I don’t believe that you always have to be in the ‘mood’ or wait for the ‘right time’ to do things, the feeling of being inspired is a sensation that fuels me both creatively and productively (Elizabeth Gilbert describes this perfectly in her TED talk). So whether you’re facing a creative block, want to improve your healthy habits, need to be productive, or just feel stuck in the same place, here are my ten tips to get inspired:
Change your space.
Sometimes all it takes is a change in your environment. Walk around your city and discover a new place that you’ve never been to. I like spending time at the bookstore flipping through cookbooks, magazines, photography, and fiction books. Even going to the grocery store and staring at the colourful array of fruits and vegetables inspires me. Or settle down at a local café where you feel comfortable getting work done. The combined smell of coffee and baked goods, and the soft buzz of chatter blended with that all-too-familiar coffee-shop indie/jazz, helps me relax and lets my thoughts flow.
Look to nature.
Go outside and stroll through a park or trail and be inspired by the sounds and beauty of nature. Savour the view, the water, and the greenery. Notice the vastness of the trees, look up at the sky and just soak it all in.
I find that if I lounge around at home with pajamas on for too long, nothing gets done. Nothing. Dress up or put on your favourite clothing. Paint your nails. A bath or a hot shower, not only makes me feel clean (obviously!), but wakes me up and makes me feel refreshed.
Clean your room/home/office.
A cluttered desk and a messy room leaves no room for your brilliant ideas! De-clutter your work area and freshen up your living space. Spruce up your place without spending $$ by simply rearranging certain items or getting rid of junk. Pick up a small plant or fresh flowers. The simple act of cleaning up helps me feel like I have more breathing space and energizes me. These little details, as small as they seem, can make a difference in the way you perceive your space.
Listen to music.
There’s something about listening to a good song that has a way of heightening your senses. As weird as it sounds, I have a go-to ‘happy’ music playlist. There’s nothing like putting on your headphones and dancing (or jumping in my case) like nobody’s watching. Some personal favourites: Demons by The Imagine Dragons, Now is the Start by A Fine Frenzy, Can’t Take it In by Imogen Heap.
Go out for a run, walk, yoga, or any other form of exercise, just get moving! I find that exercising, not only brings me energy, but clarity to my mind. Start off the day with exercise and the rest of the day will feel like a breeze. If you’re busy working all day, even a short walk and stretch during your break can renew your mind.
Write in a journal.
What are your aspirations? Top palaces to travel? Summer activity list? Goals for two months or two years? What are you thankful for? Pick up a pretty journal and reflect on your thoughts at present, or use it as planner for your dreams.
Create tangible inspiration! Work on an inspiration board that you can fill with quotes, photographs, and dream destinations. Cook or bake and enjoy the process of making something delicious for yourself. Make something healthy and notice your energy levels after you eat it.
Surf the web.
While I don’t encourage increased screen time, blogs and sites like Pinterest are a fantastic resource for recipes, DIY, crafts…the list is endless. A quick scroll through those pretty pictures is enough to get me excited and inspired for projects I’d like to do (just make sure you’re not spending too much time on the web).
Talk to or hang out with a friend.
Engaging in conversation and hearing my friends’ plans, thoughts and words inspires me. Friends have this character that makes them both lovable and admirable, so make sure to set aside time to spend with them (and don’t forget your wonderful family!).
Bonus: The eleventh and, in my opinion, the most important tip is to believe in yourself, as cheesy as it sounds. Remember: you are enough. None of these tips will be valuable to you unless you actively work to inspire yourself, with your passion, talents, and wisdom. Stay inspired and inspire others.
These are some things I do to be inspired. What do you do to be inspired? Are they similar or different to mine?