It can feel impossible to have a coherent thought when you are feeling a bit ‘blah’ let alone a shiny, creative idea – but it is possible. Especially if you just say “YES” and plough ahead into creativity without a second thought, YESvember style.
You might find that the simple act of being creative and occupying your mind makes you feel less ‘blah’ and sends you in an upwards spiral towards positivity and – you guessed it – even more creativity!
Here are some ways to light the spark of creativity when you are working from home, feeling under the weather or just a bit glum..
Feed your mind
If you can, get to a new exhibition or if you are isolating or just too darn chilly, find inspiration content online – but look beyond what you know and love, try something new. Jean Marc Moncorger, author of Créativité – Un Nouveau Regard? (Creativity – A New Look) says:
“To move from a ‘normal’ state to a creative state, you have to add ‘elements’. In order to create a chemical reaction, you have to mix things together. It’s the same with creativity! Creativity doesn’t magically descend from the sky.”
He’s right, it doesn’t.
Your mind relaxes and has space to rewire itself and grow when you play. Maybe that’s why kids do so much of it. Or maybe they just do it because it’s FUN. If you have kids, join in with them, build a pillow fort, have a kick about in the garden and be silly for a while. If you are child free, play with yourself! By this we mean allow your mind to wander, take time out from your routine to imagine or dance around your living room. Draw the minutiae of your day, make up a story about one of your neighbours in your head or put yourself in the shoes of a movie character and imagine what you would do differently.
Connect with nature
Getting out and about is not just good exercise, it helps your mind feel happier and more creative. A psychological study that looked at the impact of nature on creativity found that spending quality time outside improves people’s creative potential. Fifty-six people who went on a hiking trip took an assessment that measured creative potential using word associations. Twenty-four took the test before they began the trip, and the other 32 took it on the fourth day. Those in the latter group performed much better.
Researchers ultimately found that spending time in nature improved creativity test scores by 50 percent. Off you go – have fun and be home before dark.
Being bored makes you less boring, ironically. Think of those rainy days when you and your friends or siblings were stuck indoors and you made up the wackiest games. Instead of stuffing your mind with endless box sets, switch off and allow your brain to provide the entertainment. Even better, team up with a friend – preferable a creative one – and be bored together. You may write the next ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, invent a new recipe or simply flex your brains in a different way.
Completing a challenge, whether it is climbing a mountain or simply getting out of bed makes us feel good about ourselves. If you are struggling to find creative motivation, set yourself a weekly creative challenge to push you into action. Maybe take photos of something ‘red’ or ‘round’ all week, complete a jigsaw puzzle or write a blog post. Reward yourself with the glow of accomplishment and maybe some chocolate.
Whack on our YESvember playlist to get you started and watch this TED Talk about saying YES to keep you going.