Connections, Coffee & Confidence
5 Ways to Rekindle Your Creativity
What do you do when your creativity takes a hit? When you can't find a spark to nurture, let alone fan into a flame of amazingness? When you can’t think of a single thing to post on FB or Instagram and you are wondering if anyone would notice if you skipped sending an email to your subscribers. Or you think you’ll just re-use last year’s product line for this year’s new season release. Today I have five ideas for regaining your creativity.
**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time? Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.
I’m releasing a one hour recorded masterclass on my strategic social media content method on August 18, 2021. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know that I firmly believe in using social media as a tool to move your business forward and this masterclass lays out exactly how I do it.
By the time it’s over:
- you’ll have 30 days worth of strategic content ready to be created,
- you’ll know how to create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals,
- the four foundations of creating the visual,
- and a few little tips of my own to keep you rocking.
I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go to www.janicefogarty.com to get on the waitlist or better yet, to join my email list - because my email subscribers and facebook group members always get first dibs and special pricing on my offerings.
- Do what you love: Even when you don't feel like it (5:06)
- Try something totally different (6:16)
- Get into nature (8:09)
- Get your butt in gear (10:02)
- Clear your mind: Focus (11:43)
Also mentioned in this episode:
- Don't Waste Your Breath guide on creating your own strategic messaging, based on your business goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)
- Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download on How to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist (https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)
- Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need 10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget (https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)
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Hello and welcome to this episode of the Connections, Coffee & Confidence podcast with me, Janice. We’re heading into what are known as the dog days of summer. Where the heat has settled in, sapping your energy to do anything but find somewhere to relax and cool off. It certainly takes a toll on your desire to be productive and creative. But no matter what time of year, the inevitable always happens. Your spark, your inspiration, your creativity takes a dip. It might not happen often but when it does, it can be... stressful. As a matter of fact, I find it tends to happen when things are already stressful; nothing like a pile of stress to stifle your enjoyment of, well, pretty much anything.
So what do you do when your creativity takes a hit? When you can't find a spark to nurture, let alone fan into a flame of amazingness? When you can’t think of a single thing to post on your facebook or Instagram and you are wondering if anyone would notice if you skipped sending an email to your subscribers. Or you think you’ll just re-use last year’s product line for this year’s new season release. Today I have five ideas for regaining your creativity.
Before I dive in, I want to give you a heads up that I’m releasing a recorded masterclass on my method to create strategic social media content on August 18, 2021. In it, I’ll lay out the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is cohesive and helps them reach their business goals. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know that I firmly believe in using social media as a tool to move your business forward and this masterclass lays out exactly how I do it. By the time it’s over, you’ll have 30 days worth of strategic content ready to be created, you’ll know how to create your own messaging to ensure each post or live is pushing you towards ticking off your goals, the four foundations of creating the visual, and a few little tips of my own to keep you rocking. I work you through a live example so you can see exactly what I mean and how the method works in real life, not just theoretically. Go to www.janicefogarty.com to get on the waitlist or better yet, to join my email list - because my email subscribers and facebook group members always get first dibs and special pricing on my offerings. And, it goes without saying, I’ll have all of this information in the show notes for this episode.
So creativity. Everyone has some form of creativity, some of us are lucky enough to get to use ours in our work. And I say ‘lucky enough’ but to be real, it doesn’t feel like such a blessing when you need to create something but your well has run dry. You know what? That’s actually a really good example of when you know your creativity has dried up, you resort to trite sayings such as ‘the well has gone dry’. Not terribly creative although still fitting.
Even when you aren’t using your creativity at work, you want to encourage a certain level of it in your personal life. Creativity helps you with problem solving, with seeing different perspectives, with generating new ideas and new ideas can lead to all kinds of amazing places. Or nowhere, but they’re fun to have and fun is good. Creativity is recognized as a character strength because it’s recognized as contributing to a person’s perceived wisdom. Creativity and innovation are frequently credited as the source of increased positive feelings and hope. It feels like no matter who you are or how you use it, creativity is a terrible thing to lose.
But it happens.
So what do you do to bring yours back to life?
My first suggestion is to do what you love to do, even if you don’t feel like it at the moment. Like to read? Grab a book or a magazine - try for some actual paper in your hands as the tactile experience is more immersive but get some words in front of you. If you like to pet your dog, I’m sure he or she won’t complain. Paint, cook, I bake. Baking is something I need to focus on because I usually go for a new recipe and it takes my mind off of whatever. It’s my safe space and I usually know how to tinker with a recipe a bit to make it my own and that immersive and sensory process lifts whatever’s blocking me. But that’s me. If you’re deep in a funk, you might not feel like you want to do it at that moment, but if it’s something that you really love and you give it a solid chance, often you’ll find your flow and slip into a state of relaxation. And a relaxed mind and heart are creative.
My second suggestion is a bit paradoxical. Try something totally different. You know how they say a change is as good as a rest? Well, here’s your opportunity to try it out. You might surprise yourself with what you find you like or have a hidden talent for. When you try something new, that’s when the potential for increased problem solving and perspective changes come into play. And even if it turned out to be something you really didn’t like and will never do again, it unlocks something inside of you, something that tells you: you are a survivor; you are a ‘keep your feet firmly on the ground’ person, you’re more of a nightclub groover than a ballroom dancer. There’s no wrong thing to come out, barring physical or psychological damage of course but I assume that you’re choosing a safe and legal activity. When you think about the outcome, don’t fixate on the concrete - look at outside of the thing you made or the whatever it was. I guess it’s in the perspective you use to review the experience that opens you up. Were you exhilarated by the physical, is it a clue to try something else active? Were you lost in the process but not the steps themselves? Like, you enjoyed having a series of activities that led you to the end but the things themselves didn’t rock your world - and maybe you can look at trying to incorporate more pastimes that involve a workflow or revisit your own workflow. Worst comes to the worst, you may have met some new people, crossed something off your to-do list, and got a story to tell in your next live or in your email. All is not lost if you have a story. See? It’s in your perspective!
Third on my list is getting into nature. I know it’s not the easiest thing for everyone to do on a grand scale but even if you have a window box or a flower in a pot on your desk - give it some time. I am not ashamed to say I talk to my plants. And my dog but that’s widely accepted, right? There’s research that plants grow bigger when you speak to them but I’m talking about communing with the plants for your benefit; extra flowers or whatever are a bonus. But if you can, get outside and be amongst some trees or water. Try taking off your shoes and standing on the ground, just some bare earth. If you can get to water and have a swim or walk the lake or creek or beach, soak it up. I’d even suggest finding some puddles and having a serious jumping session - guaranteed to make you laugh if nothing else but that still gets you outside. I could go into the whole discussion about earthing but I can’t find great science behind it. The Japanese have forest bathing where they walk in forests and the research shows that the air in the forest positively impacts walkers’ immune systems so there is something to the whole nature thing. And you know what, people tend to feel better after time with nature. So you do what you can with what you have access to. Personally, some of my most creative peaks have come after significant time in nature, be it walking the local beach, camping in the rocky mountains, or just weeding the garden. I’m a firm believer in this one.
Fourth suggestion is to get your butt in gear and move. I don’t care what you do, do something. Walk. That’s free. Do laps around your apartment, your property, the local park, the street in front of your day job, whatever. Go to the gym or get a Zoom trainer. Try Tasiya Haist from episode 24 if you want someone to work with and don’t know where to start, her details are in the shownotes and I’ve linked to the episode so you can get a feel before you approach her. Maybe you pop some music on and dance in the kitchen or living room or your bedroom. Try the gypsy kings or something with a fantastic latin beat to make you shake your booty and feel like a million bucks. Or maybe that’s just my jam. Get whatever shakes the cobwebs out and makes you feel like the most incredible person to grace your stage and hit repeat. Try kickboxing, yoga or pilates, swimming or skydiving. Get a second hand bike and a helmet and see how you go. A recent study and of course that’s linked but forewarned, it’s the actual scientific report not a synopsis, anyway the study showed that physical activity impacted a person’s innovation and creativity. It wasn’t that activity increased someone’s mood and then they were more creative, the innovation is a direct result of the physical activity. So move.
My fifth suggestion is to clear your mind. Or focus it on something. I know, I basically just said two different things there but roll with me, I’m about to get a bit soft and woo here. It’s often difficult for us to be creative when we have so much rolling through our mind. And when’s the last time you cleared your mind? There’s a wealth of information on meditating and journaling but I’m not going to inundate you with any of it. What I am going to do is tell you I journal every day because it helps remind me of what’s important and allows me the opportunity to clear out what isn’t. And I do the pen to paper journaling, completely tactile, and usually with a coffee in hand and before anyone else is up. That gets a bit messy sometimes, like in the summer when my youngest is up at the crack of dawn to cram as much into the day as possible so I hang out with him instead, let him kick my butt at games like Yahtzee or cards. But I know when I’ve been a bit lax in journaling because I struggle to focus, there’s too much happening in my head, so I make the time to do it. When I need the extra help, I find a guided meditation on YouTube and I’m grateful to be on Heather McGregor’s email list - do you remember Heather from episode 52? She provides regular opportunities to meditate with her and those sessions sweep the cobwebs and blocks and allow your flow to percolate back to life. That episode is linked in the shownotes, too. But the guided meditation works for me because it focuses me on what I’m doing instead of just floating through and finding myself mentally writing my grocery list, listening for the washing machine to stop and well whatever else is causing me to lose focus in the moment. But that's me. Find what slows you down, clears your heart and mind, and releases that band from your chest or your head that stops you from expanding and blocks your creativity. It might be in conjunction with physical activity such as yoga or even tai chi, doing double duty on the creativity block breaking. But maybe it’s a solitary action of meditation or journaling or painting, something that provides a focus for your brain, allows you to release the noise. Even just breathing, and Heather walks you through a breathing exercise you can do anywhere anytime to stimulate your flow.
Look, I know there are a thousand different things that you can try out to get yourself in a more creative state. The five I suggest today are to do what you love or do what you’ve never done before; get into nature, get moving, and get clear. These suggestions are kind of contrary to each other in some way. Try this or try the exact opposite. But there are as many options as there are people so check in with your gut, see what it’s telling you and follow it. Because what is consistent is the reported positive benefits of all of these options on your creativity. And that’s what we’re focused on today, flaming your creative spark back into a flame for the betterment of your work and your life. Such a cause is well worth a bit of experimentation, right?
Thanks for listening. I‘ll be back next week so until then my friend.