Some have writers block and some people are stuck creatively at times. When I’m in one of my ruts, it feels worse than both combined. It’s not just writing my articles or coming up with photo shoot ideas. I describe it is an overall uninspired feeling and having a lack of motivation. It feels dark. My first year as a freelancer the feeling would come around often. The feeling of nothingness devastated me every time it occurred.
My desperate need for perfectionism began to hinder me in a big way. I thought I wasn’t human and that I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) take breaks. After all, my life depended on me working, literally. I didn’t know what self care was and ignored tending to myself. I put constant pressure on myself to put out content. Work and being an artist was put first and being a human second.
Now that I’m just over my two year mark, I noticed it happens less and less. I realized how important taking a break was. I’ve learned to let my creativity breathe while allowing myself to feel the depth of the rut. Most often it occurs during the cold and dreary winter months. I searched endlessly for ways to dig out and have come up with a list that has truly helped me relight my flame.
1. Travel – This, by far, is the best way for me to rejuvenate, recenter and refocus. It ignites something in me that I can’t quite put into words. I unplug socially (phones, etc). It cleanses me like nothing else can. As a freelancer, I have stopped traveling as much as I used to. Taking a road trip will still do the trick!
2. Working Out – Surprise, surprise! You all know how much I dig being active and how many benefits it has for your body. It increases my energy and heightens my confidence. It eliminates stress and boosts my endorphins.
3. Spend Time With People – I work from home most days which means no real interaction with people. Sometimes for days on end. Leaving my office and spending time with people helps! However, because I did invest in getting an office bunkhouse by people who are specialized in building amish sheds, I was able to make a great space to work from home, which does make it slightly easier to cope with some of the loneliness. Because I work from home (and don’t see people) I need to be kept up to date consistently to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page. I can go here to see about the best software to get this accomplished, and for someone who is away from the office, this is a lifesaver.
4. Being Outdoors – Getting a dose of Vitamin-D usually can do the trick! Hiking, beaching, walking around my neighborhood is a great way to shake things up.
5. Bath – If I had a bathtub, this would be my go to! I don’t, so my shower will have to. Light some candles. Play music. Stand there and let the water fall on you for a few minutes. Perfect for relaxing and resetting.
6. Music – Music does something to my soul. Live music does even more. I often listen to music when I work and I constantly have it on in the house. It lifts my spirit no matter the genre I listen to.
7. Change Up My Routine – I can become stagnant and sluggish when I work from home every single day. Switching up my routine by hitting a coffee shop or working outside has helped immensely. A small change like this can make a huge difference. Sometimes, I find that switching up my office layout in some way or introducing new items of office furniture can help break me out of a rut and provide me with new surroundings. To be honest, I think that if you have a comfortable chair and a sizeable desk, it can help you become more productive as it’s all about creating a space that you don’t mind spending a lot of time in so taking care to ensure that everything in your office is conducive to work is well worth the effort.
8. Give Myself Time – I put so much pressure on myself to work constantly in order to survive. Allowing myself the simplicity of time to not work for a small period of time, is okay. It’s actually necessary. (I’m working on that guilty feeling that comes along with it).
9. Attend Church – I attend church every Sunday and it inspires me every time. Sometimes I’m so moved I am brought to tears. If this isn’t for you, try to meditate.
10. Organize/Clean – This most certainly is weird, I am aware. I LOVE being organized and when I’m not it throws me off kilter. When my house is clean and organized I work better and more efficiently. Also being organized can additionally mean making sure that you have all your home insurances and home warranty plans sorted, to ease your stress. I recently got a home warranty plan (check here) because my electrics went out and I needed an electrician quickly (because I work from home), unfortunately, I hadn’t got the plan already so it took ages and cost me a lot of money, I have now learned from that mistake and I am more organized and ready for issues in the future.
11. Leisurely Read – I haven’t quite gotten here yet but would imagine it would help significantly. If I have “free time” I’m using that time to work. I day dream about just sitting down with a book and not feel guilty for doing it. A reminder to myself that it’s okay to do. I should require myself to do this since I enjoy it so much. I ought to do it everyday since it will improve my writing.
These may not all work for your, so try them out for size. Being active/working out also doesn’t mean being athletic or sporty. Probably one of my best suggestions on this list. I hope to leave you inspired!