How to Get Unstuck and Rekindle Your Creativity During Winter (10 Tips & Tricks!) ⛄

Whether it’s the sunrise being later so chances are you’re commuting to work or school in the morning in the dark; and then earlier sunsets in the evenings so you’re commuting home in the dark also … it’s no wonder that dozens of studies have shown many humans are prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during winter months. In fact, studies have shown that about 5% of adults in United States are affected by SAD, and symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain and more. Yeah, it’s not fun. So with moods being off for many during the winter, often passion projects and creativity takes a back-burner. Now for some parts of the United States and many parts across the world, it’s nice and toasty warm where you are. 

Good for you. Totally jealous! No that wasn’t sarcasm, I am so over winter! 

And I admit, it takes a lot of self control not to hibernate all winter in front of the TV and catch up on your favorite Netflix shows. I know the feeling! That’s basically what I’ve been doing since the pandemic started in 2020, lol. But the last couple of weeks especially, I have really missed being productive in my Creativity – because the truth is, even though I hadn’t been physically creating anything lately; I never stop thinking about ideas. And sometimes, those ideas just scream at you to move and get it done! 

But when it’s so cold outside, and it’s so nice to just curl up with a hot cup of coffee and either your favorite book or TV show … sometimes finding the urge to create is tough – even if you have both desire and motivation to do so. Have you ever felt that way, especially in the winter? Well get comfortable, grab your favorite beverage and stay tuned because in this post I’m going to give you 10 tips and tricks how to overcome this and rock out your creative project you’ve been itching to get back into. And stay until the end, because I’ve got one awesome bonus tip for you that you won’t want to miss! So let’s get started! 

In this article: 

Tip #1: Review What processes you’re currently doing and review if they are still serving you… 

Which is just a fancy way of saying take a look at what you’ve been doing the last couple of weeks or so throughout your day. Sometimes it’s easy to just kind of go on auto-pilot through the motions just to get everything done on your to-do list. But how about that to-do list? Does everything really have to get done by you? Right now? Are those little steps in your morning and/or evening routine still benefiting you or making you happy? Or are they there just to feel busy? If it’s the latter one, see if there is a way you can delegate that task or maybe find another time of day to do it. Sometimes it’s more important that a task gets done, not always important when during the day that it gets done. So maybe you can use that time to carve out some progress of your Creative project! Who knows, you might be surprised what you can move around your schedule outside your obligations. Sometimes switching up when you eat, for example, impacts the rest of your morning or evening. Just be sure your’e staying well nourished! 

Tip #2: Let go of the processes that are no longer serving you… 

Kind of similar to tip #1 but that is just the first step! Taking time to review what you’ve done is great, but there’s more to letting go than just knowing where you’ve been. Really be honest with yourself and see what is working and what isn’t! Not sure what is working? Maybe ask others in your network of family and friends what they do for ideas. Or check out Pinterest, Tik-Tok and YouTube for Morning and Evening ideas as well. There is a TON of videos out there on the perfect routine. Just remember one very important thing: that’s what works for THEM. It might not be your thing. And your routine doesn’t have to be fancy or extra just for internet clout. But it’s a place to start for searching for ideas. Because if your feeling stuck creatively, there might be something else going on that is making you feel stuck. I can’t tell you what that is as I’m a writer not a psychologist, and that’s where a little introspective comes in. 

Extra Tip: don’t have time to journal? Use the voice memo app on your phone to make an audio entry! Sometimes recording private thoughts even in audio form is a great way to clear some mental space to make room for creativity. 

Tip #3: Remember why you started your creative project in the first place….

Sounds easy enough, right? Just remember the moment you started your project? Well … almost. Sometimes the hard part of this step is remembering how you first felt about that project! Get excited again! Pretend like you’re starting for the very first time. Do you have a movie or TV show you love that you wish you could watch for the first time again? Well, that could be YOUR project. Just remember how exciting it was when you first started! That feeling probably hasn’t been lost. You just got boggled down by other responsibilities in life or perhaps you’ve gotten in such a rhythm of your current project, that maybe the spark has died a little bit. And that’s okay. Sometimes that’s part of the process. The important thing is to find joy in creating again! 

Tip #4: Talk to other creatives…. 

The good news is this tip IS as easy as it sounds. And super fun, too! Just jump onto Twitter, Instagram, Facebook wherever you hang out and join in the conversation. This one is almost a sure fire way to get inspired! Because after all, creativity is contagious! 

“Creativity is contagious.
Pass it on!”

-Albert Einstein

((Is that a tattoo-worthy quote or what?!)) 

Extra Tip: Twitter Spaces is an incredible way to get inspired by other creatives! Not just authors on there burt artists, musicians and more!

Tip #5: Perhaps take a self-care break … but don’t give up! 

If you’ve rolling your eyes at this article because you’ve tried everything under the sun already and still can’t get your nose to the grindstone on your creative passion project, not to worry. Perhaps then it’s time to walk away from it. Just for a couple of days or even a week! You know what they say: absence makes the heart grow fonder. It might surprise you that your muse will be singing your name again soon enough! Just please don’t give up! The world needs to hear your passion! I added the “don’t give up” part because after my novel got so many negative reviews, I almost did throw in the towel! But even though I wasn’t creating physically, as mentioned, the ideas would never leave me alone. Especially when it seemed I was trying to sleep! Leave a comment down below if you can relate to the muse bothering you in bed thing. What’s up with that? 

Tip #6: Try changing scenery if you can…. 

Sometimes travel isn’t always an option. Especially these days. But you don’t have to go somewhere far away to get a different point of view! If your area is safe, try going for a walk around the block or even to your local park. Mix it up! I know, I’m not an outdoorsy person either, but even I admit sometimes all one needs to feel creative again is some fresh air through their lungs! You never know! 

Tip #7: Go for a drive or a train ride if you have access to…

Similar to the last tip, a change of pace is good for the muse! I know personally I get my best ideas on the road. Which could be dangerous. Because by the time you get home, you could potentially forget! Also dangerous if it distracts you from driving. But if you’re able to go for a longer commute than normal and take the backroads home, just get lost in your fave music and think about your project. If you have a super great idea, try pulling over if it’s safe to do so and jot a note down on your phone or do a voice memo. I remember when I lived in Chicago, I’d especially get ideas on the train! Be it from people watching or conversations over-heard, I totally got inspired to. Coffee shops I hear also work great. But again, only if it’s safe in your area to do so. Because staying safe and healthy is crucial. 

Tip #8: Switch projects to spice things up…

Sometimes when NOTHING I do can make me work on a project, it turns out that more work is actually the answer. I know, I was surprised by that too! But it sort of makes sense. At least for me, the muse is a fickle thing. And sometimes a jealous thing. Kind of like Tinkerbell level of jealousy of Peter Pan paying attention to Wendy instead of her. That’s what it reminds me of, at least. So what do I mean by more work is the answer? 

If you can, try to work on another project instead of your current one. Sometimes even three projects at a time is okay! Just don’t overdo yourself to the point of burnout. But if you focus on another project now, that way you’re not spending all your time daydreaming about Project A, and feel accomplished about Project B. Sure enough I bet soon enough Project A will feel jealous, and knock some ideas into you! Then you can either write those down and continue with Project B, or you can say sorry to Project B and work back on Project A. Totally your call! 

How many projects at a time do you find yourself working on? Does multi-tasking overwhelm you or inspire you? Let me know in the comments! Always so much fun to hear how other Creatives work! 

Tip #9: Change other areas of your life like type of foods you eat or fashion styles…. 

Keeping on theme of variety being the spice of life; maybe you don’t want to tackle another project. No worries! Try getting variety in other areas of your life. Maybe you LITERALLY need to spice things up. Try different type of cuisines or flavors in your meals. Try making something fun at home. Can’t cook? No worries, that’s the magic of YouTube University! Literally I don’t know where I’d be without YouTube. It makes a master chef even with the likes of me! 

Cooking not your thing? I get you. Try changing up other areas of your life that you can control. Like your fashion, cleaning routines or any other areas like that. The point is to get out of your rut! Small changes can lead to something big! Or they just might inspire the muse. Cleaning can be inspiring? Surpassingly yes! The mind does like to wonder when doing mundane things like laundry and dishes, so try to go with the flow when you’re doing those tasks, and try to listen to your muse! After all, inspiration has been known to strike when you’re least expecting it to! Sometimes those are even the most fun ideas coming from doing everyday tasks. 

Tip #10: Imagine you’re on the beach! 

Okay, this is probably the most fun of them all! Because no matter how old you get, your imagination is the most powerful tool your own, and no one can take it away from you. 

Back in early 2020 before Covid hit, I worked outside as a car salesperson (gag, yes I know!) my jerk of a manager did offer one good tip. When he asked his sales staff what the weather was outside one cold rainy afternoon, we of course answered with logic: rain. He said WRONG! It’s 75 degrees and sunny outside! The rest of the group seemed confused, but I totally understood it because it was a trick I also used in Chicago.

Go to your mental beach! It’s not as crazy as it sounds and could even be fun! The best part is it doesn’t matter if you’ve never actually been to a beach in person. You get to create your very own private beach! Without the expensive price tag! And no, we won’t judge you if you have a drink in your hand in toes in the sand. That sounds perfect for me! Although I at least recommend wearing a swimsuit in your imaginary beach, but hey, it’s your fantasy! You do you! Just have fun with it and imagine you’re somewhere tropical or dreamy. Bonus if you’re a writer: imagine being there with your characters! They might hang out with you and get you inspired again! 

And as promised, here’s your surprise bonus tip! You ready? Here you go: sound-therapy. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay extra for a specialist. Once again, it’s YouTube to the rescue! Try these dozens of choices for “Hypnosis for Creativity” or “Guided Meditations for Creativity” or other relatable searches that suits your needs. It might take a little bit to get used to if you’re unfamiliar with guided meditations and the like, but I find them super relaxing and inspiring! There are even types of hypnosis for creatives that work your subconscious while you sleep! How cool is that? 

So what about you? Are you struggling to stay productive on your Creative projects during winter? Does your muse dry up during this season? What are your fave tips to stay Creative during the Winter months? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks so much for reading! 

Happy Writing,

Claire Cre8tes 

Top 10 Tips on Coping With Overthinking as a Creative! #MondayBlogs

Greetings everyone! And welcome to my Monday series called Inspire to Cre8te where we deep dive into the behind the scenes of creativity including Mental Health of creatives, time management tips and more to help you feel motivated and not-alone in your creative journey!

Today we are talking about Overthinking!

Overthinking can be a killer for your muse as creatives. It can cause confusion, it can cause self-doubt, imposter syndrome or uncertainty if the project your working on is even with finishing or publishing. It can make you feel stuck.

In a Psychology Today article, they officially defined Overthinking as:

“Overthinking is a prominent characteristic of worry, rumination, and obsessive thinking.” Psychology Today then goes on to say: “…that many people have concluded that overthinking is part of their personality; they’ve not realized that strategies are available to counter this anxiety-indusing habit.”

Some writers at first might consider Overthinking a good thing because of plotting and character development needed to write their stories. And while plotting is super important, that’s not exactly what Overthinking is.

Overthinking is more like invasive thoughts that take away space in your brain for creativity.

So, what does Overthinking look like? While Overthinking can look like or have different experiences between person to person as every individual is unique, some common signs include:

  • Spending too much time on one thought or a recurring singular thought
  • Unable to relax or sleep
  • Thinking about the same thought on repeat
  • Stuck in Analysis-Paralysis
  • Unable to work on a project because too busy thinking rather than acting
  • Dwelling on the project instead of working on it

As you can imagine, it’s extremely frustrating thinking about a project rather than actually working on it, no matter how motivated or inspired you might be for the project. Sometimes it can make you feel stuck or like your letting yourself down. Yeah, if you couldn’t tell, this girl knows the feeling of Overthinking oh too well! You might say it’s the reason I haven’t been very creative the last few years. But, that could be another post for another Monday!

However, that is why I wanted to talk about Overthinking today. Because sometimes it does help knowing you’re not the only one going through it. Also, by talking about it helps normalizing talking about the mental health of creative minds, which can help spark ideas and help creatives be more productive and inspired.

So what do you think? Is Overthinking just part of some people’s personalities? Or is there actually some things that can be done about it?

Well, to quote the 11th Doctor: “I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of impossible dreams.”

Luckily, managing overthinking is in fact, possible. Here are 10 tips to get you started.

  • Start With Mindfulness. Sounds super simple but just becoming aware of the problem can help change your thinking pattern.
  • Question if the thoughts are helpful or even true. The brain loves our inner-critic and sometimes, often times, the criticism isn’t even true.
  • Try at least one action a day towards your project. Start small and build up to make creativity a habit!
  • Examine the worth of your goal: is this a good idea or just something to make me feel busy?
  • Review your WHY or your North Star. Remembering what got your excited in the first place or who you are doing it for really helps create that first spark all over again.
  • Talk about Overthinking or creativity with other creatives. I know when I’m in a creative Twitter Space, I can’t help but get even more creative!
  • Seek a therapist. Bonus if they specialize in creative individuals or Overthinking and/or Anxiety.
  • Join an accountability group! Having someone with the same creative goals as you can help you both make them!
  • Change up your working space. Does the space you create in inspire you? Even adding a plant or something simple can help shake it up!
  • Movement Every Day & Stay Hydrated! Don’t forget to take care of your body! Sometimes when we feel stuck we just need a little MOVEMENT and some good old H20 to get that noggin cooking again!

So those are just some of my thoughts on Overthinking. I know when I started researching about it, not just for this article but for myself too; it did help me become aware about it. I started falling down a rabbit hole of YouTube channels that specialized in Overthinking and how you could stop it. Here are a couple of super motivating videos that helped me: here and here for just some starters! Like mentioned, it does help not feeling like you’re the only one. Because that can lead to feeling like a “freak” or “weird” – which aren’t very helpful thoughts!

So go out there, talk to some other creative folks and get your inspiration again! Because thinking about being inspired and working on being inspired aren’t exactly the same thing. And YOU DESERVE your project to be completed!

Thanks so much for joining me today! Subscribe to this blog to join the Cre8tive Club!

🔐 Self-Care & Mental Health Lessons Learned From LockDown #MondayBlogs

[ CW:// Stress, Anxiety  & Depression Mentioned in this Article (Content Warning) ]

Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog! Been ages, I know. Motivation went out the window unfortunately in 2020. You know, I thought I was the queen of excuses, the Pro of Procrastination before … but 2020 has taken my ‘laziness’ skill onto a whole new level! Not a thing to brag about, trust me I totes know!

But you know, 2020 wasn’t all bad.

Being stuck at home and unemployed for seven months has left me with loads of time to self-reflect on, well, myself. So I wanted to share with you what I learned about Self Care and Mental Health in case they help you as well if you’re struggling with survivor’s guilt of the pandemic, the stress of unemployment/job hunting, or just general anxiety about all the Sh* going on in this crazy planet.

I almost titled this post “Life-Changing Lessons Learned From LockDown” for more clicky-click’s but I felt like that was too much of a clickbait and I care too much about my audience (that’s you!) to fall into that temptation.  Plus, the lessons I learned weren’t exactly ground-breaking or revolutionary, but they helped me cope through one of the most stressful years of our lives. It started with the Toilet Paper crisis and ended in 500,000 deaths in the US alone and counting of the historical coronavirus. So now more than ever, I think it’s important we normalize discussing Self-Care and Mental Health. Make it more than trendy buzz words, sharing our process can help others go through theirs. That, I do firmly believe. Sorry for using ‘now more than ever’, if you’re like me, you probably cringe every time an advert uses that line. But sometimes, the cliches just fit.

Anywho – let’s get on with what you’re here for! Lessons on how to survive stress and help make the days count.

Just a DISCLAIMER! I am not a health care professional or a psychologist. I STRONGLY advise seeking help if you feel a strong sense of hopelessness for a prolonged period of time. These are tips that have helped me, and I hope by sharing, you might get some nuggets of mental health tips. Right-o, here we go!

The Art of Meditation & Chakra Balancing:

If you’re a fan of the original Avatar the Last Airbender, then you’re probably already familiar with at least the main principles of Chakras. Basically, there are seven balls or aura’s of energy that connects inside of you to a higher power. The goal is to keep all seven chakras open so that you can release any unwanted or negative energy back into the universe where it can be redirected to where it is needed.

Learning more about the Chakras and keeping an open mind of the existence of Chakras has helped me control my emotions, set my mood, and aided with my ability to fall asleep faster. For example, if I was feeling exceptionally anxiety-induced, had a bad episode of restless leg syndrome, or feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere I would focus on my ROOT CHAKRA. When I *finally* got my day-job at a call center (hey, it paid them bills!) and my throat kept hurting every day from making 100+ calls a day, you guessed it … the THROAT CHAKRA helped me get a little more comfortable being on the phone for so long and the courage to speak up. And I used the HEART CHAKRA many times to redirect negative or sad energy that I absorbed from others as an Empath, especially customers who were dealing with loss of a family member, that I couldn’t shake off without meditating on the HEART CHAKRA.

There are plenty of other examples of how the Chakras helped me cope, but that could easily be a blog post on it’s own!

And, before you say the chakras are pseudo-science or a type of placebo … I used to not believe in them either. I just didn’t think they were for me. Boy, was I wrong! I’m glad I rediscovered the world of Chakras because they’ve greatly improved my mental health. And now I check-in on my Chakras almost every day!

But I separate mediation with Chakra Balancing because to me they are not the same thing. Both have their place and are equally important. And if you prefer one over the other, that is perfectly okay too! You do not have to do them both. But personally, I enjoy doing them both because it helps me calm down, change the narrative of my mental chatter into a positive one, and generally just connecting with the Self and the Universe in a meaningful way. Yeah, this stuff really does go deep. 

But how deep you want to go is always up to you! That is important to remember. You are in control of your thoughts; your thoughts do not control you. That is a lesson I have to re-learn almost every day. But you now what? That’s okay. It’s about giving yourself grace.

Using Meditation as Escapism:

While it maybe isn’t the greatest thing to use escapism to help cope with stress, anxiety, depression or insomnia, as some would call it running away or hiding from your problems instead of solving them, at least it is a safe outlet that helped me relax during the fear of the coronavirus era.

I know I am not the only one, because when I shared a particularly relaxing binaural sleeping track from YouTube to my IRL bestie, she said it was the first night sleep in a while without nightmares and she works in the coronavirus ward in a hospital. There is strong science how binaural beats work and using sound to tell the brain how to feel.

It’s actually very interesting how sound really can impact the brain. It’s really fascinating thinking how you can tell your brain to either relax or hype up depending on the types of sound wave frequency played by the music. The military is even exploring using it to help vets with PTSD. I personally use the binaural beats technique to relax at night and stay asleep (this track was the one that gave my bestie so much relief), or focus when I’m writing or working.

There are lots of YouTube channels that use the frequencies to either unleash serotonin (the happiness trigger), mediation frequencies that help connect you with the Universe or God if you’re religious, or even frequencies that claim to give you as much energy as coffee

All it takes to unlock these magnificent, almost magical tracks is a quick YouTube search. I strongly recommend YouTube Premium, so that you can shut off your phone and still listen to the tracks and not be disturbed by adverts. Now, I’m not saying you NEED YouTube Premium to highly enjoy these tracks, but it really is worth it.

The binaural beats are an easy way to escape your mental chatter and just relax or focus on what you’re actually wanting to work on (like writing or studying).

However, these music tracks aren’t the only way to enjoy an escape.
Guided meditations have been almost an addiction for me for a year and a half now, and I find myself listening to them nearly every night since.

My fave way to drift off into dreamland for a relaxing night’s sleep is to the soothing voices of Jason Stephenson, the Honest Guys, SleepTube music, and more.
It started out on a particularly dark night of the soul where my insomnia and depression felt especially helpless. I think I searched for “sleep depression” on YouTube and that led me down the happy rabbit hole of binaural beats, guided meditations and hypnosis therapy.

Of course, you should speak to your healthcare professional as none of these are substitutes for therapy or medication. However, in my own experience, I found these worked better for me than some of my medication. Again, that is just my individual experience so please don’t go in thinking this can be a cure-all. I found the guided meditations and hypnosis sessions just helped me sleep, which sometimes with depression feels an impossible task. Just a warning, for me it did almost the opposite effect,and I found myself sleeping too much. So again, just a precaution. Definitely recommend you set up a few alarms to wake up in the morning, as at least with me, the hypnosis meditations especially would let me sleep for hours and hours … well beyond the recommended seven to eight hour recommendation of healthcare professionals.

Now I did do a little bit of meditation back in 2019; and it helped a little bit going through the motions of everyday shuffle, but it wasn’t until about March of 2020 that I typed that fateful YouTube search and as they say, the rest is history.

I definitely recommend Headspace App and the Calm App to get started with mediation. Is important not to worry about “doing meditation right” or have any expectations going in. Just concentrate on the breath itself and try to clear your mind.

If you have depression, I highly recommend the Headspace App. There is a course there that helps change one’s relationship with depression, and it helped me through a spell in 2019. I only canceled it because I started to prefer guided meditations on YouTube, but I recommend trying a few out and seeing what sticks with you. Please note non of these are sponsored! Just personal recommendations. I will probably do a full blog post on my fave meditation apps, so stick around for that and follow my blog / subscribe to my youtube channel for more good stuff on mental health tips!

Self Care Lessons Learned in 2020 and 2021:

So, this is a very much do as I say and not as I do. Because I know if I do most or even half of these tips I would be much better off for it. But I keep adding it to my planner and my calendar with the hopes that one day I will have a “perfect day”. But between my procrastination and TV addiction, half of this Sh* just doesn’t get done. But I still plan and advise on these tips because they have been proven by hundreds of people to be effective, maybe even thousands of people. I’m sure you have heard some of these tips before, and the days I actually do them, I do feel much better. So here we go!

Check Your Chatter:

One thing I really liked about Headspace, was it helped me recognize the voice in my head, my inner critic, isn’t always your friend. For me, it more often was my worst enemy. My self-doubt grew to gigantic proportions after my debut novel Quest of the Prodigy got so many negative reviews. I felt I failed as an author, and therefore as that was what I recognized the most, failed as a person. I know, calm down the drama right? But that is what self-doubt does, blows things way out of proportion.

And Headspace helped keep myself in check. It seems every day I have to re-learn this lesson, but it’s always a good reminder. Sometimes when I feel so crippled by self-doubt I want to scream, I try to write down my thoughts in a journal or a voice-memo on my Apple Watch if I don’t feel like writing. Brain-dumping is a very useful tool for self-care! 

If you hate your handwriting like I do, I strongly recommend using your phone or smartwatch for a voice memo to brain dump. Even if you never listen to the voice memo’s again, which I usually don’t, it feels good just to get it out there. Imagine chatting with your favorite human to connect with like a parent or a bestie, and unload your thoughts onto that voice memo. Don’t worry, it should be that only you have access to it, so don’t worry about others judging it. And, try not to judge yourself as you speak into the microphone, just let all of your thoughts go.

Think About Others: 

I’m in no way calling you a selfish person! But sometimes when you have Depression or Anxiety, it’s easy to only focus on your to-do-list or your problems. I believe that’s just natural.

But when was the last time you texted your friend or family member? Or better yet, when was the last time you called them? Can you go shopping with your friend (even if it’s shopping online together)? Can you call your sibling and ask how their day was going? What about a cousin? The point is, try to make an honest connection with someone else. At least for that time you’re on the phone with them, you’re not thinking about yourself.

Dont’ have an inner circle? That’s okay. Think about volunteering to a cause that’s important to you. Like a food pantry or soup kitchen. Or donate to babysit a neighbor’s pet or child. You know, just throwing examples off of the top of my head. I heard that volunteering is very good for the soul. I should probably take my own advice and try it sometime!!! LOL 🙂

Get Moving: 

Okay! 🚨 MAJOR HYPOCRISY alert here! 🚨

I’ve had “workout” on my calendar for three years now, and have yet to get started lol.
In 2019 I was able to do Yoga a few times a week, but I quickly fell out of it when I failed to see results. I know, weight doesn’t get lost overnight (wouldn’t it be great if the fat could actually get up and walk away?) – so definitely don’t lead by my example, lol.

But time and time again do I hear that even walking 10 minute a day can boost dopamine, and I really need to try it!

Maybe tonight I will dust off my treadmill and do a 10 minute walk. Anyone want to take a challenge with me and hold each other accountable? Seriously just let me know!  Totally game!

But even if you don’t have any equipment at home, there are LOTS of free YouTube on equipment-free workouts you can do in the comfort of your living room!

I personally am not a gym person. I feel like I am judged too much by other patrons of the gym. But if you’re the competitive sort or enjoy taking group classes, I highly recommend it! Just bring your own hand sanitization wipes to reduce the possibility of getting the coronavirus that is still at large at least as of March 2021.

Cook At Home:

Not only is it healthier to cook at home, it also helps the brain. Lots of preservatives, extra fat, MSG and other not good stuff found in fast food and restaurants these days makes the food you eat go straight to your waistline. Not only does it help you gain weight, it’s not good for the brain.

In about 2017ish I gave up fast food for one whole year. Yes, I really did! I found I had more energy and my cognitive thinking was clearer. I did not lose the weight I wanted, but it was a good start.

In 2020 I ordered pizza about five+ times a month. Not only did I gain 45 lbs, I found I was sluggish and tired all the time. Gee I wonder why, right? The Pizza Diet is not one I can recommend, lol.

But back then I didn’t eat healthy because I didn’t think there was going to be a tomorrow. I did not think humanity was going to survive the coronavirus outbreak. Hella dramatic, I know. But that’s what depression does. Warps your reality. One could say Depression is a gaslighter. Tricks you into believing the worst.

So, I spent my days during lockdown glued to the TV and eating pizza. Papa John might have been happy taking my money, but my body wasn’t happy. And neither, was my mind.
But it wasn’t all pizza and takeout. I became a much better cook during lockdown!

I picked up an Instant Pot Omni Plus (not sponsored) and got into cooking big time!
I made a Copy-Cat Chick-Fila sandwich, amazing Pork Chops and Gravy and other dishes that made me almost want to become a professional chef!

While cooking was a fun hobby and created meaningful bonding moments with my mom as we cooked together,  it also was a dangerous one as I wasn’t watching my portions. It also helped contribute to my 45 lb weight gain, so I definitely recommend putting AWAY leftovers before you eat, so not tempted to eat the entire servings like I was. But, that’s just a tip from me on my own experience. If you have self-control, don’t worry about it! But for me, self-control, what’s that? I’m a totally all-or-nothing kind of girl, and I would love to be able to get better at that.  But hey, 2021 is still young, maybe I can work on that!

That is the great thing about your Self. There is always room for improvement!

So yeah, this article is a long one. But there are so many lessons when can learn from a stressful time like the era of coronavirus has been for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The stressful times are in no way over, but if we keep our own mentality about the times we live in, in check, then maybe, just maybe we can learn to enjoy existing and making every day count, just like those corny greeting cards tell us to.

Happiness doesn’t always come easy, but it’s easily always worth it. And yes my friend, YOU deserve to be happy. Don’t let anyone else, even yourself, tell you otherwise.

I hope these “lessons” have helped! A lot of them are stuff already known but forget every day.  I think the biggest thing I discovered in recent years was how amazing binaural beats and guided meditations / hypnosis have been. You do have to be careful who you let in your head. Do some research and make sure the person is legit, like a certified hypnosis. But even if they aren’t certified, read the comments of the video and see if they’ve helped others. If they have a large following i.e. subscriber count, and/or lots of positive comments on the channel, chances are you can trust them.

But people know these are stressful times. And bad people take advantage of that. So just do a little searching to make sure the guided meditation videos are there to help you. I personally haven’t come across any harmful ones, but just wanted to throw that caution there. Not to make you paranoid, because I genuinely believe most people want to help, but you know. Some people just suck. Not you though, I’m sure 🙂

ANYWAY sorry for that tangent. I think that is a good stopping place for this article. I hope it helped get you ideas on how to manage stress, depression and anxiety! My condition runs in the family, so I don’t think depression will ever truly leave me. But I refuse to be defined by it, and I refuse to live the rest of my life like I lived in Lockdown. A depressed pizza-holic who was anything but productive.

That being said, I am pleased I survived. And I will continue to work on my stress every day so that it doesn’t control me.

One thing I did re-learn was that I control my thoughts. My thoughts do not control me.

And I hope you have a safe and happy Monday, my friends! Be well! Stay safe! Stay Creative & Geeky!

~Claire

The BreakDown:

  1. Give Yourself Grace
    • Reflect Daily or Weekly in a Journal or brain dump
    • Treat Yourself As Kindly as you would your pet, a stranger or a friend
    • Make the space you spend the most time in comfortable and inspiring
  2. Keep Routines Simple
    • Keep it Simple! Instead of listing every single step on your to-do-list, try to group them in a category instead
    • Be kind to yourself if you don’t have energy to do everything on your list, even a little progress is better than no progress at all!
    • Keep trying then next day! Don’t give up on a goal just because you’re not on a winning streak, keep going!
  3. Life Does in Face, Move On
    • In 2020 it reminded me the world moves on whether you stay in bed all day or are actually productive. So do what is right for you! Do you boo, do you!

Got any tips of your own that helps you manage stress and mental chatter? Share in the comments below! Might help a fellow Creative Geek 🙂

Catch the Video version of this blog here and if you could kindly subscribe to my YouTube channel you’d be my BFF!!!! Cheers! 🥂

🔥Pivoting Goals Is NOT the Same as Failing #MondayBlogs

Hey guys! I’m finally back out of my rut! Real-life got in the way, and, uh, I had to work on some mental health issues but welcome back to Claire’s Cre8tive Club! The hub for porudictives, Cre8tives, and/or Geeks!
So today we’re talking about pivoting goals and why/when you should and how it’s NOT the same thing as a failure even though sometimes it might feel like it.
Hit that like button if you can totally relate to feeling uneasy about changing a long-term goal!
While I”m naturally a very indecisive person (see my channel rebranding video); I’m not talking about changing goals on a whim. I’m talking about goals you’ve been working on for months, years or maybe even your whole LIFE that *just* hasn’t manifested yet.
If you’ve been dedicated that much time, effort and maybe even money into your goal that’s still just a dream … when does it become SENSIBLE for a MIND SHIFT PIVOT?
I’ve found myself at such crossroads twice this year. And it’s really taken a toll on me mentally. Because at first it didn’t feel like growth. It felt like a fail. It felt downright unfair. I’m not one to give into the “why me” syndrome but at times when comparing how hard I worked to where I actually was – it felt extremely unfair.
I was a kind, hard-working person; why wasn’t I getting ahead? And, when is it time to change life directions? Well, I did a little soul-searching and I wanted to share my thoughts about changing long-term goals. Because when I realized I’ve been trying to be a morning person since 2014 — almost six years now; it’s likely not going to happen. But then I remembered just how long I’ve been a night owl. Since high school!
So let’s see, 17 years of being a Night Owl since Junior year of high school in 2002, about 17 years, versus 6 years of totally re-wiring my brain to convert from team Night Owl to team Miracle Morning 4:00 am Club. And I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, Claire, why not try 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM?”
Yup! I tried that too! Sometimes I could get up at 5:30 AM and still feel like a major win, but it still wasn’t satisfying to me because it wasn’t 4:00 AM!
I know, I know. I totally have a super bad habit of being an “all or nothing” kind of girl. And I’ve tried to work on that too. I know it’s not about all or nothing. I know every moment matters. But I find I’m unable to change that mindset. I really have been working on it the last month. And it’s been helping. But it’s hard to change who you are overnight!
But back to pivoting life goals; here are some tips on how to feel that changing major goals can be good, healthy and even motivating!
1. Think of it like a business plan and you’re the CEO of your own life.
If your goal is to workout before work in the morning, and you’ve spent years trying to mindshift into a morning person but just hasn’t been able to meet your annual goals … what would any boss do to that employee that constantly under-preforms?
Well, chances are, they’d be fired. Sadly, that’s the way the world works. So think of that as a separate entity of your mind; and give yourself permission to FIRE that goal. You will feel a huge weight off your shoulders as you HIRE a new goal to feel motivated in that failed goal’s place.
But sometimes it’s hard to let go of an employee.
To help move on during internal company transitions; give your old goal a proper “exit interview” so YOU can feel a sense of closure. And maybe don’t think of it that you failed that goal; but rather, that goal wasn’t moving the company’s business model forward … i.e; your lifestyle, in a better direction. By giving it a proper send-off, you can also give yourself permission to move on and grow from the mistakes or perhaps what about that goal didn’t work for you.  Write down these thoughts and reflections in some type of journal as a way to truly let that employee go so your Biz can move on!
2. Keep a record of all the times you’ve tried before.
You don’t need a complete diary or memoir (unless you want to!) but write down a few milestones of memories that your goal DID go well. When you glance down at all your achievements were successful, this will help you learn some lessons from your goal. And give you a reminder that it all wasn’t a total waste of time. I think, at least for me, that’s why it feels like such a fail. Because maybe you don’t have anything physically manifested from your efforts and time. So, it may truly feel like a waste.
BONUS TIP: When you do find another goal to replace that former employee, try keeping a brief track record of when you achieve that daily goal. Maybe just choose a color pen to represent that goal, and either write a checkmark or an X if you didn’t do it that day.
That way, you can feel the progress happening or not, even if the results aren’t yet visible to anyone else. Like working out for example or studying a new language.
Whatever your goal, by tracking it every day or at least once a week, you can give yourself a bit of a progress report. This may help motivate you to go forward because you’ll be excited when you see all of those checkmarks!
3. Call it an experiment.
One way to really help make a ‘failed’ goal not feel like a total failure is simply rephrasing it in your mental chatter. By calling it an experiment, it almost sounds natural that it didn’t work. After all, the very definition of an experiment is a TEST. So what if that goal wasn’t for you? You tested it out and now you know. And by realizing it wasn’t for you, it helps you look for a new experiment to test on!
Remember what Thomas Edison said about experiments: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Cliche as that quote might have become, it is true. Keep failing until you’ve found the one that works! Or find a new experiment to try if your passion for the old one has expired. Which is totally natural. Sometimes, we just get into different things at different points in our lives!
Well guys, I hope that helped you interpret an experiment so changing goals doesn’t feel like a fail.
In conclusion, it’s okay to change your goals, no matter how long you’ve been working on them! It doesn’t make you pathetic or anything negative as maybe you first feel when you realize it’s just not working anymore. And it’s okay if someone else you admire has made better or faster progress than you on the same goal. It just means you’re human and that maybe that goal wasn’t your jam after all. Nothing wrong with changing life directions.
So go ahead, put your best foot forward and try to hire another goal for yourself! You deserve to move forward instead of keeping dead weight bringing your company down.
Have you ever changed a major life goal and felt less than stellar about it? How did you move on? Share in the comments, you never know who you might inspire!
Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button to jon me in the next post, and I’ll catch you guys next time! Remember to cre8te often and be kind always!
Have a great day,

#MondayBlogs: How To Be #Creative Every Single Time!

Welcome to Claire Cre8tes! My shiny new channel that’s all about #AmWritiing, productivity, creativity, and Geek culture! I can seriously talk about writing all day long! But ain’t nobody got time for that! So let’s stick to today’s topic! If people actually knew who I was, they would ask me: where do you get your ideas?

 

Well I actually have the opposite problem where I have way too many ideas! It creates a very real struggle of being able to focus on one project and complete it before I finish a project.

 

[bctt tweet=”Having too many ideas creates a very real struggle of being able to focus on one project and complete it before I finish the first idea.” #amwriting #creative #passcreativityon]

 

So do I have any ideas on how to beat creative block? Oh boy, do I! My most favorite tip is coming up, so stay tuned for that! And don’t forget to share this post on Twitter, you never know who in the #AmWriting community can use a bit of creative motivation today!

 

I’m going to cut to the chase here: there is nothing divine or mysterious about inspiration! No greek goddess has descended from another era or dimension to give you your epic ideas! As awesome as they feel when you do get a brilliant idea, it is both satisfying and at the same time completely terrifying that they came from you. Yes, you!

 

[bctt tweet=”As awesome as they feel when you do get a brilliant idea, it is both satisfying and at the same time completely terrifying that they came from you. Yes, you!” #amwriting #creative]

 

That same person who thought it was a good idea to put that embarrassing thing in your mouth when you were three years old!

 

It’s a terrifying notion that great ideas can come from you, because you might either be wondering if you’re good enough to execute these ideas or if because they did come from you, are they actually good ideas?

 

My greatest advice is to just give it a try! Who knows if it’s a great idea or not. Certainly you won’t know until you try, show it to a few people, and ask them!

 

[bctt tweet=”My greatest advice is to just give your idea a try!” #creative]

 

It’s also equally important to be you! You’ve heard that motivational quote: just do you.  I know you have! If you have even been on the Internet, like ever, I know you’ve heard it! But that cliche quote applies to writing, too.

 

If you simply try to write ideas based on sellability* it won’t be as easy to write as your passion projects, that’s almost an absolute guarantee! So it’s important to find a genre, a story or a character you can’t get enough of writing about. Your passion will be able to be read off the page. But be careful, because likewise, you’re boredom can also be sensed by the readers as well! Think of readers like Jedi Masters, they can sense when the author has stopped caring!

 

[bctt tweet=”Think of #readers like #Jedi Masters, they can sense when the #author has stopped caring!.” #amreading #creative]

 

And if all else fails, as positively cliche as it is, my #1 tip aside from just to be you, is remember that book you read that made you want to be an author in the first place! I.E: remember why you started! For me, it was the first Harry Potter book in 1997; it would have been in the 6th grade. And it made me want to write a book that inspired people, too. And sure it took me 20 years later, but I have!

 

Basically when I am feeling the most stuck, I pause what I’m working on and start something new. I get inspiration from hearing other authors talk about writing. I turn to Twitter for the #AmWriting community. I remember why I started.

 

[bctt tweet=”Basically when I am feeling the most stuck, I pause what I’m working on and start something new.” #creative #creativeproblems]

 

And funny thing, when all else fails and I try to give up being an author and go to being normal: I find I hate being normal and go back to writing. So sometimes taking a break is also all that is needed.

 

What about you? What writing tips do you have to get rid of creative block?  Share in the comments!

 

Thanks so much for joining me today, and I look forward meeting you in the next one!

 

Happy writing!