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!

New Brand Alert! New Mission! Claire Cre8tes! Pass Creativity On!

Hey guys! Wow it’s been a LONG time since I posted! To encourage more posting, I even upgraded to the “business” plan of WordPress.Com. I chose WordPress.Com over WordPress.Org because with the .Com version you get a better community version. With the .Org version there is lacking of community but better plugins. With the upgrade of .Com I get the community AND the plugins! But it’s expensive. Like $300 expensive, yikes! Still, I thought that was a better use of my tax refund monies than say, more Happy Planner supplies, which I’m totally obsessed with!

WATCH how I grew on my YouTube journey over the years and finally decided on a brand name I can stick with “Claire Cre8tes”!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc_LzEs8rFw%5B/embedyt%5D

Also on this blog I’m not going to separate my passions.

The last few years I’ve been separating my passions because I thought it looked more professional. And, it probably did.

But it was very time consuming to do this, and very un-inspiring. And thus, I haven’t felt like posting anything! So that’s not helping anyone either.

So the hell with looking professional. I love that motivational quote: done is better than perfect.

And sometimes, we have to remind ourselves of this! Especially me in my writing. Because I’ll spend years editing, and not producing anything during that time because I’m so busy obsessing over small things. And for indie authors, people are way harsher on reviewing, so even with all those years editing they say it’s still not enough.

[bctt tweet=”So yeah! I am letting go of perfectionism.
Or, erm, trying to.”]

And I’m blending my passions together! So this site will look a little random, because that’s just how I roll. I tried to roll in order, and I was miserable.

[bctt tweet=”But this brand is all about passing creativity on!”]

So expect lots of creative prompts, sharing of other creative bloggers, hopefully some interviews and a little bit of everything in between. There’s something for planner people, people who love productivity, Geek culture references, reviews, social media tips and much more! If it’s about creativity, I’ll try to cover it!

[bctt tweet=”Because I believe, to be creative, is to be human.”]

So be sure to subscribe to this blog, and my YouTube channel and I’ll catch you on the next one!

Happy Creating,

Claire