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:
- #1: Review your processes to see if your routines are still serving you
- #2: Let go of the processes that aren’t serving you any longer
- #3: Remember why you started your project in the first place to spark the passion
- #4: Talk to other creatives
- #5: Is Self-Care the Same as Giving Up? (No!)
- #6: Try changing your scenery
- #7: If you have access to, go for a drive!
- #8: Switch projects to spice things up
- #9: Change other areas in your life like foods or fashion to switch things up
- #10: Imagine you’re at the beach or someplace warmer!
- Bonus Tip: (it’s a surprise!)
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.-Albert Einstein
Pass it on!”
((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!