Hello! Taylor Here! Welcome to another episode of Creative Habits!
Today we’re looking at Nurturing Optimum Creativity.
How many artists do you know of that live in a vacuum? Very few, if any. Being involved in daily life is inspiring for many artists and they use it to fuel their art. Consider Street Artists, one of the most mainstreamed being Banksy. He connects dots in a different way and is able to visually express his perspective in his creations that have literally gone around the globe.In this episode we’re going to look at some self care basics and how to break creative blocks and get inspiration.
Body Care for Optimum Creativity
For humans, being physically well to the best of our ability determines our mental and creative health, so we’ll start with the little basics that everyone always says are critical – probably because they are! Of course, a different level of creativity can be accessed from a space of dis-ease – but that’s another article.
Studies have shown that taking care of our physical well-being really allows us to open up creatively and enter a state of flow more easily. Flow is one of those trending terms the last few years, but being able to find flow has been shown to positively affect us at a very core level and in all areas of our lives.
SLEEP – Hey! Wake Up!
There are lots of contradictory theories around sleep – and the most mainstream belief about sleep is that we need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Consider this though: There is also information indicating that during the winter our ancestors went to bed with the sun, got up in the middle of the night, visited with neighbors, went back to bed and woke with the sun. This pattern might actually be natural for many people.
One way to see where your natural sleep pattern (*non-wheels spinning, worrying mode) is to keep a sleep log and see if what your patterns are, and which of those patterns enable you to feel pretty good for a couple of days and whenever possible, do what is in your nature. Our corporate existences make this particular method challenging. Whatever the case, consistency is always key to sleep well-being, so stick to whatever works for you, including warm car naps at lunch, snoozing while having your teeth cleaned, or anywhere else you’ll be reclining. Shooting for the sweet spot and giving yourself permission to roll with that will lead to success here. * One trick to minimize the wheels of worry from spinning at night is to say to yourself, “This is my nest of coziness – nothing but sleep is allowed in this space between 9p and 6a.” Put away the screens, and if you can’t fix the problem right there and then using only a pillow – Let It Go!
Movement – the brain needs blood and air!
Many people hate the word exercise – it has a bad rap. For years, when I was younger and healthier, I literally told myself, “I take every opportunity to move” which led to doing leg lifts at copy machines, lunges while filing, knee lifts at the printer, and jumping jacks in my cubicle. It helped keep my energy up and burned calories. People teased me, but it’s my health not theirs and they like gyms! When I left cubeville I lost fitness! I don’t really enjoy gyms – the smells, the people, the lines, ugh. I struggle with morning routines, such at getting up at 5 to do yoga. So rather than tell you to be super regimented here, I’m going to recommend you do what works, but do it consistently by adding triggers. For me the first “trigger” was telling myself “I’m a person that takes every opportunity to move” and then my brain would automatically look for “quiet moments” that had physical space for me to move. (Seth Godin’s “People like us do things like this” is my inspiration here.)
When it comes to food – you know what you need to do – more earth eating, less face eating, (I’ve always wanted to say that!) – ultimately everything in moderation and set parameters on “treats” – time to program that brain again: “I only eat one small treat a day and I savor every bite and it is so satisfying.” Sometimes using Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule keeps me out of trouble here – go check her out – I’m not affiliated, but I like to share my inspiration and for stuff like this her rule is awesome!
Inspiration - where to find it.
I think this is right up there with sleep and movement, although a lot of people overdose on this and ignore the others!
Whatever your area of creativity is, there are so many resources that will inspire you. In studies where people were tested for creativity before watching a 5-minute video of someone creating (check out Josie Lewis Art! No affiliation), or even just viewing pieces of art, they found the subjects scored higher on a test for creativity than they had tested before watching the video. I need to work on all my referencing of sources – I absorb the gist of things, but not always the source – but everything is searchable – so look it up online. It’s a thing!
Birds, Bees, Concrete!
Taking a walk, being around trees and birds, clouds, air, street art, hills, varying terrain all stimulate the brain – time in nature can never do you wrong. Getting blood and air to the brain while observing the veins in a leaf, or how the clouds move overhead, or the colors in the layers of smog – hey, there’s beauty even in somethings we consider “ugly” if we’re willing to break it down into components and rotate our perspective! A plant growing out of a crack in a wall, the iridescence of a fly, the varying grays in pavement, the alignment of buildings or trees along a street, the negative spaces – where isn’t there something interesting to behold/see?
Eye candy is EVERYwhere! Museums, magazines, trips to the craft store a walk through a boutique with great design features. I could go on for HOURS. Anything that catches your eye and interests your brain (screen time only goes so far, so, yeah, about That!)
Go expand your brain! And it will reward you with LOTS of creativity!
Of course, these aren’t the only approaches to becoming more creative, but you can never have too many tools in the toolbox, so it’s as good a place as any to start.
Thank you so much for the read! If you have questions or comments, let me know!
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