This is post is sponsored by Grammarly. The creative rut and opinions are my own.
The past few weeks, I’ve been on the cusp of burn out, a creative rut. Usually I relish my time sitting at my desk to write or to come up with recipe ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if February, the middle of winter, has something to do with my bleh mood. The last two days in DC were filled with sunshine and the glorious sound of dirty, awkward snow mounds melting. That’s when I realized something: I was in a creative slump.
Breaking out of a creative rut can be challenging. I think the trick is to do something that is rote and allows your mind to relax and roam. A relaxed mind allows for fresh creative flow. Here are some ways that I break out of my creative slump:
1. Unplug. Undoubtedly the hardest for me to do since I carry my smartphone everywhere. My addiction has gotten worse. I have found myself checking my email, Facebook, and Twitter again, only to realize that it was only a few minutes since I last pulled up those apps. I recommend unplugging for at least 30 minutes. You can survive 30 minutes without your smartphone, right? We can do it together.
2. Change the scenery. During a good week, I’m at my desk in my home office several hours a day. While I love my office, sitting in the same chair, staring out the same window at the same parking lot is not inspiring. Change the place you work if possible. When I take my laptop to Starbucks, the atmosphere pumps me up. Write at your library, Panera, and, when it’s warmer, outdoors. Sometimes I just move to my bed and write while my cat sleeps at my feet.
3. Go for a walk. Or do yoga or workout. The repetition of the physical activity will help clear your mind. Not to mention the fresh air is good for you too.
4. Meet a friend for lunch or coffee. Writing can be isolating work: sitting at your desk tapping away at the keys. No, talking to your friends on Facebook doesn’t count. Nor does talking to your cat. Call up the friend you keep meaning to call for weeks and set a date. Your conversation might set off some light bulbs for your next assignment.
5. Take a shower (or bath). This never fails to work for me. Not only do I come out squeaky clean and refreshed, but I get some of my best ideas in the shower.
6. Create in a different format. If you’re a writer, try doodling, painting or drawing. Not only do you use different muscles to do these tasks, you’ll use your brain a different way. Other creative formats: baking, cooking, dancing, building with Legos.
7. Meditate. If you’ve never tried meditation, I highly recommend it. I’m a beginner, so I use recordings like this free meditation for healing to guide me.
8. Take a nap. When I’m tired, it takes more energy to think creatively. Don’t nap too long or else you’ll be groggy. According to Lifehacker, a 10-20 minute nap is ideal if you want to wake up refreshed.
9. Read a magazine. I love reading magazines. I usually take a bath with a stack next to me. Magazines get my creative juices running because those glossy pages are visually appealing (hello, Saveur magazine).
I’m trying to dig out of my creative rut, and I plan to take this weekend to rejuvenate and relax. Once I’m back in tune with my writing again, I plan on using Grammarly to help me check my work. I copy and pasted this post into Grammarly’s grammar and plagiarism check and it caught some little errors I would have missed. It’s nice have a “second set of eyes” looking at my writing. I should probably use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because as much as my cat tries to help me write by stepping on my keyboard, I don’t trust her. Seriously though, check out Grammarly’s free grammar checker!.
How do you break out of a creative rut?
This post is sponsored by Grammarly and I received a trial to test out their services. Affiliate links are included in this post.