Self-Care for Creativity

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Whether you're a creative for work, enjoy it as a form of self-expression, or are just looking for something new to add to your self-care routine, challenging yourself creatively has many benefits. Getting creative is a great way to practice mindfulness and can help relieve stress as you're focused on what you are doing, plus it engages your brain in different ways, which can help you to better solve problems, gain self-awareness, and feel more confident.  However, we all know that creativity is something that can feel forced, and its easy to back away from creative activities when you're feeling blocked.  
Create New Playlists
Music is something that we often think goes hand in hand with creativity.  And, while there is something to be said about silence for focus and clearing your mind, music can have an almost instantaneous impact on your mood.  Happy music has especially been shown to help with new ideas and different ways of thinking by allowing you to feel more lighthearted and playful.  Try mixing things up by listening to different music than you would normally, or choose a playlist designed to set a mood.  If you're needing suggestions, try checking out the Mood section or Your Discover Weekly on Spotify, or one of our playlists.
Spend Time in Nature
While spending time in nature is beneficial in so many ways, it truly is essential for creativity.  Being outdoors can help you to loose sense of time, which has been shown to help to boost inspiration.  It can can also help to improve your mood and increase energy, all of which can be helpful when looking to get a bit more creative.
Although we love being plugged in and know that there are so many different places to seek information and inspiration, there is something to be said about stepping away from it all.  Whether its spending time in nature, meditating, or getting a little extra shut-eye, turning off all the outside noise can help you to get in touch with you again, which can invoke new ideas.  Just be sure to keep a notepad handy, as you never know when inspiration might strike!
Oftentimes, we can become so focused on the finished product that we can forget to have fun with it. Trying something new, whether it be switching things up like focusing on writing rather than something artistic, or exploring through finger painting, working with clay, or just experimenting with a new technique, play can be a great way to help your mind think in different ways.
 Dance It Out
Joyful movement is awesome for helping to boost your mood and enhance your creativity.  When you just turn on your favourite song and move without judgement, you're completely in the moment and able to be present, which allows you to express without overthinking.  Because of this, taking a quick dance break can be a great way to get your ideas flowing.
Look at Old Photos
While you might think about searching for new ideas when you're trying to jumpstart your creativity, sometimes taking a walk down memory lane can help get you back into a creative space.  Whether your concept of nostalgia is looking through your old Facebook photos, riffling through an old photo album, or listening to some tunes from back in the day, sometimes a little throwback Thursday can get your brain thinking in different ways and help you rediscover things you used to love - or wish you had tried!
Step Away from Creativity 
We all know that creativity can't be forced, yet experiencing writer's block or not be able to get something done just right can be extremely frustrating.  If nothing's working, it can be okay to take a break.  Use this time to consume other creative content, whether it be reading or listening to music, or feel free to step away from it completely, and use the time to zone out with your favourite show. Often times, this break can help you to feel re-inspired, and excited to get back to it. 
Consume Kid's Content
Playfulness is an important part of creativity and, let's face it, sometimes there's just something downright comforting about watching your favourite animated flick.  Whether its looking at movies or flipping through a picture book or young adult novel, stepping back into your imagination and childlike wonder can really help with creativity.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Even the most creative individuals can get stuck in a rut.  Whether its mixing up your medium or completely switching your creative activity, challenging yourself in a new way can be a great way to force your mind to work in new ways.  Even just something as simple as switching up the time and place you do your creative work can really boost your brain.
Scroll Through Pinterest
Who hasn't gotten lost in a good Pinterest scroll?!  Because you can find practically anything on Pinterest, its a great source of inspiration.  Don't be afraid to use the search feature to look for images and words that move you in some way.  Whether its seeking inspiration from other's ideas, or creating your own virtual mood or inspiration board, Pinterest is a great place to collect ideas that you can scroll through whenever you need a little boost.
Do a Brain Dump
Stream of consciousness writing can be great for a couple of different reasons. First of all, if you're having trouble focusing because your mind is wandering about what you're doing later, getting everything off your mind by writing it down can help to clear your mind, leaving more space for creative thinking.  If your mind is just feeling blank, writing down words to describe what you're feeling can help you to brainstorm, and create connections without putting pressure on yourself.
Doodle With Your Eyes Closed
Doodling or painting with your eyes closed is a great way to get in touch with the process of creating without focusing on the finished product and judging your own work.  It's also a fun way to get in touch with your creative side, and allows you to compare between drawing with your eyes open and closed. 

When you're constantly surrounded by stuff, it can be easy to get distracted.  Physically decluttering not only leaves you with more physical space for creativity, but it also clears your mind, leaving more space for new and creative thoughts.

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