Let’s face it, when you are not stimulated it’s hard to be excited or look forward to anything. When we don’t have much left in our creative tank or we are running on the vapors of ideas gone by, eventually we will simply run out of gas. Similar situations arise for so many of us from the craziness of our lives, the unconscious routines we adopt, and the staleness that sets in because of these routines. When we are feeling bored, stale, or stuck, we are likely to be suffering from a lack of stimulus. During these times it’s hard to get excited about anything and it’s easy to fall into a creative abyss. We become zombies and go through the motions of life, leaving an ever-expanding hole where our “creative spark” used to be: a “stimulus gap.” You know you are a zombie and need to get out of rut if you answer yes to anyone of the following questions:
Do you feel overwhelmed at work? Are you bored with what you do? Or not challenged? Do find you have difficulty setting a half an hour away for yourself? Are you feeling stuck in work? life? Do you feel like you don't have time to be creative? Are you zapped at the end of the day and feel as if you've accomplished very little?
This rut is not to be underestimated. It’s huge and it’s widespread and it’s probably the person sitting next to you at this very moment— or worse, you! Filling this rut, is a matter of finding, nurturing, and experiencing stimuli of all kinds as part of your daily routine in order to keep things fresh.
To help with that rut and maximize your creative energy, try the following tips:
--Change Your Routine: Even small changes to your everyday work and personal routine will give you a burst of freshness and perhaps new perspective and resolve to take on the challenges ahead.
--Change the Way You Think: The brain is a very powerful tool.We are motivated by our current dominant thought. If you are thinking of negative things or find yourself indulging in negative self-talk (“I’m not good at this,” or “I can’t get this done”), change your thinking to something posi- tive or inspiring. At a minimum, engage yourself in positive self-talk to break the cycle of negative thoughts. is will help get your creative juices flowing!
--Visualize Success in a moment of stress or a lull in your creative energy, visualize a successful outcome. Ask yourself, What’s my goal? and make it your dominant thought as you take one small step at a time to move in the direction of the goal.
--See RED (Rest, Exercise, and Diet) We all know that getting plenty of rest, exercising, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet helps to decrease the negative effects of stress. Here are some things that help us see RED: a nap during the day (yes, even at work!), a walk at lunch, and a handful of delicious walnuts (or one of my favorites, tamari-spiced almonds) from a local health food store.
Trying to find the humor in all situations (or memories of a humorous situation) will break the cycle of stress and diminish the ten- sion you feel in the moment. Tell yourself a good joke, call up a friend who makes you laugh, or go people watching—this always brings a smile to our faces!