It’s another very hot day. We have been experiencing the longest series of days over 35 degree Celsius in Melbourne these past two weeks. While it is nice to have hot weather this is too much. The flowers in vases in the house are dying faster than usual, its hard to stay cool at night and the hot northerly breeze during the day makes everything feel dry and brittle.The hot weather has also affected my mood and the mood of those around me at home and at work. It’s affected my creativity and the desire to take new photographs, stitch or sew something new. So what other things can make you feel less productive and creative?
Here is my list of the top 5 creativity drainers
- Stress – Stress is one of the greatest drainers. It’s a dark energy and saps away any desire to be creative. I am currently working on a very difficult and large project at work with significant deadlines. Its creating major stress for myself and others working on the project. We are worrying over the things that have to be done within the time period we have. The consequences of failure will have significant financial impact for the organisation.This will then have an impact on all those who work the project too. I have been getting home at the end of the day and all I think about is how we will finish the project in time and how much work is still to be done. I feel tired and drained and don’t feel like doing anything creative. In fact I only have the energy at the moment to have dinner, do some mindless chores and fall into bed exhausted.
- Worry and Fear– Worrying never solved anything but it is a friend of stress. You are stressed out with too much work and the deadlines. Then you worry about failure and not finishing things on time or failing in the project altogether. This means you have failed. You might even lose your job. If you lose your job how will you find another one? Do you have enough money in the bank to support your family while you look for another job and on and on it goes. With these kinds of thoughts and the fear that drives them your creativity is eliminated. It is unlikely that you will want to whip out your camera to take beautiful pictures or create a new cross stitch design.
- Interrupted Sleep – It’s been hard to sleep properly lately. The heat from the day is still around at night. It’s not possible to keep the air conditioner on all night due to the high costs of electricity. There is no coolness and no breeze which adds to a difficult and interrupted sleep. Lack of sleep combined with stress and worry becomes a lethal combination and a definite barrier to enabling you to create anything beautiful, fresh and new.
- Lack of Exercise – Being unfit and failing to exercise regularly contributes to feelings of lethargy and being uninspired. We all know we have to exercise regularly. It’s easier said than done when you are working a full job that comes with lots of stress and deadlines, have a family to take care of and all the other obligations that go with it. Yes all the blogs and magazines you read say you need to go to the gym, or swim, run or walk every day etc etc etc. Sometimes it’s too hard when things seem to be going wrong and you are under pressure and feeling negative to go out and exercise. You don’t feel like doing anything.
- Comparing yourself – It sometimes feels like everything you want to make or create has already been thought of by someone else and they have done it better than you think you could have done. The blogs on the internet, magazines and TV programs scream at you with the faces of happy and successful people who create wonderful things, go to beautiful places, eat amazing food and have happy and satisfying lives with lots of money. They have the perfect everything and have a lovely time. They have time to blog, exercise, decorate their homes, spend quality time with their kids, write and publish their latest books, meet up with other bloggers for lunches in beautiful places where they are photographed and filmed. These photographs and films are then posted back onto their blogs to show you how fabulous their life is and that maybe one day if you are lucky, work really hard, connect with all the right people in the right place, persist and never give up then you too can be one of them and have it all one day. Comparing yourself to others who you think have it all and have already made and created things you wanted to do can drain away your creativity. You think why bother, it’s all too hard.
So what to do ? How do you get yourself into a positive state of mind. Here are 5 ways that have helped improve my creativity when I have struggled. These ideas are quick and easy to do. I found they made the world of difference when I have felt low. These ideas won’t change your world overnight and won’t make you rich. I hope however that these simple steps might help shift you towards a more creative space when you are feeling creatively uninspired.
I wish you a peaceful, happy and productive weekend.