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20 Ideas to Get out of a Slump and Boost Your Creativity

When it's flowing, creativity can seem like a superpower. Indeed, it fuels innovation in all areas of life, including art, technology, and problem-solving in daily routines.

But we all hit creative slumps from time to time. Tapping into your creative source might sometimes feel challenging, but the good thing is that your creativity can't be used up.

It just might take a little tweak in your routines to find that creative flow again. Here are 20 ways to boost your creativity in your day-to-day life.

Take Care of Yourself First

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The simplest way to recharge your batteries is to take a break from your creative outlet. This may seem counter-intuitive, but give yourself permission to focus on other activities.

Rest, eat a hearty meal, exercise, and spend quality time with loved ones. There’s no point applying dozens of tips to boost your creativity before making sure your own basic needs are met. So, before anything else, take care of yourself, and inspiration will follow.

Go for a Walk

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A simple walk is always effective to get the creative juices flowing. The Vitamin D from the sun, the fresh air, and the change in landscape (or even a cup of delicious coffee) can get rid of any stale thought patterns and rejuvenate your mood and ideas.

Read a Book

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If you’re the bookish sort, and especially if you’re a writer, nothing compares to the vanilla-scented adventure you can dive into while huddling up with a book and cozy blanket in bed. There’s something about the combination of leafing through the pages of a book and daydreaming with a candle flickering in the safe space of your solitude that can recharge your batteries like nothing else can.

Surround Yourself With Nature

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Research shows that spending time in nature fosters creativity. According to David Strayer, a researcher at the University of Utah, “Now we are seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.” It's another great reason to explore the local botanical garden, hike in the nearest forest, or visit your favorite spot in the city.

Watch a Movie

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Whether at home or at the cinema, watching a movie can effectively stimulate your creativity. Movies, much like any art form, have a way of immersing us in brand-new worlds and ways of thinking. For just several hours, we can switch off from our own lives and empathize with a myriad of fictional characters.

Watch a Documentary

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Nowadays, you can find a documentary on just about anything. Let your curiosity spur you into new realms of knowledge.

Documentaries can be fascinating, educational, and inspirational. Whether it’s the biography of your favorite celebrity, trippy facts about deep space, historical oddities, or other curiosities, there’s an endless list of topics to choose from, and it might just be the missing piece for your next artwork.

Spend Time in a Park

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Parks are great places to spark your creativity. They’re most often colorful, filled with activity and good vibes, kids playing, and runners enjoying their mindful jog. As long as there are a few trees and flowers and a quiet space, parks can uplift your spirits.

Attend a Concert

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Concerts can be powerful and transformative. The sensory experience and emotionally evocative music can effectively remove mental or creative blockages.

Sharing the experience with other friends and following up with engaging conversation can also stimulate you intellectually and creatively.

Go on a Fun Road Trip

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When nothing else seems to fix your creative burnout, simply packing your bags and heading out for the day (or the weekend) can open new horizons and perspectives.

You can travel to places you’ve never seen before and completely disconnect from your daily life.

Collaboration or Networking

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Whether it’s a night out with your friends, a conference, or brunch with coworkers, any social activity involving debates or exchanging ideas can be intellectually stimulating and may spark the inspiration you’re searching for.

Break Routines or Habits

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Discipline, structure, and predictability of routines are all helpful for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. But when it comes to the art of creation, all those rigid structures act like the walls of a cage, an obstacle in the way of innovative ideas.

Small things like taking a different bus, choosing a new cafe, or even just reorganizing your schedule can help shake loose the clogged thoughts in your mind.

Change Your Environment

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Like breaking your routine, changing your environment works by the same principle: to think differently, you must act differently. Switch things up by working from a cafe, going to the countryside for a week, or in some shape or form changing your surroundings.

Get Inspired by Other Artists

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If you’re not feeling inspired to paint, watch some videos of painters showcasing their work and artistic process. If you lack the drive to sing, listen to other musicians experiment with their craft. Whatever area you want to boost your creativity in, use the internet to soak in the genius of other artists in the same domain.

Surround Yourself With Inspiration

Sprucing up your office or even just your bedroom can help you unlock fresh solutions. You can hang a collage of your favorite art pieces, vinyls, album covers, or photos on your bedroom wall. If you prefer something more active, spend the day at an art museum, an aesthetically pleasing cafe, a museum, or a similar location filled with innovation and history.

Visualization Techniques

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Visualization is always a fun technique for boosting creativity, practicing mindfulness, or relaxing. If you’re facing writer’s block or a creative block of some kind, visualization can help you play out scenarios and options. In the end, whether you come up with a solution or not, you’re still having fun with visualization.

Let Your Inner Child Free

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Sometimes, all we need is to let our inner child roam free. This means tapping into that source of unfiltered playfulness, openness, and curiosity.

Go to the pool and splash around like a kid. Pull out your watercolor or crayon set and play with the rainbow of colors. Dance to your favorite music at 3 AM or just bust a move while out with your friends. Allow yourself to reconnect with the things that used to light you up as a child.

Let Yourself Be Bored and Daydream

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In this age of rapid-fire technology, it’s understandable that most people tend to occupy every spare minute of their day on their phones or devices.

We’ve become so attached to them and the idea of being productive, that the thought of not using our phones during any daily moment of idleness might even inspire anxiety. But oftentimes, spacing out and just letting ourselves be idle is exactly what our mind needs.

Get out of Your Comfort Zone

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Getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, experimenting, or stepping into new environments is effective because it requires you to challenge yourself and use your creative thinking.

Anything that stimulates your entire brain, both the left and right area, boosts your creative flow. It’s also a great way to open your mind and have fun. Try a Pilates class, run before work, or opt for something more comfortable yet still challenging, like putting a 1-hour timer to work on your craft.

Give Yourself Permission to Do Crummy Work

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Sometimes all it takes is telling yourself that you are going to, intentionally, just a make a bunch of junk. Getting moving and having permission to make things fast, without trying to perfect them, can break through perfectionist tendencies.That initial ‘braindump' gets you moving and kickstarts the more playful creative part of your brain. 

Practice Your Craft

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We can try all the tips and tricks in the world, but sometimes all we need is to sit down and actually practice our craft, whether it’s art, writing, sculpting, or anything else.

Indeed, practice makes perfect, and the best ideas come from exercising our skills, allowing ourselves to be imperfect, and just enjoying the process of creation. Nobody can inspire you better than your own self when you simply honor your authenticity by letting it shine through your work.

Author: S.K. Lumen

Title: Writer

Expertise: women's personal development, mental health, self love

S.K. Lumen is a writer, artist and blogger who is passionate about helping women become their best selves. She writes about personal development, self-love, self-care, wellness & mental health.