All too often, our routines can become a little too rote, making our lives feel a little too stale. But with the birth of a New Year comes new opportunities to find variety in the everyday.
Whether you consider yourself to be a “capital A Artist,” or not, here are a few ideas to spark inspiration.
1. Create a yoga challenge.
Reinvigorate your practice by seeing how many yoga classes you can do in a certain number of days. Changing up the location of your practice creates new sensations and opportunities for growth.
2. Stovetop potpourri.
Forget aerosol floral scents -- hop on over to Pinterest to find some stovetop potpourri recipes. Because the brain correlates scent, emotion, and memory, you may find yourself unexpectedly going down memory lane while cooking something up. A bonus tip is to journal any thoughts and memories that come to mind.
3. Watch ads from your childhood.
During serious bouts of writerly procrastination, I’ve been known to watch 1980s ads from the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area on YouTube. Doing this takes me back to my favorite memories of childhood: sitting in front of the television, playing with Legos. Whenever I see these vintage ads, I’ll see or think of something new and get back to my w with a smile.
4. Cook something adventurous.
When we get stuck in ruts, we often default to bland, boring, or unhealthy food choices. Avoid this outcome by making something from another culture, or even an Ayurvedic dish. Enjoy the adventure of going to a different part of the supermarket, or even a specialty food store, to purchase new ingredients.
5. Read a “real” book at bedtime.
Cradling a book and caressing its pages by lamplight is a rare treat in our digital, screen-obsessed age. Relax and unwind with a hard- or softcover book at bedtime and savor the pleasure of dipping into someone else’s imagination for awhile.
6. Purge a set number of items.
To invite something new into our lives, we often have to say good-bye to the old. Pick a number between 1 and 100 and then throw out, recycle, dispose that number of items from your life. These items could be as small as receipts and as big as furniture pieces. Creating space in your physical surroundings creates space in the mind.
7. Take a nap.
Working harder isn’t always the answer. Napping or taking time to refresh yourself can often yield new perspectives on issues, situations, and problems. Our brains crave rest and rejuvenation.
8. Listen to a movie score.
Find a movie score of a film that you haven’t seen and write an original story of what you think is going on. The mind craves story, so challenging yourself to write your own may take you to new and adventurous places.
9. Day trip to nowhere.
Allow yourself to travel to a different part of your state, keeping the GPS off. See where the road, your mind, and perhaps an audiobook take you.
10. “Descreen” for a few days.
Choose a weekend to put all phones and electronics away to go out an enjoy life IRL. See if life in its natural rhythms can unlock something within you.
Inspiration doesn’t always require perspiration. Sometimes, gentle activities like the above can do wonders to re-set a flagging routine and re-kindle the creativity inherent in every single person.