A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a big table in Soho House, enjoying my green tea and the sunshine that was pouring into the place. It was one of those rare sunny winter days that I wished would never end. So warm in fact, that I wore a dress—more details on this towards the end—you’ll never guess where I got this dress!
But anyway, back to my story. Everything that day had just felt so right. I’d just had lunch with two photographers I absolutely admire, Regan Baroni, a food photographer who writes the blog Up Close & Tasty, and Jules Kennedy, a talented photographer who shoots a lot of pictures for my blog, including these today! I stayed to get some work done after they left and I couldn’t keep myself from smiling.
We’d sat down to eat around noon and before I knew it, it was 2:30! After our conversations, I was left feeling so full of happiness, contentment, inspiration and creativity. Paired with the sunshine, it was one of the best work days I’d had in a long time. It was also exactly the creative boost I needed to kick off my week.
It’s harder for me to stay creative, inspired and motivated in the colder months. Sadly, creativity isn’t like a rushing river, flowing with amazing ideas all the time. Wouldn’t that be great though? The reality is that I find myself in creative droughts all the time, and guess what? They always suck. After working in a creative field for years, I thankfully know that these creative dry-spells aren’t permanent. It’s comes and goes, but nurturing, loving and caring for your creative side can help you avoid these ruts and pull yourself out of them faster.
The first step is figuring out what helps you get and stay inspired. If you can do that, you’re already well on your way to being more creative. I wanted to share a few simple tricks that I use for boosting my creativity when I’m feeling uninspired:
1. Switch up Your Scenery
For the most part, I work from home most days of the week, but when I find myself falling into a rut or generally un-inspired, I head out the door to a local coffee shop or to Soho House. Switching locations and scenery helps me to get focused. I find that most of my new ideas happen when I’m outside the house, and that’s reason enough to change up my scenery on a regular basis!
2. Change Your Routine
I’m not a morning person. Neither is Rob, and our typical morning doesn’t usually start until 7:45. But every once and a while, I peel myself out of bed before the sun rises and something about it feels so special. The city is quiet and I love feeling like I’m getting a head start on my day before the hustle and bustle begins. These days almost always lead to more creative and productive work.
3. Spend Time with Other Creatives
I spend a lot of time with my blogger friends. We have work days, photo shoots and more, and I love the time I spend with them! But, we all do similar things and sometimes I find that I get a bit of tunnel-vision. Spending time with friends in other creative fields is always a breathe of fresh air and a great creativity booster. I love hearing about what projects they’re working on, their creative processes and where they’re struggling. It’s so collaborative, helpful and exciting, and it’s something I plan to prioritize more in coming months.
4. Go Outside
This one is harder to do when you live somewhere like Chicago and it’s 2 degrees outside, but I’ve actually come to love winter’s stillness. The quieter streets and peaceful sound of snow falling is super inspiring for me. I also love going to the conservatory, which isn’t technically outside, but it’s warm and is full of more nature than I get in my mostly concrete, downtown neighborhood.
5. Try a New Recipe
Sometimes the best way to boost your creativity is to push yourself to try something new and different. I find that cooking a new recipe is a great way to do this. Plus, you’ll get something This might not sound as fun if you’re a chef, but if you’re not, I highly recommend it! Opening up a cookbook and making something new is a challenge, but a fun one. It’s helps stimulate your brain because you’re having to constantly check in to make sure you’re doing things correctly. You’ll use all of your five senses when you cook, which can really help get your wheels turning and boost your creativity in other areas of your life.
6. Browse Through a Coffee Table Book
I love collecting beautiful coffee table books, but can I be honest? There’s some that I’ve never even opened. Yup, I only bought them for their beautiful cover. A few weeks ago, I decided to open one up. I was like “WOW, this book is gorgeous!” and I couldn’t believe I’d never taken he time to actually look inside it. I now find myself looking through them on a more regular basis and I’m always left feeling inspired!
I wore this cute striped shirt dress and these open-toe tassel mules because it was 50 degrees! I know, it’s not really that warm, but I’m craving spring so badly that I just went for it, ha! You’re probably wondering where it’s from now. Are you ready for this?! Abercrombie & Fitch. Yup, they’re back and everything is super cute, very Madewell-esque honestly. If you’d sworn off shopping there after you turned 18, I recommend you reconsider! I love this easy, simple dress and know that it’ll be one that I wear frequently during the warm months. It actually comes with a little tie at the waist, but I loved the straight silhouette of it without it too, so I ditched it for the day. To prove my point that Abercrombie is in fact cool again, I rounded up a few more picks, all from there! Pretty cute right?!
How do you boost your creativity when you’re feeling uninspired? Have you had a day like this that just feels so right—what was good about it?!