Sara M Russell, founder intraMuse Creative
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Creativity is not just for the artistic. It is a necessary skill that enables you to connect unrelated data to make formulate solutions. It is a two-pronged process: thinking and then producing.
While being creative comes naturally to many, others struggle and falsely label themselves “uncreative.” Not everyone is composing the next Grammy-award-winning song or painting the next museum masterpiece, but everyone faces daily challenges that require them to flex their creativity muscle–whether you’re raising a strong-willed child or running a small business, you will need to exercise creativity.
So, what do you do when you just aren’t feeling creative? Here are 50 ways to boost your creativity:
1. Call a friend
No texting! Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t communicated with in awhile. What are they working on? What challenges are they currently facing and how are they working through them? Hearing about someone else’s journey can spark inspiration in unimaginable ways!
2. Comment thoughtfully on someone else’s social media post
NO “OMG totally awesome!” Find someone you admire and express something meaningful on their most recent post.
3. Cook/eat a new food
The process of finding a new recipe, gathering the ingredients, cooking, and then finally enjoying the ultimate result is a full sensory experience. The feel, smell, sight, sound, and taste keeps you engaged. Not interested in cooking? No problem, pick a restaurant that offers items you’ve never tried before. It will still engage your senses in wonderful ways!
Get moving and boost those endorphins! Bonus points if you choose an activity you’ve never tried? Usually a yogi? Give kickboxing a chance. Pilates your go-to? Go for a swim.
5. Explore a new podcast
There are millions of podcasts. Surely there is one that will peak your interest! Need some suggestions? Try Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert, Andrea Savage’s A Grown Up Woman, Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible, or Australia’s ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.(Albert Einstein)
6. Get outside
Take a deep breath, find a nice spot outside, and disconnect for awhile. Wait! Put those earbuds down. Immerse yourself in the great outdoors. What do you hear? Smell? There are those senses, again. Give them a workout!
7. Go through your photos
Take a stroll down memory lane. Flip through those old vacation photos, family photos, class photos, etc. Focus on how you were feeling during those times. What did you experience?
8. Go to a concert
Get lost in the music, the crowd, and the excitement. Not possible today? Thank goodness for YouTube! Check out a hot show from your favorite artist. Feel free to dance around your house!
9. Grab coffee with a friend
Decaf or regular or skip the coffee and grab some tea. It doesn’t matter. Find a local coffeeshop and reconnect with your friend. Take turns sharing and listening. Who knows what might transpire?
10. Listen to a friend’s favorite band
Tune in and turn it up. Explore the love of someone else’s favorite band or musician and ask yourself what you think they see in the artist.
11. Listen to a friend’s favorite song
Again, tune in and turn it up! Didn’t like your friend’s favorite band? Maybe ask another friend what their favorite song is. 🙂
12. Listen to a new playlist
Most streaming music services like Spotify, Prime Music, and Apple Radio have playlists curated by others or generate ones based on your music tastes. Choose one and no skipping! Listen through and find your next favorite jam and some inspiration along the way.
13. Listen to an artist you’ve never heard of
Peruse your favorite streaming service or, better yet, do a Google search for new or upcoming local artists in your area.
14. Listen to your favorite band
Explore all of your favorites and then your lesser favorites. How do you connect to them and why? Find what’s resonating with you and you might learn a little more about yourself.
15. Listen to your favorite song
Get lost in the comfort of your favorite tune. Sink into the melody and let your mind flow through it, a little music meditation if you will.
This is one of my personal favorites…sit back and Drift Away to the soulful Dobie Gray.
16. Meditate for 20 minutes.
Get in a cozy position, clear your mind, and focus on your breathing. Get centered and calm. Having trouble staying focused? Take it easy on yourself and keep heading back to center. If all else fails, there’s an app for that!
17. Mindmap a challenge you’re facing
Visually describe and organize an issue you’ve had trouble solving. Start with the challenge in the middle and work out, mapping each option, solution, etc.
18. People watch
Let’s face it—people are fascinating. So pull up a seat somewhere with lots of foot traffic and take a gander. How are people behaving? Are they laughing? How do they interact? Observe and enjoy.
19. Read a blog post from a new author
Quick. Search for top blogs about ______ (insert a topic that might interest you). Find someone you’ve never read before and go to town. Do you like their writing? Agree or disagree with what they say? Why?
20. Read a book
Get lost in a new world or the life of someone inspirational. There is no place you can’t go when you are reading! Don’t have time to sit down with a book? Try audiobooks while you’re driving or gardening.
21. Read a magazine
The tactile experience of flipping through a magazine can be hypnotic. Choose one with great visuals and important takeaways.
22. Run the stairs
Get that heart rate up, but watch your step!
23. Send a “Just because” card
There’s nothing better than getting something in the mail that isn’t a bill or spam. Especially if it’s unexpected. Surprise someone you care about with a note, just because.
24. Send a thank you card
Everyone has plenty to be thankful for. Don’t let that gratitude go unsung. Send a card to someone who has helped you and tell them exactly how it impacted you and why you’re appreciative.
25. Sit at a park
Find a comfortable spot to relax. If it’s warm weather season, sit in the grass and feel it tickle your feet, enjoy the sun on your face, or the slight breeze…just note what’s happening around you on the most simple and basic levels.
26. Take a different way to work
Switch off the autopilot and find a new way to get where you’re going. Whether it’s work, home, or a friend’s house, simply switching up your route will have you thinking differently.
27. Photograph an every day item in an unusual way
You don’t need to be a photographer or own a fancy camera. Grab that smartphone and find a regular item you can shine a new light on.
28. Take a walk outside
Are you sensing a trend? Getting outdoors is great for your creativity and your health! Take a brisk walk to get your heart rate up or a more casual stroll to take a closer look at what’s around you. Engage those senses!
29. Try a new drink
That kombucha isn’t going to drink itself. Go ahead, take a taste test. No? Ok find something else.
30. Watch a comedian
Laughter is the best medicine and a belly laugh is just what you need. Suggestions? Try Jim Gaffigan or Eddie Izzard. They’ll be sure to have you in stitches.
31. Watch a funny TV show
Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, oh my! With all of the options out there, you’re bound to find something that will keep you laughing.
32. Write a letter/email to a friend
It always feels good to hear from someone you care about, so make a friend’s day and send them a little note. Near or far, this is just the pick me up both of you need!
33. Write down 3 things you’re thankful for
This is actually a great practice to implement on a daily basis. An attitude of gratitude is one of the top ways to shift your perspective. Taking a few minutes each day to recognize the things you’re thankful for can make a world of difference. It’s the little things that matter most—those warm towels fresh out of the dryer, the sound of your child’s laughter, a good sleep. The magical thing is that once you start paying attention, you’ll notice way more than 3 things each day.
34. Cook yourself a healthy meal
Whether it’s salmon and salad or a homemade pizza, we won’t judge!
35. Draw a sketch
You’re not expected to be Picasso, just do a little doodle. A for effort.
36. Photograph a loved one
Indoors or outdoors, experiment with lighting, angles, and all things that bring our their natural beauty.
37. Photograph a pet or animal
You’d be surprised how photogenic even a goldfish can be. Go ahead. Grab the camera you have handy (it doesn’t have to be expensive) and document that cuteness.
38. Photograph a bird
What kind of feathered visitors do you get in your area? No clue? Even better. You can Google it after you take its picture and learn a little more about the bird behind the beak.
39. Photograph something unusual
That weird gift your grandma sent you for your last birthday? It’s the perfect subject. Share it online and see what others have to say about it.
40. Photograph something someone else might call “ugly”
Everything has beauty, but with some things it can be harder to find. The odd, weird, plain, and regular items we all take for granted can be showcased to highlight a beauty that might not otherwise be seen.
Pelican photograph by intraMuse Creative Founder, Sara M Russell. All rights reserved.
41. Post a selfie
Unfiltered or filtered, just show yourself how you’re most comfortable!
42. Post a silly selfie
Get wacky, silly, and downright ridiculous. Show that beautiful sense of humor!
43. Post a photo of your favorite part of you
Freshly painted toes, sculpted ankles, ripped trapezoid muscles….show off!
44. Prioritize self-care
Whatever it takes to make you feel good today, do it. And make it a priority over that lengthy to- do list. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so take 20 minutes to do something for yourself. Then, watch how easily the rest of your tasks fall into place.
45. Smile at a stranger
Test the theory that smiles are contagious. Put away the phone, keep your head up, and smile at the next person you see. Don’t linger too long, though, you don’t want to make it weird! 😉
46. Try to write with your non-dominant hand
It’s called ambidextrous. Give it a try!
47. Take an online course
YouTube is full of great learning experiences. Find a hobby or something you’ve been wanting to try and get to it! There’s no time like the present.
48. Learn a new language
Bonjour! Faire l’andouille! See, if you take that French lesson, you’ll be able to understand that.
49. Explore your curiosity
Why do Zebra’s have stripes? How do ants carry 5,000 times their body weight? Fall down that rabbit hole and see what you learn!
50. Commit to being creative
Repeat after me, “I am creative. My imagination is abundant with creativity. Inspiration comes naturally to me. Everything in my life inspires me to create. I have a wealth of good ideas…”
YouTube is a neverending source of entertainment and learning experiences!
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At intraMuse Creative, we believe in unwavering creativity. Not just in the final product, but in the entire process from how we connect with you, approach the project, tell your story and maximize your results.