Long work hours take a toll on our energy, enthusiasm and creativity. It all looks harmless at first: pull a couple of all nighters, sip an extra cup of coffee, take a few additional projects. Cash is flowing in, deadlines are met and business is booming. You? Not so much. Before you know it, you're sleep deprived, constantly tired and more sensitive than usual. It's hard to work, let alone live.
If this is you at the moment, take a few minutes to see how fellow creatives dedicate precious time to activities that allow them to unwind. Your work will actually benefit from this much-needed pause: in releasing tensions and opening your mind to new spaces, your creativity is suddenly recharged.
1. Go outside.
Nature offers infinite objects, landscapes and color palettes that do wonders at recharging your creative power.
Explore new spaces in your city, country, or even the world. A context change will energize your mind and body to face challenges differently.
3. Try your hand at cooking
This serves a double purpose: cooking at home is both an entertaining activity and an opportunity to discover healthier eating habits.
Embrace play in whichever form you prefer. Escape client work and explore your creativity freely. Find a place to create where there is no right or wrong.
5. Focus on the little things
When was the last time you left your desk to enjoy an inspiring sunset?
6. Go watch a game
Sports offer adrenaline, optimism and an opportunity to spend time with others. Focus your energy on watching someone else win or lose for a change.
7. Hit the beach
The ocean reminds us that everything else recedes in light of its magnitude. Work problems often become small, trivial things that we can deal with later.
8. Pursue a new passion project
You're so involved in your work and the commitments attached to it that you've forgotten to explore new interests. Take some time out and rediscover your passions.
9. Go on a team retreat
Do you work at an agency or creative collective? Go out and have some fun as a team. Connecting over activities beyond work will only strengthen your relationships and improve the team spirit that pushes your best creations forward.
10. No team? Create one.
Many other creatives share your passions, and are equally interested in unwinding for a bit. Create a group, vent your frustrations, share exciting moments and let the magic happen!
11. Grab a book
Reading fiction can restore inspiration in unexpected ways, and take you to amazing places without ever leaving home.
12. Hang out with kids
Where else can you find the most genuine expression of creativity but in someone who has never been told that he/she can't, or is not good enough? Kids are never-ending sources of inspiration.
Driving can make some of us feel like there's just the road, a destination and whoever is in the car. Everything else we've been worrying about is quite literally being left behind.
14. Pursue childhood passions
As much as spending time with children can inspire you, never forget that you were one of them once. That child is somehow still within you. Sometimes the key to rediscovering one's creative power is reconnecting with that child's wishes.
Look back on your past successes for the inspiration to create something new and the motivation to move forward.
16. Go on a photo hunt
Grab your camera or smartphone and hunt for visually-appealing sights around town. Stimulating the eye, no matter how random your photo series might be, will positively impact your perspective when you go back to work.
17. Attend a creative event
Trust me: you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Creatives all around the world are already meeting up to share common joys and troubles, in events that are nothing short of eye-opening. Creative Market recently hosted a Lettering and Lattes event that joined a community of creators around the topic that they were most passionate about.
18. Go wireless
Unplug. Really though. This is not one of those random therapies that trend on the Internet. Going offline every now and then can seriously help amplify your senses, clarify your thought process and release some of the mental clutter you are experiencing.
19. Flip your perspective.
Go someplace abnormally high or really deep. Looking at everyday scenery from an unlikely location can assist creative thinking, and help you recover that worn-out ability to generate ideas.
20. Go shopping
Believe it or not, buying something is completely beside the point here. Looking at products that other creators have spent time and effort designing will surely refill your visual library.