Dear friend,

Some days feel like a slog. You feel like you’re stuck, like every day is the same. Like nothing will change. I can definitely relate. Winter in the Mid-West has that effect.

Take a breath. It’ll be okay. Here are three ways that you can shake up your week, and find some inspiration for the next piece of your journey.

1. Try Something New

Pick up a spice you’ve never used before and add it to the soup you’re making tonight. Get a different dessert from the cultural aisle at the grocery store. Listen to a new genre of music for an hour.

Have a picnic on the floor. Try a new hairstyle. Pull out an old outfit you haven’t touched in a while. Go to the library and grab a book you wouldn’t normally read. For creatives, this blog post by Ashton Hauff suggests trying a new hobby.

The Something New doesn’t have to be big or scary. It just has to be different. If different is scary to you or you just want company, ask a friend or family member to join you. That’s what friends are for. Maybe you find a new thing to add to the list of your favorite things. If you find you don’t like the Something New, that’s okay, too. Inspiration can come from anywhere, even the things we don’t like.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

2. Journal

I don’t mean the kind of journalling that’s Dear Diary, This is what happened at school today. I mean look back on the things that you’ve learned or grown in over the past year or even this past month. Remember the dreams you had when you were a kid and the dreams you have now.

Write them down. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It could just even be a list.

Honestly, I hated journaling for most of my life. However, over the past couple of years, I started writing down a planner-like format in my notebook. I kept track of the things I did each week.

Things like what movies I watched. When I went to work or I went out with a friend. What recipes I made that week. It wasn’t a planner or a to-do list, but a record of things I’d done.

I look back through the notebook and get to see all the things I’ve done and the ways I’ve changed. Find something that works for you.

Daydreaming isn’t meant to be productive,

even if it can help you get there.

3. Daydream

You’d be amazed at the miracle of staring at the ceiling or of the uninteresting view out of that one window. You know the one. Every house has one.

Turn off your phone, and I mean shut it off completely. Lie on the floor or sit in a chair and just… Stare into space. You might be bored for an hour or just fifteen minutes before your mind finds something to occupy it.

But daydreaming and boredom are good for you. They spur us into action and enhance creativity, even for people who wouldn’t consider themselves ‘creative.’ In his video about why boredom is good for you, Derek Muller says, “Boredom is both a warning that we’re not doing what we want to be doing, and a push that motivates us to switch goals and projects.”

After boredom leaves and daydreaming kicks in, remember you are allowed to just let your thoughts wander. Daydreaming isn’t meant to be productive, even if it can help you get there.

Go Do It

There are many other ways to find inspiration, but these are easy places to start. Trying something new, journaling, and daydreaming can all be difficult. Be patient with yourself and let yourself ‘fail’. Let go of what you think these things ‘should’ look like and just try them.

Maybe you’ll get a great new idea and become the next DaVinci. Maybe you’ll find you just needed some excitement to spice up the everyday. Whichever it is, good job! You’ve got this.

Sincerely,

R. J. Catlin