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7 Ways to Get Out of a Creative Rut Quickly

February 12, 2023

Most of the time, I feel like I’m on top of the world, crushing it in – in my career and personal life. But then, out of d nowhere… I wake up, and it’s all doom and gloom. Nothing seems right. The imposter syndrome starts creeping up, and I start to question everything. Am I […]

Most of the time, I feel like I’m on top of the world, crushing it in – in my career and personal life. But then, out of d nowhere… I wake up, and it’s all doom and gloom. Nothing seems right. The imposter syndrome starts creeping up, and I start to question everything. Am I really good at my job? Do my clients deserve someone better? Do I deserve to be a business owner? Should I go back to a 9-5? I’m even scared to post on social accounts because I feel like a failure or a fraud. Why don’t I have 10k followers?

My to-do list is piling up, and the pressure is on. All I want to do is focus and get things off my plate – but I can’t think. I’m tired. I just want the world around me to go quiet and do things I shouldn’t. I get annoyed with everyone and everything around me, and scrolling through Instagram makes me feel even worse.

That’s it. I know what this is now- I’m in a creative rut.

Honestly, this typically happens to me at least twice a year. Especially in winter, when everything slows down, we’re not traveling, and the nights are super long.

But I know what the signs are, and I’ve gone through it enough to know that getting out of a creative rut is possible and can happen somewhat quickly. These are some of the things that I’ve done that can hopefully work for you too.

Important side note: Having the “winter blues” can also be known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression that is triggered by the lack of sunlight during the winter months. I am not addressing depression in this post, but I do believe your mental health is really important. If the way you are feeling is something more than just being a “little off” or feeling uninspired, you should really talk to someone about your mental health.

1. Stop fighting it and take a break

I know every inch of your being is telling you to “just focus” and push through it. But you’re going to get even more frustrated and waste just as much time, if not more, than spending a day just taking a break. When you’re in a creative rut, it can feel like you’re stuck and unable to see a way out. By taking a break, you can give yourself time to recharge, refocus, and gain a fresh perspective.’

This past weekend I ordered sushi delivery and binge-watched the new season of Emily In Paris in one night. Sure, I wasn’t at all productive work-wise, but it gave me some time to shut my brain off and let me relax.  

2. Get moving

Don’t let the rut get the best of you. Lace-up your sneakers and start moving! Exercise has been proven to boost mood, increase energy levels, improve sleep, and increase confidence. Not to mention, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you cross off something on your to-do list, even when you’re feeling uninspired.

Especially during times when I am feeling uninspired, I try to tackle exercise with another item on my to-do list- taking my dog Sunny for a walk. It feels good to get outside and get some fresh air, but also, getting a light jog or run in makes me feel really good when we get back to the house.

3. Connect with others

It’s time to pick up your phone and call someone! Having someone to talk to and share your feelings with can help lift your spirits and provide a new perspective. Whether you call n a friend, family member, or professional therapist, it’s important to talk about what you’re going through. Talking to someone who can offer support and encouragement can really help. Plus, a little laughter and good company never hurt anyone!

My twin sister is so supportive, she helps me through everything. No matter my mood or what I’m feeling, she is always there to offer a listening ear. And the difference between talking to my sister or my husband is that she knows it’s just a vent session, and I don’t need her to fix anything – just listen. My life isn’t in shambles, I’m just having a bad day, week, or month. I think the last time this happened we talked about our horoscope and were googling if Mercury is in Retrograde. Just good fun and a breath of fresh air.

4. Learn something new

Embrace the unknown and see where it takes you! Learning something new can help break the monotony, boost your confidence, and give you a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, trying a new recipe, or learning a new skill, taking on something new can help reignite your passion and spark creativity.

When I’m feeling stuck, I try to get off of the computer and out of my comfort zone. So the best way for me to do that is to spice things up in the kitchen. I’ve learned to make so many new things from scratch, but one of my favorites is chicken tortilla soup, and I even learned how to make homemade tortilla chips!

5. Practice mindfulness

It’s time to take a deep breath and try incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine! Practicing mindfulness helps you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings, which can lead to a greater understanding of what’s causing your creative rut. Additionally, mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and help you become more resilient. So, make time each day to focus on your breath and thoughts, and see how mindfulness can help you break free from your creative rut and find peace and clarity.

6. Get organized

Clearing up clutter and getting organized can help you feel more in control and less stressed. This could mean cleaning up your workspace or decluttering your home.

Most people I know save their decluttering for Spring cleaning. But I believe – there is no time like the present! Whether I am clearing out one of my junk drawers or switching up my workspace for the millionth time, it makes me feel accomplished and also helps me clear my mind.  

7. Invest in yourself

Listening to motivational podcasts, reading self-help books, or meditating can provide the guidance and support you need to get back on track. These resources can help you gain new perspectives, develop positive habits, and boost your overall well-being.

I started to turn off the murder-mystery podcasts and tune into things that help me feel good and help me get better at what I do, like watching a Masterclass or taking a course. When I start to feel like the world around me is getting a little grey, I turn inwards and do my best to help build myself back up. I like to think I am my best investment! 

Now it’s your turn! Do you get struck by the “winter blues” or get into a seasonal rut? 

Which one of these would you try first?

Let me know in the comments!

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Meet Tiffany, your virtual hype girl

I'm a 3x entrepreneur with a passion for helping big dreamers like you turn your ideas into profitable businesses and side-hustles. I don't just talk the talk, I walk the walk. I've been working remotely since 2017, run a multiple 6-figure marketing agency, and now I am lucky enough to help women from all over the globe find the success they've been dreaming of.

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