When you rely on your creativity to make a living and others rely on your ability to communicate in a creative, meaningful, and memorable way, what does one do when they are stifled for ideas? How does one go about unleashing their creative potential when their minds are “COVID Cluttered!” We are all collectively going through such tragic, surreal, and uncertain times. One cannot go through a day yet an hour without hearing something related to this awful pandemic. Not to mention the civil and social unrest due to the lack of LOVE for humanity. What are some ways to stop the clutter and allow for creative flow to emerge? Personally, I have made it a priority over the past two months to wake up at sunrise and go hiking. I find solace in surrounding myself with nature. It’s good for the head and the heart, and It grounds me. “flow” is a state of mind where we become so immersed and enveloped in any given activity that we become oblivious to the passage of time. “Flow” clears the clutter and allows for engaging and focused thoughts to blossom. We produce our best work when ideas flow effortlessly. One cannot do this if their mind is stressed or backed up with unpleasant thoughts.
Below are a number of activities that you might consider in order to reduce “COVID Clutter.”
- Meditate/Deep breathing exercises “Mental silence”/meditation: is a wonderful way to initiate a state of calm, even during the tempestuous of days. Meditation requires some mental focus, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Search for a quiet spot, to sit or lie down in your home, or outside. Close your eyes, breathe deeply. Clear that cluttered turbulent mind of yours. Focus on an object; create a mantra that resonates with your psyche, then, allow your mind to empty its stress with each breath you take.
- Visualization: Find a happy place in your headspace. Close your eyes and picture yourself there. Perhaps it’s a beach, listen to the waves crashing lightly upon the shore. Feel the warmth of the sun on your body., the trees swaying in the breeze. Create your peaceful personal calm by visualizing what makes you relaxed. Visualization is a great way to reduce stress, clutter, and ease anxious feelings.
- Exercise Hiking/Walking/Running: Increasing your endorphin levels which is your brain's natural mood-boosting chemicals can be most beneficial. Exercise offers natural stress relief by increasing levels of feel-good chemicals while reducing cortisol and other stress hormones.
- Engage the “sniffer”: As we have heard, deep breathing can be calming and so can what we are breathing in. A calming aroma can do wonders for one’s state of being. Essential oils that are distilled from plants and herbs are believed to have an impact on the emotional state of the brain. Lavender in particular for many has been identified to have a soothing/calming effect on one’s mental state. Give it a whiff and see if it works for you!
- Music is medicine: Turn on the tunes and listen to some of the music that relaxes or empowers you. Music definitely engages the soul. Whether it be soul, jazz, pop, folk, classical, or good ole rockin’ roll, figure out what works best for you and pump up the volume!
- Laugh a little: Laughter can reduce stress levels. Turn on the television and watch a comedy or, better yet who is your favorite comedian? Tune in a get a good belly laugh going.
- Read a good book: Perhaps get lost in the pages of a good novel, epic fantasy or thriller! The written word can take you to faraway places. Poetry, prose, whatever strikes your fancy can be extremely helpful in taking you away from the ever-present grueling day to day grind.
If you feel yourself falling into unhealthy patterns these activities will no doubt aid in helping you find your most creative selves. Weaving one or two of them into your daily routine can make a big difference in your physical and mental state. Stress and clutter are truly unavoidable these days. Try your best to be positive, optimistic, and happy. Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to “COVID Clutter.” It doesn’t have to be insurmountable.