Today is one of those days (er…weeks) where I need to write a blog post and next week’s email and shoot a couple of videos for social media and my brain is just not in the mood to make any of that happen. Nothing sounds quite right, my confidence is off, and when that combination creeps in it’s really hard to stay in the zone and produce content I’m excited to publish.
Because they (I don’t know who they is, but they . . .) always say to write what you know, today’s post is about how to get back in the creativity zone when doing the work is just not happening.
What I’ve found is that as a solopreneur and being accountable only to myself, it’s helpful to have a game plan in place instead of just saying “eff it” and Netflixing the day away. So here is my 8 step process for getting back in the zone where I can work again.
1 | Acknowledge why I feel how I feel
It can be really easy to fall into the trap of thinking about feeling bad and then feeling guilty for feeling bad and not getting enough done instead of getting at the root of the problem. As an action taker, identifying exactly why I feel shitty is an important first step to get back into the zone.
When I identify the specific thing that knocked me off my rails I’m able to do something to fix it. Or if it’s out of my control, I can at least take action to keep moving myself forward. For me, this is texting someone to say “Ugh, I’m struggling so hard to write today because this happened and I can’t get back in the groove.”
2 | Essential oils
Next, I like to dunk myself in essential oils or turn on my diffuser. (affiliate links y’all) This Anxiety Ease oil from Eden’s Garden is my go-to when anxiety, doubt, or stress start to creep in. It also smells like spices and oranges which I’m all for whether it works or not. Their sleepy time oil (I literally call it the pass out oil) is one of my favorites too!
3 | Leave the house
One weird thing about living in Southern California is that I often find myself inside, wrapped in a sweater, thinking it’s as chilly outside as it is in my apartment, only to take the dog out for a walk and realize it’s like 70 degrees and sunny.
If you’re a solopreneur and not taking yourself (or your dog) for a walk at least once every single day, you need to start now. Studies have shown that taking a break from what you’re trying to work through and allowing your mind to wander actually helps you get to a solution faster. Which is probably why I come up with a ridiculous number of ideas in the shower!
4 | Watch / listen to someone inspiring
Whether it’s scrolling through Instagram stories, catching a live session, digging up a video on YouTube, or downloading a podcast, listening to someone I admire talk confidently about ANYTHING helps me move into a more positive head space. It doesn’t have to be about business or blogging or how to drag yourself out of bummer city. Just hearing someone else feel inspired and motivated can help kickstart those feelings in me too.
5 | Workout
This is generally one of the last things I want to do when I’m not feeling great, which is one of the reasons I LOVE the Sworkit app. I can set the length of my workout and I can almost always con myself into getting off the couch and moving for 20 minutes. (Even if my reward is to get back on the couch with a cookie immediately after) Plus I can run the app on my iPad and watch the aforementioned inspiring video at the same time. Today’s video of choice was Jessica Jones Season 2.
6 | Get wet
That’s a direct quote from my friend Sarah over at Yes and Yes and I couldn’t have said it better myself. You could go for a swim at a local pool, run through the sprinklers in your neighborhood, take a scalding hot shower (my go-to), or have yourself an afternoon delight. Because I know that’s exactly where your brain went ;)
7 | Do the next best thing
If penning a brilliantly valuable blog post isn’t going to happen, what can I take action on that will make a direct hit to my problem? Or what is the next most important thing on my to-do list? As someone who thrives on getting shit done, checking off anything on my to-do list always helps to pull me out of my funk. Sometimes this is literally unloading the dishwasher or immersing myself in cleaning out that closet I’ve been meaning to tackle for months.
8 | Check off easy tasks + clear my schedule
If all else fails I try to clear out my schedule for the rest of the week so when I do feel better there’s time in my day to write. This means checking off things like adding pins into TailWind, bookkeeping, planning content, making graphics or anything that doesn’t take a ton of creativity or energy.
I was actually working through this list as I was writing it and I have to say, I started the day with a lot of anxiety, but once I got through the workout step and was headed into the ‘get wet’ portion of my get-back-in-the-zone game plan, I already felt a lot better!
So, time to share . . . what’s one of your go-to tricks for getting back in the creativity zone when you feel so far out of it?