How To Inspire Yourself & Get Out Of A Funk:

It’s no surprise that during a global pandemic/amidst so much suffering that inspiration may be lacking. If you’re anything like me, it has come in waves these last twelve months. I find myself dipping in and out of the inspiration pool this month specifically. To lure the inspiration and take me back to the safety of creativity’s shore, I have explored ways that bait my creative periods and I want to share my findings. Specifically, I’ve noticed how much longer my creative periods and inspiration lasts when I’m fully utilizing all of my five senses.

What are the five senses?

The five senses are sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

General Ways to engage each sense:

Sight

  • Watching foreign films/tv shows (click here to view a few of my favorites and here for my Bollywood favorites)

  • Changing my work from home location. I revamped my space and am working from a new room

  • Swapping lightbulbs for a softer and more golden hue

  • Create the ambiance/aesthetic you desire within our space

Smell

  • Light candles

  • Room spray/perfume

  • Bring in fresh flowers or your favorite greenery

  • Bake cookies


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Sound

Taste

  • Take a virtual cooking class or host one with friends/loved ones

  • Make/eat favorite treats

  • Drink coffee/tea/favorite drink

Touch

  • Explore crafting: pottery, needlework, painting––anything, really

  • Pick up leaves/flowers/touch the earth the next time you’re outside for a walk

  • Pick your own flowers or select them yourself when you go to the flower shop

  • Pet a cat/dog/household animal

  • Give those in your quarantine pod a hug/high-five

How I engage all five senses to specifically find inspiration:

I approach this two ways.

  1. If I have a seed of inspiration I will lean into that aesthetic/vibe and immerse myself through the five senses into that world (so to speak) to try and draw more inspiration from that spark or idea I have. For example, earlier this month I wanted to challenge myself creatively with flat lay photography but couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to photograph. Nothing excited me and I felt uninspired. I also wanted to start crafting again, and so, a natural merger between the two happened. I spent time enjoying myself by crafting. I sat down to use my wax seal kit (read about that here) and then photographed the aftermath of my crafternoon! I started with the idea of crafting––letter writing, specifically––and set the mood. I put on a playlist, brewed some tea I could sip throughout the experience, and lit my candles. These four elevated the sense of touch I was engaging through the craft. I felt like I was living my very best Victorian-era past life.

  2. If I don’t have an idea and inspiration is -113, I’ll do something that engages all five senses at once. For example, I’ll take bites of a sweet treat in between journaling, reading, or watching something. If I’m engaged in the former, I’ll have a playlist or podcast on in the background. I’ve been really into lighting candles lately and find this helps me get out of my head and is the sense that really slides that last inspiration puzzle piece into place. And so, I usually am able to take a metaphorical setback when all of these are implemented and think of what it is I enjoy, what I want to do, or what I am capable of doing. Then the blog post ideas, crafts, or hobbies/the next activity follows.

When inspiration doesn’t come

A lot of the time inspiration doesn’t hit right away. This might be the case for you too. Most likely it will be a mixture of the two. Some days/cases it may be an immediate “I know what to do next” sort of thing, and the other times you may have to keep searching and leaning into this tool for digging up inspo. I find that consistently showing up in my days to engage in my five sense inspiration sourcing helps me to reach a breakthrough. I also like to change up how I’m engaging my five senses. I hope you can do this too! 🙂

General Tips on how to get out of a funk:

  1. Do something new

  2. Be open to change

  3. Learn something

  4. Talk to people

  5. Identify what you like and then lean into those things

  6. Be patient with yourself

  7. Step outside of your comfort zone

My 5 Sense“Tool Box” for when I’m in a funk:

Sight

  • Watching period dramas so I can think about what life was like in another era

  • Walks with the pup

  • Watching YouTube videos on my interests/vloggers in other countries I want to travel

  • Pinterest board aesthetic building

Smell

  • Candles, candles, and candles

  • Baking

  • Opening the windows to let the fresh air in

  • Slow walks around the block and breathing in deep

  • Sniffing the fresh flowers I keep on the table

  • Deep breaths. There are many guided breathing videos free on YouTube

Sound

  • Taylor Swift. I’ve listened to her every single day for 15 years. No joke

  • Classical music while I work

  • Listening to mood playlists on YouTube and Spotify

  • Binge-watching a newfound international drama

  • Podcasts

  • Turning off all music/tv and listening to the surroundings. The birds have been chirping all day outside of my back windows

Taste

  • Drinking coffee/tea throughout the day

  • Hard candies

  • Charcuterie board

  • Sweets/treats

Touch

  • Petting the pup

  • Squeezing a squishy stress ball

  • Weight lifting

  • Yoga

  • Reading

  • Typing

  • Writing/journaling––pen and paper style 😉


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