I am not gonna lie to you guys: I’ve had a rough go of it with sheltering in place. I think at this point I am on week 5… but really, what even IS time anymore? I’ve worked for myself for a long time and most of the time I worked from home (see my tips on being more productive while working from home here). But I have found that my inspiration is majorly lacking… or at least inconsistent. I can’t simply go to a museum or a bookstore or even to the mountains to energize my brain. These days, I have to be much more proactive about how I stay inspired while at home, so I wanted to share with you how I’m doing just that.
Stay Inspired While At Home With These 8 Easy Tips
Take a break
This seems pretty obvious, but I am the worst at taking breaks. I really struggle with this when I’m up against a deadline, too. I’ll sit at my desk and try to power through being tired, hungry, or whatever… and basically just spin my wheels. I’ve found that I am much more energized and inspired if I can step away from my work for a bit. That can mean taking a mid-day shower, cleaning up the kitchen from lunch, or taking the dogs for a walk. Bonus points if you’re able to sit outside on a deck or patio!
Tour museums… virtually
That’s right, you can see museums without the crowds and from the comfort of your home! The team at Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with over 2500 museums around the world to share tours online. You can go to the Uffizi in Florence, then the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and then MoMa in New York… all in the same day. It’s awesome and great to do with kids, too.
Be strategic about brainstorming
A big part of my job is brainstorming new concepts for photoshoots and content here on the blog. Sometimes to stay inspired, I play a game in my head where I’ll get a reward if I can focus on the task at hand, like coming up with new blog post ideas. I set a timer, put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode, and write down as many ideas as I can in that period of time. Usually it’s 30 minutes and I don’t judge any of the ideas. I just get them out on paper. I can sift through them later. Then, afterwards, I treat myself to something small like a piece of chocolate or a face mask.
Focus on improving your sleep
Trust me, I know sleeping well feels impossible right now. I’ve struggled with insomnia for most of my life, so I get it. But truly… if you can get a good night of sleep, that will make a world of difference. I’ve shared a few posts with tips to help you sleep better:
- How Lighting Can Help You Sleep Better
- My Sleep Routine to Help My Insomnia
- 6 Ways to Make Your Small Bedroom Feel Like a Relaxing Sanctuary
Eat a meal
I am the worst about eating on a consistent schedule, but I know it impacts my ability to stay inspired and energized throughout the day. By simply taking 30 minutes to make myself a proper breakfast, I know my day will go better! Definitely make sure you get some protein in your meals while working, too.
Bounce ideas off of someone else
I am an extreeeeemely collaborative person and have been since I went to design school. When I’m working, I constantly send screenshots and text excerpts to my friends for their opinions. I genuinely think that their input makes my content so much better! If you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated by a project, try talking to your partner or your bestie about it. Even if they aren’t in the same field at all, you never know what unexpected insight might come from it.
For example, Sean is a boat mechanic and wasn’t even on Instagram when we met! But I always ask him what he thinks of how I edited a video or what I wrote for a caption. He’s a wonderful sounding board.
Figure out when you are most productive
I absolutely know that my brain is wayyy more creative, inspired, and productive early in the morning. As much as I hate waking up early, I know I have to do it. The work I create in the morning is vastly different than what I do in the afternoon. Because of this, I try to take care of my writing early in the day, then move onto taking photos, then end the day with emails and responding to direct messages and social media comments. I urge you to figure out what your rhythm is and try to maximize it.
Give yourself some grace
This is the most important one, in my opinion. We are all under an immense amount of stress right now. Our world has a freaking pandemic going on… I never in a million years thought anything like that would happen in my lifetime. Even if you feel like your day-to-day hasn’t changed much, your subconscious brain is most likely in overdrive processing all of this stress. So be kind to yourself. If you can’t focus on something or don’t feel inspired, maybe it’s time to take a break or move onto an easier task.
What else is helping you stay inspired and motivated during this COVID-19 crisis? I would love to know, so leave a comment!
Looking for more tips to help you cope with social distancing and self-quarantining? Check out these posts:
- How To Unwind At the End of a Long Day
- 21 DIY Projects to Take Your Mind Off Things
- 30 Free Projects to Do At Home
- Comfort Food Recipes I Highly Recommend
- How I Slow Down My Mind When It’s Racing