Creativity has been one of the constant sources of joy for me in my life. When I’m going through something difficult, I turn to design as a way of processing those emotions. But I’ve also found myself creatively blocked or drained, at times.
This happens to me when I have too many anxiety-inducing ideas in my head all at once. Too many thoughts about all that needs to get done and thoughts about worst case scenario “what if’s”. Then, I start compounding that with negative thoughts that bring up shame and regret. This causes stress and bam! Creative block or drain!
Here are some of the tricks I use to prevent this or to recover:
1. Planning & organization: Write down all that I have to do and allocate time frames. Schedule tasks. Note - working with my therapist, I realized I was over-scheduling my day. So whatever I think I can do in a day, I plan 20% less. Also plan for self-care, mental hygiene, and rest / Relaxation time. Then stick by this plan.
2. Now that I have scheduled all the to-dos, I don’t have to carry them on my shoulders anymore. I can make peace with the timeline I worked out.
3. Make sure to rest and relax. Self-care has become such a huge part of my creative process. I have to let things emerge sometimes and this can happen when I give myself the space to just be.
4. When I do these steps, I don’t get into the worst-case scenario thinking as much. I have learned to be vigilant to catching myself when these patterns pop up. Just by becoming aware that I started thinking this way, it becomes easier to address and break these patterns of behavior.
5. Enjoy being in the present moment. Don’t worry about the past that is completely beyond control or a future that hasn’t happened yet.
I hope these simple tips help you in “clearing” you mind and giving yourself the space for new ideas to emerge.