Lately, I’ve been feeling unmotivated and uninspired—in writing and in life overall. These are some words of advice to myself and anyone else in need of inspiration.
Take a break from your daily routine
It’s nice to establish a routine: it allows you to manage your time wisely and complete daily tasks efficiently, making for a more organized life. After a while, however, it can be monotonous. There’s little room for creativity when you’re on autopilot, doing the same thing day after day.
That is why vacations are so important—they give us time to recoup and reenergize after being bogged down by the monotony of school and/or work. But you don’t need two to three weeks off at a foreign destination to take a break from your routine. Simply change up small parts of your routine every once in a while. This can be a simple change of scenery, such as going to a coffee shop instead of the library or taking the different route home. But it can also be a change in habit. For example, instead of sitting down and watching the same show at the end of every day, maybe watch something new, or read a book, or go out and explore a part of your city you’ve never been to before. Get out of your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t normally do. It’ll force you to… and keep you from becoming stuck in an uninspired rut.
Get out of your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t normally do. It’ll force you to keep an open mind and prevent you from becoming stuck in a repetitive, uninspired rut.
Get in touch with your creative side
Along the lines of the first point, sometimes our daily routines don’t allow us to engage our creative side as often as we would like to. Every once in a while, take some time to create. Write. Paint. Take photos. Make music. Whatever creative medium you prefer. [Or, if you’re preferred creative activity happens to be what you’re lacking inspiration to do (as it is in my case), engage in a creative act that’s new to you.] The finished product doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be something you’re willing to share with the world. Create simply to exercise your creativity, forcing yourself to dig deep and uncover inspiration you may not have realized was there all along. And who knows, it may even lead to something greater than you imagined when you began.
Whatever aspect of your life you’re feeling unmotivated or uninspired in, there’s likely an article, book, video, blog post, documentary or some other kind of source on the topic. Seek out these sources and immerse yourself in this newfound information. Learn more about issues important to you, discover ways of approaching matters that differ from your own, and see how other people may perceive the world differently than you do.
Be constantly hungry for knowledge, because learning new things, especially from different perspectives, opens your mind to things you may have never considered before. And this leads to the formation of new ideas, providing the basis for inspiration in whatever it is you want to do.
Discover new art
Find inspiration in new music, movies, books, poetry—any form of art you find interesting. This can be new in terms of recent releases, such as the plethora of new music that has been released so far this year, or just new to you, like a classic book you’ve heard about but never got around to reading.
It’s inspiring to see what people are capable of creating, and it’s incredible that something that was once merely an idea in someone’s mind has manifested into tangible art they are sharing with the world. Even if not the same medium you work with, exposure to new art can refuel your creativity and motivate you to be innovative in your own field as well.
So, check out the museums in your town. Go to the movie theater. Attend an open mic night. Window shop and see what new fashion trends catch your eye. There’s new art waiting to be discovered everywhere.
Declutter space and mind
Being in a messy space can feel overwhelming, and it’s hard to find inspiration through the clutter. Cleaning your space, donating things you no longer have a need for, and rediscovering items you can reincorporate into your life can help you look at things in a new light, realizing what are necessities and what is superfluous. It can even be a creative process—redecorating your space and finding new, more efficient ways of arranging your belongings.
Beyond material things, get rid anything that may be overwhelming you mentally, causing stress and/or anxiety. Personally, I’ve deleted certain apps off my phone and turned off notifications from the apps that I decided to keep. This has really helped lessen the constant bombardment of likes, favorites, and updates that can clutter your phone and your mind. Without those apps and notifications, I’ve found myself checking my phone less often and better able to be present. And while much inspiration can be found on the Internet and social media, being present and aware of your surroundings is an important part of finding inspiration in the world around you.
I try to do this every day, but especially on days when I feel uninspired, I write down 3 things I’m grateful for. This exercise forces you to look at life from a different perspective, actively looking for the good in the world, especially on days when you feel as if there is nothing to be grateful for. Doing so helps you realize that despite the current state of things, there is still so much to be happy about, and that in itself is inspiring.
What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?