Take a Break from Your Everyday Life (and Improve Your Creative Thinking)

5:55:00 PM

Yeah I’ve heard the story so many times before. You feel trapped in your daily routine. The monotony of your life, the same old stupid things that you repeat day in and day out stifle your creative thinking. There are simply too many things you have to do, so many tasks to finish, goals to accomplish, you have no time to listen to your own thoughts, let alone spare time to engage in some creative activity.

Love locks in Prague
Love Locks - I discovered them during one of my creative walks by the banks of Vltava in Prague

What really happens is that you put everything and everyone else before your own emotional needs. And all the time you have this false feeling that you are doing good things for your career, your family, your community... while you are feeling dumb and unhappy inside. A strange notion that you are missing out on something important haunts you and leaves you physically, emotionally and creatively drained.

I am not pretending to be the wisest person in the world (I am obviously not) but I have a piece of advice that I wish to share here with you.

There is a very simple solution to your problem.

You do not need pills, no psycho-therapy, no expensive trips to spa resorts. In fact, the solution that I suggest may not cost you a cent! It is so simple, yet so powerful that it can add new quality to your life.

All you really need to feel normal and happy again is some time on your own – a simple time out from your everyday life!

You need a time out from everybody, including yourself; a time when you will put all the worries, duties, your everyday roles as parent, lover, professional, etc. behind and clear your mind from the usual thoughts that preoccupy it.

Make a vow to spend two hours every week alone with yourself. It can be some time during weekends, or during weekdays, if you find them more convenient. Decide upon a day in a week when you will free some time and spend it any way you like it. Cherish those two hours and do not let anyone, or anything, take them away from you. If two hours sounds too much at this point, at least start with one hour. You deserve it, do not feel guilty for having it.

If you decide to spend your creative hours in your home, you can find some peaceful spot where you can lounge undisturbed while sipping hot coffee and reading your favourite book. You can spend time working in your garden; or you can take a walk in the nearby park; or you can visit a city zoo. I personally prefer long walks by the river but I also enjoy going to toy shops. (Sometimes I buy a toy for myself.) You can also go to the movies (forget about DVD’s for a moment), or visit art galleries. You can explore a local bookstore, or go to a matinee concert. If you are a sporty type, you can take fast walks, buy a monthly ticket for a swimming pool or take dancing classes. There are hundreds of ways in which you can spend the time with yourself doing things that you enjoy.

If you still doubt that this is a good idea and think that there are more important things in life than idling, you are terribly wrong.

Most of your duties are self-imposed. Things that you do in your spare time, like reading just another report or going through your e-mails again and again, cleaning your house, cooking meals for your family, preparing your kids for school... are the duties that can sometimes prevent you from exploring and looking after your own emotional needs. Sure, these are all important tasks which have to be done but why do YOU always have to do them? Is there somebody who can jump in and take over some of these responsibilities from you? The world is not going to end if you postpone laundry washing for tomorrow and instead do something you enjoy doing. Everybody deserves a time out, so do you!

Sometimes people avoid spending time on their own because they are afraid of their own thoughts and emotions. They would rather watch stupid shows on the TV, read glossy magazines and daydream about the things they will never be able to afford or meet with friends and discuss the same old topics over and over again.

Most of us would rather stay focused on the external things and events, rather than on what is really going on in our mind. Painful as it may be this look inside can also be very liberating.

Time out of your daily routine will help you recharge your physical and emotional energy. You will prove to you that you care for yourself and respect the person that you are. You will feel more alive. You will open your creative chakras and let inspiration flow through your entire being.

Relaxed mind is opened to new sensations, images, sounds, smells... Only in such a state it is able to make new mental connections and create new ideas. In the moments of relaxation you are most likely to experience the ‘a-ha! effect’, a sudden blast of light which announces the birth of a new idea. Neuro-science has proved the connection between relaxation and meditation and creative thinking.

So, enjoy the time with yourself and remember this rule: during your creative hours you have the permission to be adventurous, silly, entertaining, inspired... Do not judge yourself and do not let others judge you. Just dip in and enjoy every second of it.

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If you wish to further explore this topic, you can check out the selection of my favourite books about creative thinking.

Key words for this blog post:
creative thinking, finding inspiration, overcoming creative blocks...

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