Want to be more creative? With the holidays upon us, here are 3 ways to get creative without even trying! Plus summer courses and our favourite holiday reads.
Happy holidays! Whatever you are up to, I hope you have plenty of hammock-time planned 🌴🏖️🏄🏽
“Don’t stress, downtime is an essential part of the creative process”
Suitcase packed? Flight booked? Stranger found on Gumtree to look after the cat? Great! But if your summer holiday is imminent and you’re about to set the Out Of Office auto-reply, we’re going to make a prediction that by day six of your trip a slight feeling of restlessness will kick in.
That’s because the brain doesn’t have an ‘Out Of Office’ setting. If something is important to you, it will keep on whirring around until you do something about it.
Annoyingly, this will probably happen when you’re kicking back on a sun lounger or dropping off for a siesta. But don’t panic! These are your creative ‘incubation’, or ‘aha!’ muscles showing themselves.
Whether you’re a junior PR, a CD or a CMO, we have three awesome but super-relaxing ways to get that creative to-do item… done. Or perhaps undone. And trust us – there’s no better feeling than returning to work refreshed and armed with a sackful of usable ideas that you literally dreamt up!
1/ Lean into your down time
Alpha waves are the stars of the show when it comes to creativity. They are slower than the brainwaves typical of alert, focused mindsets – yet faster than the slow waves of deep sleep.
Daydreaming and time out can help this brain state to foster creative thinking. Meditation does this, too. So, if relaxation is your aim, you can expect to be more creative on your hols.
It can help to actually pose a question or problem to your unconscious mind, or equally (and I do this often at bedtime), thank your unconscious mind for reminding you, but telling it/me that it’s time to switch off now). It might sound bonkers, but it works.
2/ Try a mental declutter to be more creative
Author and artist Julia Cameron has an exercise called ‘morning pages’ which is a great way to think in an unrestricted way. Cameron encourages you to write three pages of completely unedited, stream-of-consciousness thoughts the moment you wake up.
She states: “they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind – and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page… and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
Read more in her best-selling book The Artist’s Way.
3/ Practice getting in a ‘great state to create’
Being away is a fab opportunity to practice getting into different mental states. It’s a low-stakes way to play a little bit and try something new.
Try ‘tuning in’ and being present during a random five minutes with any item that takes your fancy. We’ve even used a humble raisin for this exercise. Here’s a video (audio only) of me explaining how to do the ‘raisin meditation‘.
4/ Want more?
Looking for books to get lost in and inspire you on your hols? Check out our 7 summer reads for creatives! And if you’re looking for creativity training, check out our latest schedule. We have online creativity courses, too!