Do you ever feel like your creativity is zapped? Like you’re constantly in work-gym-sleep mode and drowning in To-Do lists?
During those moment of stress, our creativity levels are at about zero. And even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative” type, living in this Zombie Zone has an effect on both how you think and how you interact with those around you. Just remember how you feel after coming home from a busy day, saddled with groceries and already jumping ahead to tomorrow’s schedules. Do you even notice your roommate/significant other/dog/plants?
I didn’t think so.
Lately, I’ve been trying out a new ritual — one that gets me out of my own head and into The Flow. It’s a mental space where time gets lost and ideas just glide into the forefront of my mind; ones that I never would have thought of without allowing myself to get out of my Everyday.
But, it’s also been allowing me to be a Better Human. Because, when I give myself permission to take a breather, I treat myself and others in a more genuine, loving way.
So, what is an Inspiration Date?
My version of an Inspiration Date comes from this little gem of a book called The Artist’s Way. This creative gospel has been around as long as I have (literally, it was published in 1992) — but it’s still revered by writers, designers, and entrepreneurs alike.
In it, author Julia Cameron describes a variety of ways to access your budding creativity (in a bit of a crunchy way). But, one of my favorite of her recommendations is an Artist’s Date. The way she describes it is:
To make time for yourself, once a week, on your own, to do something enchanting.
It’s giving yourself the space to get out of your own head. To do something different. To spend time with You, and only You. To have fun. To be silly. To be weird. To notice something different. To get out of your routine.
To get to know yourself in an easy, lighthearted way.
Inspiration Dates don’t have to be extravagant (even if your Bumble Dates do)
Most importantly, these Inspiration Dates are cheap. They’re different. And, they definitely don’t need to meet high expectations.
Some of the ways that I’ve been taking myself on Inspiration Dates are:
- Going for a walk around a new neighborhood at sunset
- Walking or jogging near water (this always calms me)
- Browsing around a new bookstore
- Riding the subway/sitting in a park/people watching in any way, shape or form
- Going to a coffee shop for a few hours with a notebook + pen
- Browsing around the farmers market
- Exploring thrift shops
- Doing some self-care rituals (+ wine)
- Treating myself to a mani-pedi
- Writing a love letter to moi
This list altogether probably costs less than $25 (damn you mani-pedi!). Your Inspiration Date doesn’t need to be intense or perfect or Instagram-worthy. In fact, you shouldn’t even have your phone.
These moments are times to reconnect with yourself. To recenter and rebalance. To discover new ideas or insights or just simply have a minute alone.
So, treat yourself to an Inspiration Date this week, and see what you find. And, if you get to the other side with nothing but a deep breath…that’s okay, too.
Check out my new podcast, Challenging the Collective, on iTunes to hear more about ways you can be inspired, and challenge you version of the collective each day!