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20 Ways to Get Inspired Fast
Sometimes you just lose your mojo. You get tired, frustrated, grumpy, sad, overwhelmed, or you're just done. It sucks, but don’t sweat it because it happens to everyone, and you can fix it.
First, you have to figure out what you’re missing. A lack of inspiration is probably the result of:
1. Not enough rest
2. Not enough play
3. Not enough support
4. Not enough vision
Take a minute (seriously) to write down how you’re feeling right now and read over it.
Do you feel rushed and hurried all the time? Are you drinking coffee or sugary drinks to stay energized? Like there’s not enough time to everything you need to do in a day? Is your sleep restless and short? Do you come home from work feeling weepy and stressed?
You’re not getting enough rest, friend. Here’s what you should do:
1. Take a warm bath with lavender Epsom salts before bed, or a long shower if you don’t have a bathtub (you can also mix the Epsom salts with your shower gel for a soothing effect). Make sure the water is hot, and your phone is far away.
2. Take a nap after work. Fling off your clothes, plan on a simple dinner, shut the curtains in your bedroom, and sleep for at least 45 minutes. Set your alarm, but let yourself wake up slowly. It may take a few minutes of grog, but then you’ll feel refreshed.
3. Don’t feel like sleeping but still want some rest time? Watch a movie or a couple of shows. Carve out two hours (on a weekday!), say no to everything else, get under a blanket and passively watch your tired little heart out. Your mind may protest (something like, “we need to get back to work!), but tell it be quiet and pass the popcorn. You need this.
4. Another non-sleep related rest activity? Look through photo albums (electronic or hard copy.) Get some non-caffeinated tea, settle into your comfy chair, and peruse happy pictures for as long as you want. Maybe take your phone along in case you’re inspired to send a text or call someone you love.
5. Yoga Nidra. Do it. Do it. Do it. You will not regret it. Your sleep will be deeper and more refreshing and basically magical. Here's a link. You’re welcome.
If it's rest you need, that's easy enough to fix. But what if that's not the problem? Another possibility: Are you spending too much of your energy on “serious” stuff and not enough on lighter pursuits? If you’re feeling the weight of the world on your back, or if you can’t remember the last time you did something non-work related, then that might be the case.
Time for some fun!
1. Spa treatment! Manicure, pedicure, massage – something! Got limited funds? Go to a beauty school. Students really want to do a good job, and the prices are cheap. Bring a friend or make it your “me” time.
2. New haircut! There’s something magical about a new do. Change the color, the length, or just have it done differently – get a fishtail braid or something – and go out with your friends. If hair’s not your thing, get a new lipstick or moisturizer or accessory – something to make you feel spiffy.
3. New paint color! Peruse some rooms on Pinterest and decide on a new color for a room in your abode. Sure, painting’s a lot of work, but you can hire out the work or make an event out of it (invite friends and buy a pizza or something). Or, if you can’t paint the walls, just change up the décor in a room. Move things around, de-clutter, or look for a new statement piece (splurge or thrift, up to you).
4. Clothing swap! You can always go shopping of course, but a clothing swap is more economical and fun. Plan an event for friends to come over with clothes to give away, make your living room a boutique, and go to town. Don’t care about clothes? Do book swap! Or, even better – do both!
5. Make something from a cookbook. Take your time buying the ingredients (try a farmer’s market or just your favorite grocery store), take your time prepping, and take your time eating. Enjoy alone with a glass of wine or make it date. Feel like a chef and save the dishes for later.
But, then again, maybe you’re getting play time and the issue lies somewhere else. Maybe...loneliness? Do you feel lonely? Like you don’t have anyone in your corner? Like it’s you all alone against the world?
It happens to the best of us – here’s how to build in some more support!
1. Determine to like your own company. Simply put – like yourself. You’ll spend more time with yourself than anybody else, so decide that you’re likable and fun to hang out with (note: I said likable and fun – not perfect). If you’ve got negative feelings towards yourself, figure out why and resolve to work on those issues. Then cut yourself some slack and know that you’ll get better. Imagine yourself as you might imagine a good friend – if they apologized for one of their less desirable qualities and wanted to work on it, you’d forgive them and cheer them on, right? Right. Give yourself that same support.
2. Put your favorite pictures into frames – and send one to somebody you love! Sometimes all it takes is friendly face or good memory to remind us that, no matter who we are or where we are, somebody out there loves us and cares about us.
3. Go to a play or art gallery with a friend. It’ll change up your routine, and you give lots to talk about with your friend. Art has a unique way of connecting us to one another and the world around us, so give your imagination some fresh material.
4. Create your ideal coach. Who’s somebody you really admire? Pretend that they’re your life coach. Seriously. When you’re feeling down, imagine they’re standing beside you, cheering you on. What would they say? It might not be “real,” but it’ll still be inspiring.
5. Be honest about it. Everyone feels lonely sometimes. It’s part of being human, but for some reason we still hide it from one another. Is there someone who you really want to be friends with? Tell them so. I’ve made lots of friends by simply letting them know that I want good friends. 9 times out 10, they do, too.
Still, if you’re getting enough sleep, enough fun, and enough support, but you’re still feeling a little burnt out, the problem is likely your vision for the future. You might feel a little hopeless or stuck, which probably means you’ve lost sight of who you are and what you want.
Not to worry, though. Here’s how to get back in your visionary groove.
1. Plan a Trip. Nothing like a little vacay to refresh your perspective. The trip could be short or long, next weekend or a year from now – it doesn’t matter. Just set an objective (i.e. paint in Italy or run the Rocky steps) and plan it out in as much loving detail as you can. It’ll give your wearied soul a new point of vision and something to look forward to!
2. Read inspirational quotes. This is so simple, but it can really work wonders on your attitude and mood. The internet is bursting with inspirational content (a la Pinterest!), so skip out on reading scummy Facebook comments and fill your head with some profound awesomeness. Start here if you like.
3. Balance your budget. There’s a million tools for this online. Or, if you have a numbers-savvy person in your life, get their help. Taking a look at your income and expenses in relation to your short and long term goals and reordering a few things can be very therapeutic. You might be surprised and want to make some changes. Or you might feel a rush of relief. Either way, you’ll get renewed vision for the future.
4. Make an accomplishments list. Hey, listen - you’ve done a lot already. We’re programmed to think “more, more, more!” but stop for a second and slow clap for yourself. You’ve made a lot of progress and done some really impressive things. Take a few minutes to remember past obstacles and how you overcame them. Then think to yourself – if I can do all that, I can do a lot more.
5. Try Conquer: A Goal-Getting Guide. It’s your one-stop-shop for inspiration, imagination, goal-setting, plan-making, and result-getting. It’ll remind you to chase your dreams even when you’re scared and help with every step of the process. You can pre-order here.
Carmen Schober's the founder of The MillionTo1 Club. She's got a B.A. (yep, Bad-Ass) and M.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing. When she's not parenting her cats, she dreams of writing books, transforming lives, and making people love goal-smashing as much as she does.
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