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The Creative in You: Unblocking Yourself in Winter

Photo by Anna Heckmann; Rocks sitting within the Blue Garden Fountian. 

Summer overflows with inspiration. The gorgeous greens, the sun with its endless warmth, and the long days that turn into beautiful nights allow for endless possibilities within your mind and body. Even once we head into Fall, the inspiration is only heightened with the changing colors and magic of the Halloween season. But as winter nears, and the winds become sharper, how do we keep from being stagnant, mentally and physically? It is all too easy to hide from the world underneath heated blankets, and become depressed from the darkness that comes so quickly. Here are some tips, for you and me, to get us through these long winter months. 

Get outside:

I know it’s hard to embrace the cold, but there is no bad weather, only poorly dressed people! (Okay with 20 mph winds in Minnesota, there is some bad weather). As long as conditions aren’t too extreme, it is entirely possible to enjoy being outside. Start your day off with a walk and feel your mind and body open. Run and play to get your blood going. Whether the sky’s filled with deep blues or dark grays, there is no stopping the openness it embodies, and the same goes for you. 

Bring a journal wherever you go:

This is something I started doing in high school, and now I have the most interesting journals to look back on. I like to keep a diary next to my bed, and a few little journals that stay in various backpacks/purses. Record beautiful things you see, interesting thoughts you have, lovely words people say. Make these into poems, or keep them to remember moments. It’s nice to have on hand if you’re feeling sad, whether to make you smile or to give you an outlet to express yourself. And if inspiration strikes, it won’t get lost. 

Surround yourself with inspiring people:

For a while I went without having any actively creative people in my life, (though I didn’t do this on purpose), and during that period I did not create and had infinite writer’s block. Having creative people in your life can allow you to feed off of each other’s ideas and give you a reason to have a fun craft night. Make an effort to know these people if your paths cross; there are plenty of opportunities to meet creatives at Hamline and in the cities. But your friends don’t even need to be inherently creative— surrounding yourself with open people, who are willing to grow and try new things will do. 

“Rewrite” yourself:

To combat my writers block, I look at old pieces I’ve written and redo that concept. Using a past template can be done in any medium ( i.e. writing, drawing an old piece, taking a picture at the same place you took years ago.) Compare your pieces and reflect on how you’ve changed.  

Read new or old books:

I love rereading books because I always see and understand things I didn’t before. A book that shaped me and gave me inspiration when I was younger can mean something completely different once I’ve grown more. Reading new books can open worlds to which you’ve never been…go visit one!

Just be:

Take a moment to sit somewhere new and just be, without your phone or any other distractions. Think, or don’t. Live in this present moment. Feel all it has to offer and reflect that into your art. 

You don’t need to be “good” at art to be creative. I’m a terrible drawer, but still find expression in doodling my feelings in my journal for only me to see. Creativity is a way of thinking. Don’t be afraid to think outside of yourself.


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