The Ultimate Guide to Regaining Your Creativity

If you’ve hit the mid-semester slump of laziness and exhaustion, you’re not alone. Here are a few helpful tips to get you back on your A game!

1. Plan to procrastinate

Let’s be real: Although we might intend to get everything done early, making it happen is a struggle.

An easy way to combat the procrastination that’s blocking your creativity is to allow yourself to cave into your desire and procrastinate. This tip comes in handy if you’re someone who likes to plan your schedule in advance. Though it sounds unusual, I like to schedule time in my planner to procrastinate by writing the deadlines I have for articles, assignments, etc. a few days earlier than the actual due date. Procrastinating is so easy, and I often find myself doing it without meaning to. By moving my deadlines in my planner ahead by a day or two, I trick myself into getting everything done early while still having wiggle room to procrastinate if I want to.

2. Think about your goals and how you can reach them

The easiest way to get your thoughts in order is to write them down. A strategy that seems to get my creativity on track is making lists. Whether the goal you’re aiming to reach is long-term or short-term, you need a plan, and brainstorming is a foolproof way to get your creativity flowing. If I’m really stuck on trying to figure out a way for something to work, a little research and advice from a friend is the perfect go-to.

3. Find and compile images that inspire you

This tip is one of my personal favorites, and it’s especially helpful for planning out a long-term goal.

An example of a long-term goal I have is to move to New York. With the specific goal of moving to New York in mind, I’ll log onto Pinterest and create a board of photos of my favorite neighborhood, room décor and even color palettes. Another easy way you can compile images to inspire you is by wiping the dust off that stack of magazines on your bookshelf and sifting through for images and quotes that motivate you. I have a vision board right above my desk that’s ready to inspire me whenever my creativity is low.

4. Step away from the screens

As a millennial, I really try to prioritize health, fitness and self-care. However, one trait that I’ve experienced as a millennial is the inability to put my phone down. I’ll take a break from watching a lecture on my computer and lay on my bed to scroll through social media on an even smaller screen. This obsession with screen time has become a major obstacle in the way of my creativity.

Though it may feel like stepping away from work and tapping to open a social media app is the break you need, consider putting the phone down and taking a walk outside. I find that this tip works best for me when I’m experiencing writer’s block or having a hard time focusing on my school work. Better yet, you can grab a friend to join you. A quick 5- to 10-minute walk outdoors will get your blood circulating and endorphins pumping, the perfect combo to fuel your creativity.

5. Break a sweat

As a former athlete, I used to spend every day after school at practice. Now that I’m in college, I have to practically bribe myself with a smoothie to go to the gym. According to the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, physical activity and creativity levels might be linked. This means that a 15- to 20-minute session on a stationary bike or a quick flow of yoga could be the key to finishing your homework more efficiently. As a busy collegiette, why not use your time wisely and work out? It’ll make you feel better and might even promote creative thinking.

6. Animal therapy

Whether a dog, cat or rabbit, animals are notorious for making humans feel better during times of stress. According to a study conducted by Emerald Insight, petting a dog can have a serious impact on your stress levels. However, if you weren’t able to spot a dog to pet on campus, watching a video of animals is the next best thing. An adorable video of cuddling baby sloths or puppies playing is sure to soothe your stressed nerves and get your focus and creativity back on track in no time.

7. Treat yourself

Treating yourself isn’t always face masks and bath bombs. An absolutely free and luxurious act of self-care is taking a 30-minute nap. If you don’t have the time to indulge in a nap, try giving yourself a quick hand or shoulder massage. Massaging your muscles will release pent-up tension and leave you feeling relaxed and focused to face the task ahead of you.

Finding time to be creative in college can be such a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be anymore. By using the tips above, your creativity will be back and better than ever in no time.