Life is busy, noisy and as we all know sometimes it’s challenging. On top of that, we can easily get distracted and overwhelmed by all our responsibilities and daily tasks blocking our motivation, creativity, and joy. The thought of starting that passion project or new exercise routine can feel daunting when you’re looking at piles of laundry, bills, and dishes in the sink.
So how do you stay energized and motivated on those challenging days or any day? It’s not always an inside game, sometimes it’s helpful to have external support to keep us uplifted and performing at our best. Most of us wear many hats and play numerous roles in life, with our careers, families, partners, etc., and because of this I have found it extremely helpful to have some ‘go-to’ outside sources of inspiration.
Here are three simple and easy ways to access ideas to get and stay inspired, to help keep you dreaming and creating even on those days you’d rather stay in bed or binge watch Netflix.
1. Get outside and move!
Getting outdoors even for a short walk can immediately improve your state of mind for the better. Hey, if it can help a toddler, why not us? (Parents you know what I’m talking about! J)
And if you’re looking for inspiration to be more creative for a project or solve a challenge, getting outside for a stroll just might be the answer. As a Stanford study showed, individuals were twice as likely to produce creative responses compared to people who were sitting.
Interestingly, if your walk is in a quiet and natural setting it can have an even greater impact on supporting your health. Studies in a growing field of science called ecotherapy have highlighted a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
Another option: Even if where you work or live limits your access to the outdoors, a walk around your office, a short stretch or a quick dance break, (yes that would be me!) can energize and uplift you!
2. Daily thanks can change your brain and life!
Science has now proven that a daily gratitude practice can enhance our lives in many positive ways, including being more optimistic and having fewer doctor visits.
Shawn Achor, Positive Psychologist and author of The Happiness Advantage, states that by choosing simple happiness habits, practicing gratitude is one of them, can boost your mood, make you happier, healthier, more productive and creative at work and closer to your loved ones.
You can start by taking just a few minutes a day to reflect on what you’re grateful for and why. Challenge yourself to a daily 32-day practice of writing down at least 1 to 3 different things you’re thankful for (about your life, self or others) to start rewiring your brain. This can cultivate a new habit of being more aware of the good in your life, more possibilities, and optimism. What’s more inspiring than that?
Another option: Send a text or email each day to someone expressing your appreciation and gratitude.
3. Listen, learn and get inspired!
I love podcasts! Many offer inspiring and educational talks and interviews on numerous subjects. From interviews with experts to conversations with authors, scientists and athletes, there’s an endless list of options, themes, and topics to choose from, with new and interesting podcasts launching daily.
There’s a long list I love, but here are a few to check out. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, Thrive Global with Arianna Huffington, the TED Radio Hour, Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness, and the Good Life Project, with Jonathan Fields, to name a few.
Give a listen, get inspired and learn something new!
Another option: Prefer to read? Pick up an inspiring book and read for 15 to 20 minutes daily or a few times a week. Choose something that expands your learning and growth and supports you in creating more happiness, joy, and meaning in your life. Good Reads has suggestions on self-help titles and more.
Whether you incorporate one or more of these ideas into a daily or weekly routine (I highly recommend) or just when you’re feeling like you need an inspirational lift, they’re all designed to give you that boost of positivity you may be craving. So experiment, play and give yourself the gift of a little inspiration.