Creatively Blocked? 5 Tips to Get Back on Track

I have only one frenemy, and her name is Motivation.

Motivation is a fickle lady, isn’t she? When she’s present, you can REALLY feel it. When she’s off visiting someone else, the neglect is painful. It’s a relationship you want to be in forever, but—just like anyone else—you can’t control her. You can just hope you do your best everyday that will make her want to stick around.

Feeling blocked when motivation has stepped out is, at minimum, frustrating. For most of us, it’s much more than that. It’s annoying. Defeating. Depressing. You know you had good ideas and feelings of passion at some point, but where is the drive that came with them?

It’s easy to stay stuck in this trap and hope that the day will come when Motivation comes strolling back through the door. But we all know relationships are so much harder than that. You gotta put in the work.

HOW DO I UNBLOCK MYSELF AND GET MOTIVATED AGAIN?

If you think I haven’t experienced this issue, you’re far too kind. Everyone goes through the ebb and flow of motivation and I am no exception. I accept it when it’s a low period and I let it ride, but in the meanwhile I plan my comeback. These are the steps I take when I need to woo Motivation back into my corner.

1. Remove sugar from my diet

When you’re young, you have NO idea how much food affects your mindset. I think about how disconnected I was to my body then and am so grateful for what I know now and how I have become more present with my mind, body, and soul as the years have gone by. One thing I now know for sure is that if I’m in a low period, low-nutrient foods will weigh down my negative mindset even more, easily and quickly. As hard as it is sometimes, when I take added sugars out of my diet and eat more naturally I feel an immediate increase in positivity and motivation in as soon as just 24 hours.

2. Extend my morning routine

Motivation takes a major dip for me when I let too many outside sources make me think a certain way. My morning routine is a commitment I make to myself every day, but when I know I need the extra clarity, I will schedule it to go longer whenever I can. No phone. No social media. No talking to anyone. Just quiet time to write, read, meditate, or anything that will make me feel more stable for the oncoming day.

3. Get more sleep

To live well, you gotta sleep well. Sometimes I get TOO motivated and try to skimp on hours of sleep, knowing full well that this is going to catch up to me way too soon. When my motivation is suffering and I feel blocked from the clear path, I go to bed earlier. My Apple Watch helps me track my sleep with the SleepWatch app and I track how many restful hours I get so I know I’m trending in the right direction.

4. Check in on someone else

When I’m down, I’ve found that a good way to get back up is to find someone else to help. I like to reach out and connect with people to see how they’re doing so I can maybe find a way to be helpful that will make me feel better as well. It’s not usually a commitment of time or a task. Sometimes just having a conversation with someone who doesn’t know the stuff you know will make you realize all the value you have to share with the world. Be careful not to reach out to the usual energy leeches that you dread talking to. Just get in touch with anyone you can honestly ask “How are things going? Anything I can help with?” And mean it.

5. Tidy up

I don’t know about you, but I am amazed and how much my brain works faster and more freely when I’m not surrounded by dirty dishes or piles of clothes or other crap. I mean, yes, it’s my crap. But it’s still crap. Everything is literally in the way and in the meantime I’m trying to figure out how to figuratively move things out of that way!

A great place to start is your closet. It’s amazing how choosing an outfit, one of the first things you do to start your day, will take forever when you don’t have clarity and cleanliness on your side. What a waste of decision-making that will certainly get in the way of passion and motivation! Sort through the piles of clothes cluttering up your closet, or find another source of clutter to clear. Control the controllable. When you clean up your surroundings, you’re clearing the way to that motivation you need.


Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO UNBLOCK YOURSELF?

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comments +

  1. Melina says:

    Thanks for the tips, Amy! When I’m unmotivated, I sit down and write down all the reasons I might be feeling unmotivated or sluggish and list out what I can do about it. This is how I work through it so I can take appropriate action. Listening to informative podcasts usually gets me fired up again.

  2. Nada says:

    Thanks Amy for the great tips, as usual!
    I exactly do the same as Melanie mentioned. I don’t usually do morning pages, but whenever needed pages. That is the only way I get to organize my thoughts and understand why am I unmotivated and how to overcome it. And when it doesn’t help, I know that I need to take a break. It is okay to not be fully productive every single day, and I can allow myself a day or two to just recharge to kick things off again.

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