This post was made possible by iConnect: Influencer Management and GSN Games. I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are 100% mine.
As a single mom supporting an entire household on my own, my work is super important to me. I spent years building my business, putting in long hours on little sleep. Some days, I literally wrote for 18 hours straight just to make the rent. Now that things are going well, I don’t have to work quite so many hours, but I still put in long days during the busiest seasons (like now!).
I have a hard time letting myself take a break until everything on my “to write” list is done. The problem? If I don’t take a break, it takes me twice as long to write because I have a hard time thinking. The words don’t flow, my thoughts get jumbled. My creativity just slips away. I force myself to “take ten.” Then I do something that I know will help get my creativity flowing again. These are my ten favorite ways to unwind and boost creativity in just ten minutes!
10 Minute Breaks that Boost Creativity
Pet Your Pets
When I have just a few minutes to spare here and there, I spend them with my cats and dogs. They’re not only instantly calming (except Zoe, she’s a full of energy and can go from soft kitty, warm kitty to little ball of terror in seconds flat) but they’re also inspirational! I’ve come up with many ideas just hanging out with them.
Exercise Like a Kid
Any type of exercise can boost your creativity because it gets your blood flowing and all that good stuff. I personally prefer something fun, like jump rope and hopscotch! Break out the sidewalk chalk, make your own crazy hopscotch pattern real quick, then get moving! Acting like a kid again really helps get the creativity flowing. After all, who is more creative that children?
Play a Game
One glance at my iPad and you’ll know that games are one of my favorite ways to relax! I have dozens in all different categories. One of my new favorites is GSN Casino. Don’t worry, you’re not gambling for real cash. Games are all free to download and play. Like many apps, it does have in-app purchases, but you don’t need to buy anything to enjoy the games.
I love the slots because they’re interactive, with really cool bonus rounds. My current favorite is Deal or No Deal. I am so glad I never went on that show because I made poor choices and only ended up with 200 coins the first time around. The second time I hit the bonus I was smarter! I had a nice, big virtual win.
Other games include your favorite card games and bingo. I love bingo! With daily bonuses, fun challenges and even Sweepstakes, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to earn virtual coins to keep the fun going. You can even join other players with the same interests as you! Grab the app in both the iTunes and Google Play stores. ·
For me, playing games gives the “active” part of my mind a bit of a break while the “back of my mind” continues to mull over whatever I’m working on. I can’t meditate because I can never quiet my mind due to my anxiety disorder, so playing games is a form of meditation for me.
Shift Your Creative Focus
Say you’re working on a blog post and just can’t come up with an idea. Walk away from the keyboard, grab a coloring book and try coloring instead! Or head into the kitchen and put together a creative spin on your favorite latte. By doing something else creative but unrelated to the task at hand, you’ll kick-start your right brain without stressing yourself out. I don’t know if that’s scientifically proven or anything, but it always works for me. Plus, if you do come up with a great new latte recipe, you could always write about it later!
Laugh Out Loud
Looking at funny animals on Pinterest always helps me unwind and get my creativity flowing again. Kind of like petting my pets, except I don’t even have to move from my computer! Grouchy cats not your thing? Check out the latest memes, watch a funny YouTube video or just call a friend who always cracks you up!
Ask a Silly Question
If you have kids, play a rousing game of “would you rather” for ten minutes. Let them start if you’re feeling truly uninspired. I warn you in advance, though, it can get really gross really fast! Somehow our “would you rather?” games always involve pain, agony and clowns. My son knows I’m scared of them and tries to work them into every scenario.
Don’t have kids? Look up “ice breaker questions” on your favorite search engine. I use Bing, and the first few results have some fun topics. Spend a few minutes answering the questions to yourself! Sure, some of them are a little lackluster, but some are pretty inspiring. Answering questions like “what is your idea of the perfect day?” inspires you to daydream, which releases tension.
Let Amadeus Rock You
The magical “they” of the research world say that classical music is good for both relaxing and inspiring creativity, so load up that playlist with a little Amadeus, Bach or whoever else floats your boat. Can’t stand classical music? No one said it couldn’t be classic rock, now did they? Here’s a fun fact: Nirvana is now considered classic rock. I feel so old all the sudden!
Honestly, I don’t think it matters what kind of music you listen to. I’ve been a punk rock girl my whole life, so that’s what I go for when I need a little musical inspiration. As long as it relaxes- or recharges- you, turn it up!
Get Out of Town…Mentally
Obviously you can’t take a cruise to the Bahamas in ten minutes or less, but you can go there in your mind! I have a very long list of places I want to visit someday. I’ll probably never get to all of them in real life. Thankfully, I have a great imagination. I pick a place, learn a bit about it and get a few images in my head. Then I take my vacation from my couch.
You’d be surprised at how well this helps you relax. Sure, you don’t get to come back with souvenirs, but on the other hand, it’s also a lot cheaper than an actual vacation!
Do a Mind Dump
A “mind dump” is kind of like dumping out the contents of your purse and throwing out the junk. Find a quiet spot to sit (I snuggle under my blankets in my bed, with the alarm set), then just sort through everything that is clogging your creativity and zapping your energy. I think of all the things that are blocking me from working. What am I worrying about? What’s on my to-do list other than my current project? What am I over-thinking? What can’t I solve today? Tomorrow? Ever? Since I have anxiety disorder, my mind gets filled with junk very fast, so I have to do this at least once a day.
Read a Blog!
Reading other blogs is one of my favorite ways to relax and get inspired. With so many of us out there, you’ll find something for just about every interest. Just be careful not to let that inspiration cross the line into plagiarism. It’s one thing to get inspired by an idea and make it your own, it’s another to copy it exactly.
See how many ways you can relax a bit AND boost your creativity in just ten minutes? Imagine what we could do if we had a whole half hour or an hour! Inspiration is literally all around us and within us. Whether you find it by jumping rope with your kids or playing a few rounds of slots on GSN Casino, if you relax a bit, it will come to you.
What are your favorite ways to relax when you only have a few minutes? How do you get inspired when you’re having a rough time pushing through the mental fog? Tell me in the comments!