It’s March!! Looking for a few quick, easy ways to shake up your routine in the new month? Are you feeling creative cabin fever after weeks of winter? Since I work in a school, my patterns are cyclical: summer is sweet freedom, fall means migrating back-to-school, winter is rest and self-care, and spring is time for awakening and energizing!
As the trees form buds and the green leaves of the lilies push out of the soil, I find March to be perfect for shrugging off winter’s habits and finding new inspiration. Check out these three ideas to freshen up your work and super-charge your creativity for spring:
Take a one-day retreat.
Even the busiest among us can find time to take a day to dream, plan, and create. A little preparation can ensure you’ve got an entire Saturday to yourself!
(And if you’re feeling sad, thinking that a whole day wouldn’t be possible, keep your eyes open for half-day opportunities. Some organizations even offer a Mom’s Day Out event for fund raising. Take advantage of events like these! You could even swap childcare with another parent to make it happen.)
Get outside into nature.
Many recent studies tout the benefits of spending time in nature to restore balance to our hectic lives. I’m lucky to live in West Virginia, where we spend a good bit of time trying to beat nature back a little—dodging deer lining the roads, keeping the flash floods out of our basements, and the infernal, lush weeds from our gardens. Even so, especially during the early spring monsoons, if I’m not intentional, I find it all too easy to dart from school to car to grocery to car to home.
20 minutes of sunshine a day is all we need to soak up plenty of vitamin D, a vital nutrient. In bad weather that’s tough. But remember the Scandinavian saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” I might dread getting bundled up to go out, but once I do, it’s so worth it. Make going outside as easy as possible by keeping your rain and wind gear easily accessible, right by the door.
You’ll also want a way to record the ideas you’ll inevitably find while you’re outside. Similar to “Eureka!” moments in the bath, relaxing in nature allows your brain’s idea generator to bring up some goodies to the surface. Be ready with a small book and pencil in your pocket, or a note-taking app on your phone.
Host a March luncheon for other cooped-up Creatives.
Don’t make this a big fussy event. But if you’re feeling cabin fever, your creative pals are feeling it, too. Keep it simple by inviting a few friends to bring a snack to share. Let everyone discuss the project they’re working on. Often, others will have insights that can break a creative block, or bring added value. And if the idea of having people over is overwhelming, organize a meet-up at a local cafe. Make sure it’s a location with lots of windows. Sunshine and a small, bright bouquet from the grocery store can do wonders to cheer the spirit for spring.
We spend so much time indoors, it can feel like an endless stretch from New Year’s to March. Energize your creative routine by treating yourself to one or more of these fun activities. You’ve been working hard—now take a step back, a deep breath, and look at how far you’ve come. What’s your favorite way to revitalize your work routine?
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I have a fun way to revitalize my writing routine. I open up the calendar app on my phone and start planning out my blog posts and newspaper columns for the next few weeks or months.
I think about what days, months, holidays, etc. would lend themselves to certain subjects. For instance, I’m going to do a story about bunnies a few weeks before Easter. Also, I try to alternate between writing NEW content, and repurposing OLD.
Then, going forward, when I peek at my phone calendar to see what I need to write next, having the “subject” for the next writing piece already figured out feels like half the work is done:)
I do this, too. I’ve noticed that some days are “idea days”, and the topics just flow. So when I get one of those days, I work out my schedule as far ahead as I can, until I run out of steam. It’s helped so much!