With so many of us spending a lot more time at home, how can we find inspiration in our everyday lives?
We can all relate to this experience: the monotony of walking around the same neighborhood every day and seeing the same sights, or being at home and eating the same foods and watching the same shows - the blurring of days as they all start to blend into one another.
And if you’re an artist or a writer or an entrepreneur, your livelihood very much depends on you getting out there and being inspired by different experiences and people in order to deliver your creative work on a deadline.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, we all need inspiration to give life a spark, that sense of magic and joy that makes your days feel more special and profound.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to an exotic locale or move to a different city to seek inspiration. There are steps you can take to find inspiration in our day-to-day life. Read below to see how you can see your world with fresh eyes and recognize the magic and inspiration in everyday moments.
Find inspiration with reflection exercises
Something as simple as taking the time to reflect on your experiences can make the days feel more special and stretched out. If you had a good meal or an invigorating conversation with a friend or a class that really challenged you and opened your eyes, these are moments that are worth looking back on and taking note of.
You can use your journal to document these experiences. If you’re writing about a delicious meal you recently had, what flavors and scents stuck out to you? What was the ambiance like? How did the company make you feel? If you had an intense workout, record the sensations you felt in your body. Did you feel energized? Depleted? What was the environment like? What went through your mind during challenging moments? How did you feel when you overcame them?
Journaling allows us to take life’s fleeting moments and truly savor them, boosting our mood and health in the process.
Plus, keeping a daily log can help you get a better grip on your days. It doesn’t matter if you jot down mundane details like “talked to mom today” or ‘went for a run in the park.” When you refer back to these entries, you’ll be transported to these moments. You’ll see that your days were more varied than you thought. You can also look at patterns, and take stock of the experiences that made you feel happiest, which will then help you steer future choices and do more of those things that make you feel good.
So the next time you’re looking to find inspiration in the everyday, take some time to write down your observations and reflections. You can do this as a simple list or just jotting down key words that come to mind.
If you want to take the exercise even further, describe the sensory details that were a part of the experience. What were the sights and sounds you observed? How did this experience impact you emotionally? Did you feel happy? Excited? Nervous?
Another way to use your journal for inspiration is to recall your successes. So often, we gloss over everyday accomplishments because we’re busy keeping our eye on the prize. While it’s good to have targets and big goals, it’s also essential to relish our daily wins.
Go ahead and record that positive message you received from your manager or the person who reached out to you to pick your brain. These are all wonderful things that we tend to take for granted, but are such great barometers of your progress.
You can also include little things like doing your laundry, paying your quarterly taxes, and making a wholesome meal for yourself. Being more aware of our little wins will elevate our mood and help us tap into our own inner strength when we need a boost of inspiration.
Set aside time for recreation
Having a hobby or special interest to devote your time to is a great way to ignite your passion everyday.
Your hobby doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. It can be as simple as scrapbooking or gardening or riding a bike or taking long, leisurely walks.
These are all activities that you can do in your spare time that will provide a great sense of satisfaction and joy. Having a pastime is also a low-pressure way to feel inspired--you don’t have to be highly talented or skilled to participate, so it will allow you to enjoy the activity and with genuine excitement. And having a hobby is likely to put you in a good mood and improve your wellbeing and help you decrease stress.
Here are some other ideas for hobbies:
- Reading novels in a specific genre e.g. fantasy, horror, sci-fi, historical fiction
- Collecting seashells and stones
- Maintaining a field journal
Another option is to learn a new skill in an area that is completely different from your professional field. If you’re a graphic designer, maybe that means taking a creative writing class. Or if you’re a writer, maybe it’s a photography class.
Much like a recreational activity, a class can help you take your mind off things, while also boosting your confidence as you learn new skills. A class also gives you something to look forward to everyday, and ensures that you’re evolving and growing. Taking a class that is outside your usual routine or comfort zone can give you a much-needed break from the pressures of your work or personal life.
It’s easy to go through life on autopilot. Routines and schedules provide structure, but they’re also easy to fall back on. It’s good to improvise and to challenge ourselves to be curious and find inspiration everyday.
We don’t need a writing residency or one-month vacation to feel inspired. We can take inspiration from the simple, daily moments. It’s the moments that we usually take for granted: a walk in the park, breakfast with our family, getting cozy with our favorite book--these are all tiny ways that you can receive ample amounts of pleasure and inspiration.