Here’s a little-known fact about me: I have the hardest time thinking of article ideas. At the Edge Magazine staff meetings, I dread the moment when Managing Editor Michael Haas points at me and asks my ideas for features for the following week. I suppose I’ve just been feeling very “blah” and uninspired recently. I think the bitter Erie winter weather is to blame. To my fellow students needing a blast of creativity to get them through papers or assignments, here are some tips to help you stay inspired!
Get up and run around. Movement allows more blood flow to the brain, which means it will perform better. According to my neuroscience textbook, the hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for many things, learning being one of them. When you exercise, the hippocampus is stimulated, so all your cognitive processes improve. If you’re feeling super lazy, a similar effect can be reached by standing on your head. Just don’t get dizzy and faint!
2. New music Yes, the new Drake mixtape is fantastic and all, but if it’s all you’ve been listening to for the past two weeks, you might find yourself stuck in a musical rut. It’s a well-known scientific fact that music is linked to mood. The types of music you listen to can alter how you feel. When you listen to new music, it “lights up” the brain and your creativity increases. If you’re needing some new tunes to listen to, might I suggest some of the Spotify playlists created by the Edge staff?
It’s late at night and you’re having trouble finishing an essay for class. After blearing at your computer screen all night, you decide to give up and get ready for bed. After scrubbing up during your nightly shower, a brilliant idea hits you! You immediately dash out of the bathroom and finish your paper. So why is it people always have the best ideas when they’re in the shower? Believe it or not, it actually has nothing to do with the fact that you’re bathing. In the above scenario, you were focusing so hard on completing your essay. The minute you walked away from the situation and let your mind wander in the shower, you were hit with a great idea. In any situation, if you’re having a mental block, step away from the issue and perform a mundane task. You might have an “eureka!” moment.
4. Drink something cold
The second you wake up, drink a huge glass of ice cold water. The iciness of the water will shock your senses into waking up, and you’ll feel recharged and awake. Plus, the extra water hydrates you so you feel motivated and not sluggish!
I love napping. Unfortunately, my daily naps average around two hours. This can cause you to feel even more tired when you’ve awoken. Instead, opt for a 20 minute power nap. When you wake up, you’ll have more energy to tackle that pesky assignment.
6. Just. Write.
When addressing the topic of writer’s block, sometimes the best thing to do is just write. A creative writing teacher in high school once told me to sit down and write about whatever I want when I’m stuck. Write about your plans for the day, write about the guy standing opposite you on the street, write about how much you hate writing. Sometimes just the simple act of sitting down and typing can be enough to jolt creative forces and get you feeling inspired.
7. Get a second opinion
The Beatles weren’t joking when they sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” If you’re feeling mentally blocked or stuck, ask a friend for help or advice. Another person’s perspective can open your eyes to something you never would have noticed individually. Personally, I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve asked classmates for input when I’m writing something. Maybe it’s because I’m friends with a lot of artistic people, but I’m never short of creativity when I ask others for help.
So, there are some tips to get you feeling energized and inspired. I know I’m bound to use at least one of these the next time Haas demands feature ideas. Best of luck and stay inspired!