Stuck in a rut? As a creative type, that feeling can be the worst. Whether you’re under deadline at work or just finding it difficult to keep up a hobby like playing an instrument, we’ve all been there. Especially for kids taking music lessons, providing alternate outlets for creativity can make a huge difference when motivation starts waning.
So what can you do to boost your creativity and get inspired? There are a lot of ideas out there to help – and for us San Diegans, we have opportunities practically everywhere we look.
1) Visit a museum.
San Diego is full of excellent museums, ranging from visual arts to learning about different cultures and more. Balboa Park is a main hub for many of the popular museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. However, museums abound in other parts of the city, as well. Interested in naval aviation? Check out the U.S.S. Midway. Want to board and explore some historic ships? Stop by the Maritime Museum.
Open your mind to learning new things, and you’ll open your mind to creative thinking across all areas of your life! Check out our list of some of our favorite San Diego museums here.
2) Listen to some live music.
There’s certainly no shortage of San Diego music venues to get your live music fix on any day of the week. Similar to the museum idea, exposing yourself to new forms of art can do wonders for your creativity – especially if you’re a musician yourself. You never know what will inspire you!
Music can also have a direct impact on our emotions. Ever sat down to classical music and found yourself calm and focused? Do you feel more productive when you listen to ambient music at work? Or have you used high-energy music to get you through a workout? Yup, that’s the power of music in action.
3) Learn something new.
Once you’ve stimulated your senses with museums and live music, perhaps it’s time to jump in and start learning a new skill yourself! Novelty-seeking is actually an important contributor to our well-being and self-improvement, and the act of setting goals and working toward them is a wonderful experience for students of all ages. Cooking, knitting, and other hands-on activities can be especially effective, since engaging multiple senses can stimulate creative thinking. And for kids, gaining new skills at an early age will encourage a life-long love of learning and creativity.
Not sure how to get started? With TakeLessons, you can connect with teachers of all types, for lessons in subjects ranging from music to visual arts to crafts and more. Browse our lessons here.
There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a book, and it’s a great way to open your mind to new experiences. The San Diego Central Library recently opened near downtown, and its architecture (and breathtaking view of the Coronado Bridge) alone makes it worth the visit. But of course, don’t forget to pick up a few books while you’re there! If you weren’t a fan of the classics in school, don’t fret. There’s so much you can explore, from biographies to self-improvement guides and more. But for the best creative boost, studies suggest reading fiction in particular, shown to increase levels of empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence.
5) Get moving.
Many studies suggest that physical exercise can help improve creative thinking - plus, you’ll get a healthy boost of endorphins, which just feels good! Lucky for us, America’s Finest City has many opportunities to get moving outside. Try exploring the trails in Balboa Park, or lace up your hiking shoes for one of San Diego’s amazing hikes.
Breathe in, breathe out… now it’s time to quiet things down a bit. Studies have shown that meditating promotes divergent thinking, during which we’re better able to think of new ideas. If you’re able to get your zen on outside in nature, even better. And of course, San Diego’s year-round near-perfect weather can certainly help with that. Our top spots to sit and reflect? The Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla, and Sunset Cliffs Natural Park in Point Loma. (Having trouble slowing down? Don’t be afraid of letting your mind wander and daydream, as that can help, too!)
7) Laugh a little.
This idea is no joke… so bear with us. The simply act of laughing – even if you’re not feeling particularly jovial – can actually trigger a positive mood and help with creativity by increasing activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that is associated with cognitive expression and emotions. And the underground trend is Laughing Yoga Classes, groups that get together for gentle stretching, breathing, and playful laughing exercises. Ready to get the giggles? Check out one of these free laughter classes around San Diego County.
Photo by karindalziel