For the entire month of January I felt as though my creativity had just curled up into a ball and went into hibernation mode. Maybe it's because it's still just the start of the new year or maybe because it's still Winter, it's too cold and I'm ready for Spring.
For me it's been Winter for too long. I love Winter but when I start to see the flowers starting to bloom and the sun starting to shine more then I become more excited for Spring. It doesn't really help that where I live in the Midlands we haven't had the greatest Winter. Most of the time it's been dull, grey and bitterly cold. We've only had the snow once (for half a day to be precise) and whenever it has started to snow the ground was too wet for it to set! But it's all had an effect on my mood and motivation, the first week of January I was so pumped and ready for the new year, creating plans and full of so many ideas but it all seemed to stop right there.
I started getting stressed out about everything and I mean everything, not just my creative work but I felt like I kept getting things wrong at work and I even was stressing out over my driving lessons because it was taking me longer than expected to get the basics right! I felt like I was failing and couldn't get things right the first time. When it came down to my photography and blog work I was getting so paranoid because I couldn't get the perfect shot and I was struggling to find the right words for a blog post.
Sometimes I forget that practice makes perfect. I tend to get into the habit of flicking through Instagram and seeing so many beautiful photos and Instagramers feeds looking so perfectly themed. Or seeing others blogs and thinking why on earth does mine not look as good! I've been trying too hard to create perfection and trying too hard to reach a level where I'm not quite at yet. It's not just creativity that takes practice it's the every day things like my driving lessons for instance, I was never going to be that person who gets it straight away (I applaud you if you are) so I had to stop myself and remind myself that practice takes time, it's ok to get things wrong and I'll get there in the end.
"If you stumble, make it part of the dance."
Now that we are almost halfway through February I can feel a slight change in the air. It's still pretty cold but the sun is warm and I've counted more blue skies than grey. I came up with a few ideas on how to get back on track with my everyday tasks during the last couple of weeks of Winter in time for Spring.
1. Don't give up. It's ok to have bad days, I have certainly had my fair share of bad days and I always seem to drag them out longer because I never take any action. If something isn't going right we can accept it and move on or we can try again. Take a break from what is frustrating you, sit back with a cup of tea or coffee and take a moment just to breathe because tackling the problem straight away could even make matters worse. It's better to have a clear and clam mind than to feel stressed with your mind running through a million things at once.
2. Don't pressure yourself into getting things right the first time. Some of the best photography and words are best natural rather than forced. I enjoy blogging and photography but I never want it to feel like I'm forcing myself to get a post done by a certain date or forcing myself to post a photo each day on Instagram. It's best to take all the time you need to create something you're going to be happy with.
3. Look for inspiration. Inspiration can be found anywhere, online, in books or even going out for a simple walk and see what you can find. When I was struggling with my photography and suffering from writers block I took a moment just to sit down with my laptop and catch up with some blog posts. It allowed me to take a moment whether it be 10 minutes or 30 minutes just to find inspiration through others and make any notes that I thought would be able to help me get back on track.