When we get into a slump, it's easy to stay there because making change requires effort. It's all the more reason we need to make movement and encourage ourselves to go off course. Part of the reason we get into a rut is that we keep surrounding ourselves with the same scenarios or experiences. There are things we can do to set up ourselves to be more productive, whether it's taking the time to journal or clear our office space, but what about if we want to be inspired?
While some people find this a good time to take a vacation away from their home or office, it's not always necessary to book a flight to find inspiration.
Take a walk in the forest. If we're feeling overly stressed and need a break, forest bathing, or shinrin yoku, a Japanese term meaning taking in the forest atmosphere, has been scientifically proven that spending time in a forest or other green space to reap health benefits. "Nature therapy as a health-promotion method and potential universal health model is implicated for the reduction of reported modern-day 'stress-state' and 'technostress'," according to research published last year in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Walk through a museum. Visiting a museum isn't meant to pass the time or view some famous artifacts or paintings. It encourages us to focus on pieces or exhibits. The art of slowing down in a museum has helped people look at challenges in a different light. Research by Daniel Fujiwara at the London School of Economics and Political Science supports what people have been experiencing and notes that visiting museums can have a positive impact on happiness and self-reported health.
Join a book club. Although I'm a voracious reader, I've never bothered to join a book club. That changed recently when I was invited to join members of the American Association of University Women Chicago chapter to discuss Notorious RBG. Not only did I not know a Chicago chapter of this organization existed, nor had a chance to read this book yet so it gave me an excuse, but I met other women who were interested and inspiring in their own right.
Enjoy some retail therapy. Even if your business doesn't involve retail, a walk through an independent retail can help you see how the proprietor curates their products and tells a story through merchandising. You don't need to buy anything, although it's always great when we can support our local independent retailers, but it might help those feeling particularly down since retail therapy has also shown to reduce sadness.
Try a new exercise or gym. Studies have shown exercising is positive for our health and well-being but for added inspiration, grab a friend and use the opportunity to catch up. Or, simply trying a new exercise or gym takes you out of the same old routine and lets you focus on something new and different. If you need added motivation to try a new workout, involve your social networks since research shows your network can be powerful motivators to encourage physical activity.
Inspiration can come in many different forms. It doesn't always involve needing to fly somewhere to find it. Your own backyard is filled with fun and interesting ways to get inspired.