(Editor's Note: This is the second part of a three-part series where we asked Creative Consumers® associates how they are staying creative at home, and how others can stay creative while working from home.)
Have a spirit of fun. I dressed in Christmas attire the other day...right down to Christmas earrings. Smile with your phone (or IM) interactions; it sets your attitude.
— PEGGY, Creative Consumers® associate
As an innovation company, we're doing our best to maintain our spark during these sometimes creativity-challenged days at home. Looking for a bit of inspiration, we wondered—how are our Creative Consumers® associates (the most dynamic thinkers we know!) staying creative within the confines of their homes? We used the Inspire® Consumer Insight Accelerator (which fields consumer responses to questions, along with images to supplement each response) to collect their thoughts.
Based on their responses, we identified three key themes for staying creative from home:
- Get Creative With Your Family
- Get Outside
- Get Comfortable
Once we found the themes, we asked a few Creative Consumers® associates to elaborate on their answers further, and provide some specific details about how they stay creative at home...because we can all use some tips from the experts!
In Part 1 we focused on Getting Creative With Your Family. In Part 2, we'll focus on the second theme: Getting Outside.
Theme #2: Get Outside
Switch up your space every once in awhile aside from home office. Especially go outdoors for fresh air.
— IMANI, Creative Consumers® associate
The great outdoors can be especially beneficial when it comes to being more creative. Not only is it a change of scenery, research shows that changing your environment can help spur creativity and help form the connections needed to solve problems. In fact, a nice walk (regardless of whether it's outside or inside) can boost creativity too! Next time you find yourself in a rut, get a breath of fresh air and see what the world around you can inspire.
Words from a Creative Consumers® associate: Jenn
Words from a Creative Consumers® associate: Lloyd
This stay at home order has really been hard on me and my family. I've been having a hard time staying motivated and keeping my mood positive. Going outside—either on a walk or in the yard—gives me a sense of freedom. I feel like I'm able to be out of the confinement of my home. The sounds and smells of outdoors make me feel relaxed and calm, and able to think more clearly. I think sunlight and air help me and my overall mood.
Just like plants need air, water and light—humans do as well. I know the warm sunlight is soothing on my skin, makes me feel comfortable, and able to come up with logical ideas and plans. Going on walks and seeing the grass, yards and dogs barking gives me a sense of normal life—and makes me feel like the craziness around me isn’t happening. The openness of the outdoors and the size of the sky just gives me a feeling of freedom that I can't explain.
When this first took place I was shocked, hurt and afraid. My thought process was interrupted—and I was not in a good place with my mood. Being confined to the indoors without outings is just hard. I was able to think more clearly the more time I spent outside, starting projects and resuming hobbies. I would sit on my back-patio area, and listen to the sounds of nature and be in my thoughts, but at the same time not think of anything at all. Just let the sounds of nature ring in my ears. I found the birds and wind have a beautiful calm about them. It gave me a sense of hope, realizing that the world is still out there—and we can still enjoy the wonders of the sun and open sky, and appreciate the sense of wonder the great outdoors gives us.
I decided to redo my landscaping and build a home movie theater in my basement. I got the ideas from my time outside enjoying the sun and fresh air. I am not a camping, one-with-nature guy, but I do enjoy my time in nature. I love having outside get-togethers and parties, and visiting with friends and family. I know many people are missing businesses and other things—but no one can take away the beauty and wonder of the outdoors. It’s filled with small, large and strange living things that we don’t always understand, but we know all work together. We need all life forms out there and we are all part of the huge plan of life.
Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed or hopeless it’s a great idea to go take a walk. Don't sit inside and let yourself stay in those thoughts and feelings—be open to a mind clearing walk or project outside. If you need to answer emails, do it outside. If you have a conference call, take it while on a walk. It’s a great way to clear your mind, have your best ideas, and make your work and responsibilities easier to complete. Try new outdoor hobbies like planting veggies or flowers—it’s relaxing and gives you a sense of accomplishment that will help improve your mood, and overall feelings about the things around you. I hope this helps someone who is also struggling with this extremely difficult time.
Thanks to Jenn and Lloyd for the tips! If the weather outside isn't great, check out these tips for making your environment more creative. Remember to check out Part 1 to see what Lonni and Ashley had to say about getting creative with their families, and stay tuned for Part 3 to hear from more Creative Consumers® associates.
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Tyler Thompson is a Creative Process Designer and Facilitator at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.