Ever have one of those moments when you are trying your hardest to think of something, anything, and your brain just WILL NOT cooperate? Most likely you have. This annoying scenario has many names. Writer’s block, artist’s block, brain fart, brain blip, creative block, designer’s block, etc. This type of thing mostly happens in the creative realm, but can, in all honesty, happen to anyone anywhere for any reason.
As a design student this is an annoyingly frequent problem. It’s 3am, you’re exhausted, and you STILL have 50 thumbnail sketches due in the morning, concept statements included. You stare at your sketchbook for what feels like an eternity, while your brain thinks of nothing except how far behind you will be if you don’t get your act together. This type of thinking creates anxiety, which I am convinced is a key factor in a brain block.
By far the best way I have found to combat this issue is MOVEMENT. Sitting still staring at a sketchbook is pretty much the least helpful thing you can do during a block. Here are just a few of the ways I like to move myself out of a block.
Yes, I have in fact got up and danced at 3am. Assuming most of you have neighbors like I do, dust off your ipod arm band and crank up your favorite tunes. It not only wakes you up, but it gets your blood moving and your brain turning.
Yoga is a fabulous, low key way to get out of your funk. Deep breathing brings oxygen to your brain, and stimulates your senses. There are even specific yoga poses, such as bridge pose, that calms the brain and relieves stress, letting new ideas flow more easily.
Last but not least, take a walk. Depending on where you live, you can still do this at 3am, but personally I save walking for a daytime block breaker. Taking a walk on campus, around the block, across the apartment complex, etc. helps because you get out of your current environment and see other things. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to light the creative candle in your brain.
In conclusion, no matter what job you do, it’s always helpful to take a break and move your body to relieve anxiety and get your blood flowing. I’ll end with a quote…
“Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out, the need to be rid of something or to get in touch with something within.” - David Duchovny