In How Travel Helps Boost Creativity, we explored one of the psychological benefits of travel – enhanced creativity. It is well documented that new experiences help to build our creative thinking capacity. I’m a huge proponent of travel as the ultimate, all-encompassing, dive-in-the-deep-end of new experience. Its immersion in new sights, sounds, smells, textures, ideas and cultures are a fantastic trigger for making creative connections.
The problem is that most of us can’t be gallivanting around the world all of the time, (or are currently hiding out from a certain pandemic) so how do we work new experiences into our everyday? At home? Here are a few ideas and ways I ensure my brain is working out in the creative gym every day.
8 new experiences to have at home
- Walk/ jog around an unfamiliar part of your neighbourhood. Humans are creatures of habit and you probably walk or jog the same route most days without thinking about it too much. Try walking varied paths, or if limitations exist, walk the same route in alternating clockwise and anticlockwise directions.
- Drive a different way to work or home. Explore different routes, you might just find a hidden shortcut or road with less traffic.
- Create a new outfit from your existing wardrobe. Don’t wait until you’re getting dressed in the morning to do this or you are likely to end up running late and stressed. Explore a new outfit on the weekend or night before. I love, love, love watching Faye Delanty’s IGTV for inspiration and ideas for reworking my existing wardrobe.
- Cook a new recipe or eat an unfamiliar cuisine at a restaurant. Challenge your taste buds, sense of smell, and/or cooking skills with new things to eat. Try recreating meals that you enjoyed on your travels.
- Pick up a book, listen to new music, podcast or watch a movie. Extra points if you take on something outside your usual genre!
- Take a class. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and barre in the last few years because that’s what’s available in my immediate vicinity. I try to take different classes each week, mixing up my routine and exposing myself to different teachers and their individual styles. I also love taking any kind of creative class or workshop from dance to painting. Under current circumstances, there are a lot of yoga studios, creative workshops and the like being offered via video online – Google around, you might be surprised what you find.
- Move your furniture. When I was a kid my mum would change the configuration of my bedroom a couple of times a year when she was vacuuming the house. Walking into the room the first few times would really throw me (in a good way). It was almost like having a new space. This is an effective way to keep your home feeling fresh and your brain awake.
- Change your desk. If you work from home like me, try moving around different chairs and rooms, even going outside on nice days. Sometimes I even walk to the library or coffee shop and work from there. If you work in an office, maybe you can convince your boss that a desk swap program might be good for everyone’s creativity!?
- Play tourist in your own city. I wrote an entire post of ideas on how to explore your hometown with the fresh eyes of a visitor, from playing tour guide to mystery experiences.
Don’t allow routine and habit at home let your creative muscles atrophy. Simple changes and challenges in our everyday activities can help to keep us alert, learn new things and make those unique connections that build creativity. Let me know in the comments if you tried any of these new experiences at home or if you have any other ideas to add to this list.
Peace, love and inspiring travel,