When you suffer creative block, try walking away from everything

You can hardly avoid health news, every day there seems to be a new suggestion: Drink less! Drink more! Broccoli! No sugar! But there is always one constant piece of advice that never changes, and that is to exercise. No matter what you feed your body, if you want to feed your brain, you must give it the oxygen of exercise (assuming you are already glugging back fish oils…)

Strap on that Fitbit

Any exercise is good, but at the moment, everyone seems to be obsessed about doing 10,000 steps. Walking is hip as well as good for the hips. I find walking is particularly helpful when I am stuck for ideas. There is something about the rhythm of walking that untangles the brain.

Walking is good wherever you do it, but for me, the further I can see without the distraction of other people and man-made objects, the wider the scope of my imagination too. Staring at sky, fields and sea takes me away from whatever internal monologue is playing in my brain, or from whatever podcast is playing in my ears, and focuses my attention outside of myself.

Head for the hills

Looking outside is key to getting away from those circular thoughts that never help you to come up with new ideas, rather, they strangle them. And putting one step in front of the other until your computer is far away both literally and figuratively, doesn’t stop your mind from solving your work problems. On the contrary, it frees your unconscious to come up with fresh ideas.

The only problem, if you work in town, is getting away far enough in your lunch hour to unscramble your thoughts. Especially as it is so tempting to save time by having a sandwich in the office. But this doesn’t save time at all. It actually adds time to your working day by slowing up your brain and adding to stress levels. So step away from your desk, then take a few thousand more steps. But if you feel like running away from the computer screaming instead, well that is always an option too.

Written by Daney Parker, editor of Creative Moment

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Please email me at daneyparker@creativemoment.co