One of the most frustrating things in the world for a creative mind is a creative block. Creative blocks are the enemy and when I encounter one, two, or ten it is not a good day…let me tell you.

I would say I am an expert at eliminating creative blocks, and over time I have built an entire arsenal of tips and techniques to combat the enemy and get back into the beautiful flow of creativity and inspiration.

So here are 9 ways I have discovered help me to break down those frustrating walls of staring at a blank screen for god knows how long:

1. Make a to-do list

When you are in a creative block, you do not have any clue where to start. Here is my first and simplest tip to kick-start your journey to the highly sought after creative flow.

Snag a piece of paper and go to town. Write down any and everything you need to get done, even the littlest things that do not seem very important— write them down! Sometimes I write things I have already completed just so I can have things to cross off.

Sounds silly, but try it and let me know how satisfying it actually feels to have SOME things done. It will motivate you to keep going and cross off even more. Challenge yourself!

2. Clean your room! Do some laundry!

Having a clean space and finally getting around to that mountain of laundry feels great believe it or not.

Yes, the thought of doing a ton of laundry does not sound like the world’s most exciting task, but to have clean clothes and clean sheets feels especially rewarding.

Cleaning, in general, helps me de-clutter my life, therefore leaving more room for creative thoughts to flow in.

3. Journal — write it down

Even if you are not a huge writer, I highly suggest writing down any and everything that comes to mind.

Think of it as a way to wash all the thoughts stuck inside your head out and start over with a blank slate. I like to write exactly how I am feeling, and what I am worried or stressed about at the moment.

After de-cluttering your room, physically de-clutter your mind with pen and paper.

4. Shop till you drop

Retail therapy is a thing. To be honest, shopping for clothes often times stresses me out, but my guilty pleasure is Whole Foods.

I am notorious for taking a nice trip to Whole Foods by myself on a Monday afternoon if I am feeling stressed and anxious about school or life.

Walking down the isles and seeing all the fun beauty and body products as well as the beautifully packaged snacks and strange drinks really gets my creative juices flowing. I could not tell you why Whole Foods gets my mind running creatively, but it does.

So, find your Whole Foods! Find your favorite place to shop that makes you feel happy and inspired.

5. Eat healthy, treat your body right

Going along with the Whole Foods theme, treat yourself to a healthy dinner or some healthy snacks.

Even replacing one bad meal with a healthy one will make you feel good about yourself because consciously you know you made a slight change to better yourself.

Working out is another fantastic way to destress and get motivated. Getting to the gym can be a problem, but the feeling after you finish a workout is like no other, and you will feel ready to take on any and everything life throws your way!

6. Hit YouTube and watch your favorite content creator

This tip may not be helpful to everyone, but I love YouTube more than anything. I am a huge believer in following other creative minds and getting inspiration from what they do and what brings them happiness.

Even if you do not have the same passion as a particular content creator, simply witnessing them doing what they love can serve as a huge push to motivate you to find and do what you love as well! If you have a favorite YouTuber and find happiness in watching their videos, dedicate a little bit of time each week to enjoy what they have to offer!

Some of my favorites include Roman Atwood (vlog), Shane Dawson (comedy), Jenna and Julien (podcast), Prince Ea (poetry), and Sarah’s Day (fitness).

7. Read some books

I enjoy a nice inspirational book every once in a while. Reading about other people’s success stories, spirituality and self-growth really inspires me to work on myself and do anything in my power to become my greatest version.

Sometimes going to Barnes and Noble and picking up books that look interesting and reading the synopsis on the back activates my creative mind.

My current favorite is “Things Are What You Make Of Them Life Advice For Creatives” by Adam J. Kurtz. This book, in particular, inspired me to write this article.

It is a fantastic read for creative minds and I guarantee it will motivate you to get up and get things done. I bought mine at Urban Outfitters and highly suggest reading it because it is short and sweet, and it is incredibly helpful.

8. Spend time in nature

I am by no means an outdoorsy person, but I can appreciate nature and the beauty it has to offer. Spending time outside, even if it is my walk to class, immediately puts me in a great clear head space.

Take some time to step back and appreciate your surroundings. The University of Kentucky is an incredible school with so many breathtaking views and I definitely take this for granted sometimes.

Get outside and try your best to slow down your thoughts and breathe in some fresh air. Fresh air will do you right, I promise.

Doing homework and studying outside is a great idea and putting yourself in the fresh air will result in a clearer mind.

9. Go for a drive

Driving on a sunny day is a fantastic way to boost your mood quickly. I like to play really upbeat, positive, lighthearted music and roll my windows down.

This combo is so simple yet so effective! Try your best to forget about your worries and stresses and enjoy the moment.

Enjoying the moment during a stressful time can be difficult, but doing so is a great way to get in a positive mindset and stay motivated and inspired.