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Creativity in Captivity - career, childplay & covid!



Creative activity has been shown to alleviate stress and help regulate emotions and history shows that solitude, captivity and isolation are great breeding grounds for creative output. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf whilst in prison for treason, Van Gogh painted Starry Night whilst in an asylum and the author of Don Quixote had his idea to write a novel about 'normal' people in plain language whilst also in prison.

Research shows that creativity increases personal growth but we also need to recognise that inspiration might be sadly lacking just now when we are not out and about getting external stimulation - so what can we do to motivate, to energise us whilst we are living under Covid social restrictions?

I like to use many options personally and professionally with clients - but here are a just a couple that can be used both in our personal & career circumstances and also with our children / families.

Vision boards - I'm a great advocate of vision boards - thinking about what we want something to look like - whether something specific or a wider topic.

For example we might want to improve a project at work and using a vision board or a mind mapping either alone or with others can be a really connecting way to achieve this (even by Zoom!). Let's imagine you want to really portray your business / products through your brand photography - creating a vision board can be a really useful tool before a photo shoot to help identify what you want your brand to illustrate and therefore the photos to represent. Tools like Pinterest boards can really get the creative juices flowing.

How about a life change - nothing beats really picturing what you want to help you devise how to achieve it and align your life with your values.

On a simple level family level an example I always use is our Disney Box. When my girls were young they were desperate to go to Disney World - they were too young and I couldn't afford it - so we turned an old shoe box into our Disney vision box - every time we went swimming or to dance class and the vending machine was acting like a magnet, I would suggest we put the money into our specially decorated box (an old shoe box stuck down and decorated with a Disney travel brochure cuttings, that also used up several 'crafty' hours) - double whammy they didn't eat the junk and we saved. A few years later I shared out the £250 for their spending money when we finally got the dream trip. I've used similar idea for spa treatments for clients to put their 'wine' money into saving their waistline pounds and sterling pounds at the same time and facilitating 'Me' treat time.

A little bit of creativity can go a long way and give hours of satisfaction and fun searching magazines, the internet....

Expert Creation

This one widens your knowledge and develops the PFC , the prefrontal cortex of the brain that is traditionally linked to 'executive' functions like working memory , attention and decision making.

Pick a topic that you know interests you but you have little knowledge of. Create a presentation on your topic. Think about what you would like to have as your 'Mastermind' subject. This can be fun to do with someone else and you can share your learnings - it could be something useful for work with a colleague or a fitness focus that would be fun to share with a training buddy or a historical / cultural topic to share with a travelling friend about a new location to visit. The list is endless....

The family variation of this is to share topic knowledge - young children could make mini books, teenagers could make quizzes (my knowledge of One Direction and Arianna Grande has vastly improved in lockdown ...) and partners could just have interesting dinner conversation rather than the latest Covid figures (another hot topic in my house that I try to banish regularly)

Children who develop intellectual curiosity will never be bored and those who develop research skills are learning how to solve problems. Intellectual curiosity is connected to both academic success and a direct predictor of creative problem solving ability. Win Win! So let's keep our children's minds creative and active and ours too to stop the brain rot and make us more interesting.

I spent 10 minutes today playing with the above image - it was fun - I felt artistic even though I did not take the photo or turn it into the artwork but I could play around with the image to get what I liked and it was a fun 10 minutes on a really wet miserable Sunday.

Creativity is one of my business values. I like us to look at inspiration, motivation and solutions - all energy inducing.

If you would like to develop your Personal & Professional Growth then get in touch - I'd love to have a relaxed, informal chat and discuss how I can help you.


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