Winter is normally gloomy and cold. The weather is a great sleep motivator but not conducive to productivity. Even though Austin’s beautiful weather occasionally blesses us with clear skies and sunshine, it can still be difficult to find inspiration when you’re trying to stay warm. Instead of letting the weather define our mood and rob us of our creativity, let’s take advantage of a few Austin treasures to help us stay open and creative this winter.

  1. Design your creative space this winter – Clear out your desk, add inspirational quotes to your wall, illuminate the room with a cute lamp. Add some lavender oil to the room for a fresh, calming effect. Add your personality to your space in order to spark more creativity. Check out Austin’s Couch Potatoes for reasonably priced home office furniture for any space.
  2. Stick to your schedule – With daylight savings, it’s going to get darker sooner.  If you’ve scheduled time to write at 6 pm, stick with it!  Creating a routine throughout the day helps with productivity. As long as you’re consistently working within the time you’ve allotted, you will get things done. If you need some help with getting things done, consulting an expert in organization and productivity such as Tidy Your Time can help you stay on track.
  3. Exercise outside – Whether you’re working out in the back yard or at a local park, get outside and move. Exercising is great for your mind and body. It releases endorphins which makes you feel positive and relaxed. No matter which format you choose – HIIT, Pilates, yoga, or dance fitness – get moving! Fit4Mom offers classes that both mom and kiddos can enjoy as you spend quality time focusing on health and wellness.
  4. Positive self-talk – Between social media and the news media, it can sometimes be hard to keep a clear and open mind. It is more important, now more than ever, to see the good in others and in yourself. Watch inspirational videos, read quotes, and practice grateful journaling to positively influence your mental focus. Austin’s non-profit organization, HERdacity provides a boost in inspiration via their podcast, herdacious. You’ll believe you can do anything throughout the winter!
  5. Get comfortable – Wear warm, oversized loungewear to get super comfortable.  Because it feels good on your body, your mind will fall in line. Unlike clothes that are tight or fitting, wearing loose clothes will keep you creating all day. Visit Soft Surroundings in the Arboretum and grab something soft and comfy.
  6. Explore nature – I know the trees have lost their leaves and there aren’t many flowers around.  However, there’s so much more to nature than trees and flowers. There are still many beautiful birds and lakes to enjoy. Austin is packed with beautiful parks and trails that provide inspiration to create anything. Throw on some layers, take a short drive to Round Rock and enjoy the beautiful trail and lake views at Old Settlers Park.  Allow the cool, fresh air to inspire you.
  7. Try something new – Pick up a new hobby and explore different ways to be creative.  Youtube has thousands of how-to videos for practically every hobby you could imagine.  Pinterest offers many craft and cooking ideas. You could even enroll in a virtual art class with Austin Creative Art Center to ignite your creative spirit.
  8. Enjoy life with friends – You’ll be tempted to stay in bed all day. If the weather is gloomy outside, it’s actually going to be easier to stay in bed all day. Get on the phone and have a conversation with someone that will make you laugh. Literally, call a friend with a bubbly or colorful personality to spark some joy. If you’re ready to do something creative together, mask up and reserve some time at Austin Panic Room for a private, logical challenge.
  9. Get enough sleep – I know everything I’ve suggested so far has been all about staying out of the bed. However, when it’s time to go to bed, the quality of sleep you get is super important. Establish a bedtime routine that includes hot tea, reading your favorite book, and unplugging from social media. Massages are also a great tool to encourage a restful night. Also, consider exploring herbal stores such as The Herb Bar for natural products to support a good night’s sleep.
  10. Eat well – Watching what you eat during the winter affects your health and well-being. Comfort foods that are high in sugar will leave you sluggish and bloated. Try eating healthy stews and soups this winter. Eating healthy can help you stay focused and alert.  Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food has a full menu of healthy comfort food for this winter season.

Don’t let this season suffocate your creativity. Although creativity can’t be forced, it can be encouraged. Austin offers plenty of encouraging options and opportunities for you to explore different ways to ignite your creativity and keep your passion lit.

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K. LaFleur-Anders is a wife, mom, foodie and fitness enthusiast who moved from Baton Rouge, LA to Round Rock, TX with her family in 2007. She has been married to her best friend, TJ, for 15 years and they have 5 children (Malik, Jadan, Elijah, Isaiah and Hannah) together. After 10 years of juggling football practices, volunteering, operating family businesses, pursuing professional careers and working in corporate America, she decided to return to her first love. She believes that her gift of writing is to be used to extend love, offer encouragement and provide motivation to women who just need to breathe and hit their wellness reset button. K. is honored to be a part of Austin Moms Blog and looks forward to sharing inspiration with moms everywhere. Follow her blog, Reset with K., for opportunities to join like-minded women as they invest in self-care and in each other.

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