When you have a job and career that involves caring for either children, the disabled or the elderly, there will always be a time when you need to get creative in the activities you carry out with them. Whether it’s art, drawing or drama, or music and dancing, everyone at every age and ability benefits enormously from activities that spark creativity and move the soul. So too, when working in a business role, there will be many occasions when you’ll need to rely on your creativity to finish a project or overcome an obstacle.
At h&h, our courses inspire and teach you methods of implementing these activities and using your creative mind. We aim to ensure that those in your care are fulfilled and enjoy their time with you and that you also enjoy a rewarding employment experience and connect well with your charges. Ditto for those studying business – we want you to have the most satisfying educational experience and really shine in your career.
We are also aware that at times we all find tapping in to our creativity a little tricky when it comes to studying or if you’re in the workplace, so we’ve listed a few tips that might help you expand your creative mind and come up with innovative and fresh ideas.
- Go for a long walk, bike ride or even a swim
Sitting at your desk planning activities is fabulous, but if you are stuck for ideas, you can’t will them to appear (this goes for studying too, by the way!). Step away from your screen and go out and take a walk. A 2014 study by Stanford University found that walking boosts creative inspiration. The study was co-authored by Marily Oppezo, a Stanford doctoral graduate ion education psychology and Daniel Schwartz, a professor at Stanford graduate School of Education. It found that the act of walking itself, not the environment, was the main factor and that creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to sitting (1). Anecdotally, we also know that any form of exercise will help to clear the mind and free stuck thought processes, so when you’re feeling a bit blocked, take some time out to exercise. It won’t just help with your thought processes, but overall health and wellness, too.
- Listen to Music
The results of a study published by online magazine Greater Good in November 2017 (2), found that listening to happy music can boost creative thinking. The study saw participants carrying out creativity exercises that measured divergent (creative) or convergent (straightforward) thinking while being in either a silent environment or being exposed to classical music that evoked four distinct emotional states: happy, calm, sad or anxious. At the end of the study, the researchers found that those who listened to happy music had much higher scores in divergent thinking than those who had listened in silence. They also found that those who listed to the other types of music did not score as highly. So, those who enjoyed the happy music, came up with more ideas and more creative and innovative ones at that! So, next time you’re feeling a little stuck, why not blast out your favourite happy song and sing along at the top of your lungs? While you’re at it, dance around the living room, too!
- Practice Meditation
Yogis have been on to this one for years, knowing well that meditation promotes mindfulness and opens up the channels for wonderful creativity. Now, science is backing this up! A 2014 study conducted at Leiden University found that certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking, even if you are only new to meditation. The results of the study were published in online magazine Science Daily (3), which reported that ‘meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. ‘If you have never meditated before, don’t worry! Everyone can practice meditation. There are many free meditation apps available from the App store, or a quick search on YouTube will come up with so many guided meditations you could easily practice a new one each day. You can even tailor your search to find a guided meditation that is best suited to your needs any particular day. Perhaps you want more patience one day, or the next you find you need motivation? Simply type it in and you’ll be rewarded abundantly (even more so when you practice the meditation!).