This one goes out to all the copywriters and creatives out there whose quality of work rises and falls depending on how well things are going in the world around them. For creatives, their emotions are very much tied up in what they do and how they do it.
I’m looking at myself because that’s me. Right now. Today.
I’m having a day today. I don’t want to say it’s a bad day, because it’s too early for that. I guess I’d just describe it as strange.
From the moment I woke up, certain things just have felt heavy. The economy. The health crisis. Politics. The fact that I’ve been on a healthy eating plan for almost four weeks and have lost a whole total of three pounds. My people, I love food. The sacrifice is real.
But guess what? My day can’t just stop because things feel heavy. In fact, Tuesdays are some of my busiest days. Several groups of students are depending on me to show up and deliver, I have to do some heavy edits on a sales funnel for a client, and then of course there’s this blog article I need to put out there.
Make no mistake about it, I’m going to show up and deliver, but it might look a little bit different today. So how do I pull it out when my emotions aren’t matching up with the intensity of the day? How do I stay creative when things are feeling heavy?
I’m going to give you a list of 12 - no wait, 13 - things I do that help me stay creative, even when things feel heavy. Some of them are drop-dead serious, and others are funny and light-hearted. I’m convinced we need both.
Ignoring the funk you’re in doesn’t necessarily make it go away. Actually, for me it probably just prolongs it because I’m refusing to just admit it and be real. It takes some of the pressure off to just admit to myself, “You know, I’m just feeling kind of bogged down today. Must just be one of those days.” The truth is, everybody has days like this sometimes, so you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with having an off day. Go ahead and give yourself some grace!
One of the best ways for me to get my mind off myself and my stinky mood is to send up an SOS and ask for help. God is a great perspective changer, and He’s not even a breath away. It’s easy to forget that on heavy days, but that’s when we need Him the most. I feel super comforted just being reminded that He’s in control even when I feel like nothing else is.
Phone a Friend
Good friends have a way of simultaneously supporting us while refusing to leave us down and out. I know I can count on my friends or my husband to lend a sympathetic ear - but not allow me to wallow. Call someone who is willing to listen, then kick your butt if you need it. Is that annoying sometimes? Yes. Do I need it though? Also yes.
An atmosphere change can prompt an attitude change. At the very least, getting outside puts you in a new environment and exposes you to some Vitamin D. I live in Iowa, so I don’t have bubbling streams or mountain paths. If you have those, WHY ARE YOU STILL INSIDE? But even if you don’t, getting outside reminds you that the world is still spinning, plants are still growing, and goats still love eating marshmallows. (That last one might just be what happens on my farm. If you don’t have a marshmallow-eating goat, I’m sorry about it.)
Let’s just be real. Social media can sometimes feel like things are just one match short of a 5-alarm dumpster fire. It’s easy to get sucked into debates, conspiracy theories, or just plain gripe fests, and nobody needs that in their lives, ESPECIALLY when you’re in the dumps and just need to get stuff done. Log out, turn off the notifications, unplug for the day.
Is it possible to stay bucky when you’re jamming to your favorite song? I think not. So get up out of your desk chair, turn up the volume, and have an impromptu dance party to your favorite song. Not only does physical activity get the endorphins flowing, music is a great mood booster! (Anybody else ready the word endorphins and automatically imagine them as tiny little jumping dolphins? Just me? Okay then … now you do.) Sometimes all it takes is a state change to bring about an attitude change.
Watch a Funny Video
Slapstick humor, epic fails, animal cuteness, stand up comedy - whatever makes you laugh, go find a YouTube video and watch it. I’m a big fan of the ones where adults act out the kid voice overs. Priceless. Also, and this is terrible but what do you do, I can’t stop giggling at the videos where people slip, trip, and fall down. I think it’s the shock factor and also a little bit of “Well it could always be worse … like that guy.”
Eat Something Healthy
Or get a workout in. Or organize your Tupperware drawer. Do something with a measurable result that you can feel good about. That way at the end of the day you can look back and say, “Well, it may have been rough, but at least I ate my Brussels sprouts. I’m a rockstar.” Oh, and there’s also that thing where healthy food is better for you and provides the nutrients your body and mind need to thrive. Either way, win-win.
Wear Your Favorite Clothes
I don’t know about you, but I just plain feel better if I look good and feel comfortable. For me, that looks like grabbing a top in a bright color or print, pulling on some cute but comfy pants, and going for the big earrings and bold lip color. Sometimes how we look can rub off on our mood, bringing us up a notch just because we can hold our heads high knowing we look like a snack, as my teenage daughter would say.
Have a Good Cry
I’m not a huge fan of crying. I’m not opposed to it, necessarily, but when I cry, I end up looking like I got hit in the face. Sometimes though, you just have to let it out. If you feel like you need a good cry, have one! Our emotions are just that - emotions. They’re not right or wrong, and expressing them can release some of the pressure and give us room to breathe. As Momma always said, “You’ll feel better after a good cry.”
Plan a Fun Activity
When you have to work, you have to work. Sometimes you can’t put everything on hold just because you don’t feel like it. But you know what you can do? Give yourself something to look forward to later! I love this fun mind hack because it totally works on me. I LOVE having something fun to look forward to and can slog my way through all kinds of mundane or stressful activities just knowing there’s something good coming on the other side. I like looking forward to family movie night, a massage, or supper at a good restaurant.
Make a Switch
Work in the kitchen instead of the office. Switching over to a different project. Have iced coffee instead of hot. Okay, so we’re not exactly going nuts here, but change can be good. Sometimes our brains just need to step out of our usual flow and do something else. So go ahead, schedule a Zoom work session with your team or have cake for dinner. Give your brain something else to think about.
Spend Time With a Kid or a Dog
This might be the best one. Dogs and kids are so accepting. They have a completely different perspective - one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Honestly, they just want to hang out and be with you, which is a great ego boost. If you think I’m talking about children, yes. But also, I’m talking about baby goats because they’re hilarious and I have three. They care about nothing but back scratchings and food, and not in that order.
So there you go, 12 things you can do when the world seems heavy and you fall into a funk. OH NO WAIT I HAVE ONE MORE!!! It’s a really good one too. I can’t believe I almost forgot it!
Do Something For Someone Else
One of the best ways to get your mind off yourself is to serve someone else. Serving others is a great way to change your perspective and be reminded that you can have an impact that means something to someone else. It also reminds me that I’m not the center of the universe. I need to step outside of myself and give of myself, my time, my finances, my energy.
So there you go, 13 things you can do when the world seems heavy and you fall into a funk. I promise I’m done now. In fact, I really have to go. There’s a dance party waiting for me and I have a date to brush my dog later.
More About Christa Nichols
Christa Nichols is a sales conversion copywriter who enjoys connecting offers with audiences in a way that makes her clients’ campaigns profitable. You can often find her hanging out on Facebook, coaching in her online school for sales copywriters, Written Results Academy, or consulting with entrepreneurs and business owners on their sales campaigns. For more information, visit her website at https://go.christanicholsmessaging.com/home.
Hi, I'm Christa, an Iowa-based messaging expert specializing in targeted messaging, copywriting, and ghostwriting services. I have one handsome hubby who's my partner in crime (not literally) and two great kids who keep us busy (Track and field! Volleyball! Basketball! All the sports!) Using words to help people promote what they love is my favorite!