Being creative is a trait shared by people in many career fields, web and graphic designers, writers, and of course artists. Regardless of how creative you are, there are times when it seems we all “hit a wall.” What do you do when you hit a mental block? Do you try to push through it, thinking that those creative thoughts will come if you just keep trying, or do you step back, take a deep breath and clear your mind for a moment?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed, stressed, and unable to spark those creative ideas when you hit a mental block. However, while clearing those cobwebs out of your brain you can also boost creativity!

Here’s how:

Be good to yourself.

Do the things you enjoy, and that relax you. Sometimes being creative is exhausting, so take a break. Take a walk, turn off the nagging thoughts. Go to the gym… whatever it is that helps you unwind. An overworked mind isn’t good for anyone! Reinvigorating your body will reinvigorate your mind as well.

Indulge your senses in music.

Music can motivate, stimulate, and help you develop a positive attitude. Some people are more efficient and better at concentrating when soothing music is playing in the background, and music has been proven to increase Serotonin (feel-good hormone) levels in the brain.

Consider whether your space lends to creativity.

Your environment has a huge impact on your creativity, and if it’s dusty, cluttered, or dark and depressing, it will affect how well your mind works, how your ideas flow. Set up your environment in a way that helps you stay focused. Personally, I need quite from talking and music softly streaming Pandora all day (ad free) which keeps me relaxed.

Surround yourself in your favorite colors; clear the clutter and organize. Include artwork, family photos, those comfortable things you love. You’ll be surprised at how creating an environment you’re happy in sparks new ideas.

Put technology aside – at least for a little while.

Laptops, tablets, cell phones – most of us are immersed in digital technology, and it can be a drain on your brain. You need downtime, which means time spent reading a book, doing something you love outdoors, time away from all of the technological gadgets at our fingertips today. The learning process is slowed when your brain is constantly “plugged in,” so give it a break!

With being constantly on via Online in my job, I have to avoid checking emails all day. During my production times, I turn off the phone, close the email, close social media and stay focused on the tasks at hand.

Give it up!

Sometimes you have to give up the direction your going in a creative project and let it stew for a bit. You can get in a rut where the harder you try to make something work the more frustrated you get.

And then when you try to let it go, it’s difficult. I recently had this experience with a design I was working on. It just wasn’t coming together. I was stressed, worried about the deadline. I then realized what I already knew from past experience. Trust my process. Let it go. Come back to it later when I wasn’t stressed with it and approach it from a new angle. Mainly an angle of being rested.

Try some of these things yourself, and see if it helps remove those mental blocks and get your creative juices flowing again!