Lauren from Out of Office Gal shares her tips on staying inspired. Lauren is a travel blogger and content creator. She is a digital nomad who specializes in working in tough situations, so this pandemic has given her the opportunity to share her insight. Don't forget to check out her social media!
10 Ways to Feel Inspired When You're Stuck at Home
When reality sunk in that Los Angeles would be joining many parts of the world already in quarantine, my heart fell.
In early 2019, I had been able to transition to a digital nomad lifestyle—a dream that I had always envisioned but came about fortuitously sooner than expected. The year was full of adventure, as I travelled to 18 countries and I started Out of Office Gal travel blog & Instagram. And as I documented my laptop lifestyle and helped others embrace their wanderlust, I realized how starved I had been for a creative outlet up until that point.
Writing and using my imagination to transport myself & others to far off places was a skill I hadn’t exercised since college. And I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it honestly! Being able to relive my travels through written word after the fact, helped me to hold onto the experiences longer and reap even more joy overall.
So the thought of suddenly being stuck at home for weeks (or worse, months) on end felt especially daunting.
Out of Office Gal is a TRAVEL blog, what could I possibly write about when I’m stuck at home? Would progress stall completely on it?
Will brands stop wanting to partner with me because no one is traveling anymore?
Am I going to sink into a deep depression from not being able to travel just a year into my dream of becoming a digital nomad?
Needless to say, there was a lot running through my mind.
But then I remembered one of my biggest strengths….in business and in life…to see a problem and get out in front of it.
So I allowed myself an initial grieving period. Having travel halted for months is tragic for someone like me. But then I told myself I needed to kick into high gear and make the most of this downtime.
I made a list of everything I had wanted to do that I hadn’t had time for and I set to work making those things happen.
I think mind-set is incredibly important at a time like this. You can either sit at home in front of the TV waiting for the lockdown to send, or you can dig into a project and not even realize where the time went.
So if you haven’t quite been able to get in the right head-space….maybe your upset about the state of the world, feeling blue from lack of social interaction, or just a funk from all the change…it’s time to look for a little inspiration in your life.
Here are my top tips on how to feel inspired when you’re stuck at home and unsure where to turn. With these in mind, you’re sure to rock this lockdown period and come out even more productive & happy than before!
Tip #1 – Turn the news off.
I know it’s important to stay informed, but if you find that it’s bumming you out and you’re using it as an excuse to stay in your pajamas all day – TURN IT OFF.
Taking a little break from the news cycle isn’t going to hurt anything, and it may help you a lot. Remember, it will still be there when you want back in.
Tip #2 – Set goals and write them down.
I find that setting time-bound, actionable goals really helps me get in the right mindset and feel inspired. In case you are new to goal setting, here are a few general rules:
- Goals must be time-bound (set a time period to get it done)
- Goals must be actionable (things you can control yourself…i.e. not “win the lottery” which you have zero control over)
- Goals must be written down (no keeping them in your head; the mere act of writing goals down helps you COMMIT to the process)
Setting goals helps motivate – both in the short term & long term – by giving you something to focus on. We have so many things running through our heads at any given time that sometimes it becomes a bit jumbled, and we wind up with 10 unfinished projects. Listing your goals helps you prioritize your time and resources to accomplish the things that are most important to you in life.
Tip #3 – Play, like you were a kid again
When we’re little, play is the most obvious thing in the world and we do it all day long to keep from getting bored, feeling sad, etc. But as we grow up, we tend to leave it behind.
But I’m here to tell you that play is EXTREMELY important and the sooner you can realize that and bring little bits of playtime back into your life, the happier you will find yourself.
So think of the thing that you loved as a kid….was it flying a kite…or building a sandcastle….and make it happen!
Tip #4 – Go for a walk or run in your neighborhood (while social distancing of course)
Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands (or their roommates, kids, dogs, etc).
So with that in mind, remember to practice self-care and to get out of the house and go for a walk or run! Virtual workouts are great too, but I think we could all benefit from seeing the sun and being outdoors at a time like now.
Getting a workout in will help you feel more centered and able to handle the things that life throws at you.
Tip #5 – Find opportunities to be social & connect with others
Quarantine has been hard on a lot of people….especially extroverts who crave social interactions! But there are so many creative ways to interact with others virtually. Try hopping on a Zoom video chat to play games with friends. I recommend Jackbox.tv – it’s a blast! Or spend an hour catching up on the phone with an old friend.
Now is the perfect time to reconnect with those you who matter to you most.
Tip #6 – Get out of your head by taking a virtual tour somewhere in the world
This is one of my favorite tips….every day there are new cool virtual tours popping up to excite and entertain people right from their own living rooms. Meditate with a Japanese monk, cook pasta with an Italian grandma, or be transported to Cape Town for a lesson in apartheid.
OR check out my article on 15 EXCITING Virtual Tours/Experiences to Enjoy at Home
Tip #7 – Do something creative, even if you aren’t good at it
Pull out a pad of paper, grab your paint brushes, or just belt out your favorite Broadway show tune. Being creative has been proven to help you become a better problem solver– it teaches you how to see the world differently and to better deal with life’s uncertainty. And who wouldn’t want that?!
So even if you don’t think you’re good at it, take a few minutes to do something creative. Maybe even grab a partner to make it a social activity as well!
Tip #8 – Take a class or learn a new skill
This is a great time to take that salsa workshop you’ve been meaning to take or further develop your Photoshop skills. Think about things that would come in handy for your career or things that are just plain fun that you’ve always had in the back of your mind.
No matter how much you know, there are ALWAYS new things to learn. I’m constantly taking courses and deepening my skillset. I recently took Beat the Instagram Algorithm with Rachel Paul – even though I was familiar with some of the lessons (as a social media manager) it was still helpful to revisit and look at things with new eyes. I liked the first class so much that I then took her Tiktok for Entrepreneurs class – recommend that as well!!
Tip #9 – Revamp your workspace
There’s nothing more distracting than trying to work in a cluttered, uninviting space. So take some time to clean up your workspace. Make sure it’s clear of papers and random junk. Add a few items to make it feel welcoming, like flowers or a photo of your family. The end goal is that this your desk should be a place you want to spend time, not feel like a jail sentence.
I think I cried in both episodes of John Krasinski’s Some Good News – it’s the heartwarming filler that you need in your life right now. Hearing the wonderful stories of kindness & goodwill coming out of this terrible situation will raise your spirits and help you face the world a little stronger & braver right now.
Do you have any other tips on how to feel inspired and avoid falling into a rut while quarantining? We’d love to hear them! xo
By Lauren Gabel
Lauren is the creator behind Out of Office Gal, a travel blog dedicated to helping women travel more – even with a full time job, limited budget, and no one to go with. Also find her on Instagram: @theoutofofficegal.