12 Fabulous Ways to Cultivate Creativity During Quarantine

*Disclaimer: This isn’t going to be your typical blog post about COVID-19, however if you want to stay up to date on the latest data and research I’ve collected from around the world, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube where I record weekly updates and share all of the facts without any fear.*

Now onto the fun stuff…

By day, I’m a Functional Medicine Doctor practicing medicine in rural Monroe, Wisconsin.

By night I’m a drug dealer.

I deal the best drug in the world: Creative Flow State… you know that feeling that you get when you are in the zone and are bursting with energy and so focused that time just slips away from you

You may have experienced this state while you were running, playing an instrument, singing, writing, cooking/baking, gardening, painting, drawing, or doing DIY projects around the house.

It’s the best feeling ever and the only time your brain produces all 5 happy chemicals

  1. Dopamine

  2. Oxytocin

  3. Serotonin

  4. Endorphins

  5. Anandamide

The latest neuroscience research suggests that creative mental functioning involves a set of specific brain activation patterns that can be amplified through conscious effort and a little practice. By developing these creative pathways, you become receptive to new patterns of thinking and innovation to change the world around you. This is what moves our society forward as a human race.

We need to practice creativity every day to elevate our existence because as humans we are here to create

During this pandemic we’ve all seen the dark side of humanity (I’m looking at you face mask hoarders), now more than ever is a time to be socially responsible. We start by taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

One of the best and most fun ways to do that is by following my M.I.N.D. recipe:

M: Fuel your Mitochondria

I: Integrate your brain

N: Notice your environment

D: Divergent thought 

To give you a small taste of what my creativity and burnout relief program, Right Brain Rescue is all about, I’m excited to share with you creative exercises you can do today from each one of the M.I.N.D. categories. 

Mitochondria:

  1. Show your mighty mitochondria some love by fueling them with a leafy green smoothie! Throw in an avocado for a dose of healthy fat. 

  2. Chocolate anyone? Enjoy some resveratrol (a polyphenol that acts like an antioxidant in the body) Resveratrol rich foods are: dark chocolate, blueberries, grapes, cranberries, and pistachios.

  3. Get c-c-c-c-c-c-old! Treat yo self to a 60-second cold shower to simulate good biogenesis of mitochondria! 

Integrate:

  1. Hug your family member or pet for 20 seconds to give yourself a boost of oxytocin! 

  2. Massage your hands with coconut oil to stimulate the memory center of your brain and take your mind back to warmer days. Your hands will thank you for moisturizing them after all the washing you’ve *hopefully* been doing! 

  3. Use the Pomodoro Technique to avoid cognitive switching and increase your ability to focus! 

Notice:

  1. Notice when you are spending too much time on social media! If you want some actionable ways you can take control of your social media habits, I have a blog for that The Dark Side of Dopamine: Your Brain on Social Media.

  2. Make a list of all the things you won’t take for granted when this pandemic passes: casual handshakes, hugs, coffee with friends, comedy shows, conferences, airplanes, etc. 

  3. Notice the people who are unprotected such as cashiers, grocery store personnel, food service providers, police officers, etc. and say THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! 

Divergent:

1. Without lifting your pen, draw the outline of the view from your window! You can join my Private Facebook Group Right Brain Rescue to share your work of art! 

2. Dance! Dancing improves balance, lowers dementia risk, and gives a pleasant dopamine buzz! 

3. Express whatever emotion you are feeling by playing a song to match, taking, a bath, screaming into a pillow, dancing it out, etc.

Stay happy, healthy, and safe and keep coloring outside those lines!