Blue skies have long since bowed to that bleary winter gray, and as our vitamin D withers from our bodies, so does our creativity. We have New Year goals, a NaNoWrMo novel in progress, and deadlines, but the thought of spring and post-hibernation is still months away!
What can we do to maintain our creativity and productivity until Old Man Winter gives it up?
FEED OUR MINDS. Seriously. Christmas treats and chocolate covered espresso beans only carry you so far.
Depression, anger, self-demoralization, and extreme fatigue are all negative effects caused by a starving mind. Productivity and creativity takes a steep dive–not good for writers! So let’s kick this yearly battle in the teeth.
Incorporating these super foods into your diet will keep your mind sharp and flexible during periods of stress, not just winter months.
BERRIES: Helps fight free radicals in your brain and body, and maintains good communication between brain cells. Boosts the immune system. All berries contain the essential amino acid tyrosine, which promotes deep thinking and abstract thoughts. Also great for your skin!
OATS: Slows the release of glucose energy (brain fuel) so that you have a longer lasting stream of creative energy.
WALNUTS: Increase cognitive performance and inferential reasoning with its Omega 3s, melatonin, and antioxidants.
DARK CHOCOLATE: Increases blood flow to the brain, contains a healthy dose of caffeine, and fills you with the “happy hormones” seratonin and endorphins.
SEAWEED CHIPS: Packed with the amino acid tyrosine which pumps your dopamine levels, controlling the reward center of your brain. Tyrosine promotes deep thinking and abstract thoughts.
FISH: (Coldwater, specifically) Contains a ton of Omega 3s which build a better functioning brain.
AVOCADO: Enhances blood flow, delivers oxygen needed for brain. Curbs the appetite.
DARK LEAFY GREENS: Slows the rate of cognitive decline, rich in antioxidants, boosts creativity for short bursts. So eat them often!
GREEN TEA: Slows down the ageing process of the brain. Contains the amino acid theanine which creates alpha waves in your brain, improving cognition and reducing stress.
ALCOHOL: Switches your brain from thinking executively to thinking creatively. Fights writers block by keeping thought process outside the box. Think: Hold my beer. Sidenote: Edgar Allen Poe died of complications reportedly cause by excessive alcohol consumption.
WATER: Here’s what NOT keeping hydrated does to your brain: Immediate damage to your mental abilities. Impedes memory and concentration. Mood and energy levels dive. Prolonged dehydration actually shrinks the brain!
COFFEE: Boosts metabolism and gives you a burst of concentration. Try it for lunch to avoid the midday crash.
Remember to eat a good mix of these things listed above, or you’re essentially depriving your body of something else. Steve Jobs actually admitted to using an all fruit diet, saying it did wonders for his creativity! But can you imagine *ahem* the stomach ache? No thank you.