Ways to overcome a mental block

Instead of procrastinating when facing struggles, here are some ways you can gain inspiration and energy to complete your tasks.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 14 January 2021, 12:47 PM

Have you been feeling unmotivated to do anything productive or can’t get your creative juices flowing recently?

Mental blocks are a common occurrence that may cause you to procrastinate on work or studies as you struggle to find original ideas to keep you going.

If you’re trying to find ways to get yourself out of this rut, here are some suggestions that might help!

1. Look back at your old works and successes

One way to overcome this feeling of loss and unproductivity could first be to motivate yourself by viewing past works that you are proud of.

By reminding yourself that you were capable of coming up with good ideas, it’ll put you in a positive, can-do mindset that may further inspire you.

Tell yourself that if you managed to come up with that good idea last time, you definitely are able to do it again.

2. Talk to a friend or family member

Talking to someone is a good way to gain inspiration. They might be able to give you good advice and ideas, helping you see things from a different perspective.


Additionally, they may share their own stories that could inspire you.


During conversations, talking about your possible ideas may also help you better conceptualise your thoughts.

3. Clean your workspace

Many say that the key to productivity is working in a clean and comfortable environment.

If your desk or room is cluttered, perhaps reorganising it could free your mind, helping you work better.


The simple objects around you could even give you ideas.


Nevertheless, cleaning your workspace is sure to make you feel a little more productive, lifting your spirits and giving you more energy to brainstorm.

4. Go for a quick stroll outside

Sometimes the things tying your creativity down could be your environment itself.

It’s common to grow accustomed to our surroundings. However, when that leads to a mundane and uninspiring routine, a little change is needed.

Go for a walk outside for some fresh air, and take in the nature and happenings around you. It could take some burden off your shoulders and refresh your mind; putting you in a better headspace to ideate and think.

5. Browse social media for inspiration

If you want to know what are current world trends, consulting social media is the way to go.

What’s currently trending could be not just something entertaining, but a good source of inspiration. Browsing your feed could give you ideas while also helping you destress.


Twitter is a good place to check popular topics and see what the world is currently obsessing about, if you need trendy ideas. PHOTO CREDIT: CHARLES DELUVIO VIA UNSPLASH


Of course, be sure not to lose track of time and realise that an hour had passed while you were scrolling through just one app!

6. Take a bath or shower

Being in the shower is a surprisingly good place to think and come up with ideas.

After all, that’s how the phrase “shower thoughts” came about — where one would reach an epiphany while doing a mundane task.

As you are alone in a confined space and not focusing on doing anything extremely important, your mind tends to wander. Sometimes, it might give you an extremely useful or smart idea that you originally would not have thought about.

Additionally, showers and baths can be extremely calming, helping you to relax and open your mind.

7. Write out all your thoughts and conceptualise them

When facing a mental block, many of us tend to feel stressed and overwhelmed, unsure of what to do, yet trying everything in our power to overcome it. However, that just adds on to our pressure as we tend to overthink.

Instead of thinking too much and overloading your brain, try typing or writing all your thoughts out first and clearing your mind.

After that is done, look back at everything you have written and try to make sense of it, picking out good useful ideas.


Mind-mapping your thought process is a good way to clear and visualise your cluttered mind. PHOTO CREDIT: JASON COUDRIET VIA UNSPLASH


Looking at the bigger picture might also help you see something that you didn’t know was there, or come up with an idea that you didn’t realise was possible.

Overall, facing mental blocks hindering our productivity is pretty common. However, we shouldn’t give in to it and give up on our work. Instead, we should find ways to re-inspire and motivate ourselves.

After all, the best ideas often come from places we least expect.

If you are looking for more mental well-being resources, check out Youthopia’s resource page with everything from mental health self-assessments to tips for coping with challenging seasons in life.

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