All of us get stressed from time to time, and develop a creative “block” where it’s a challenge to think of any great, new ideas. When I encounter this, I like to switch up my environment and visit a local event, a new restaurant, or simply take a trip down memory lane. Here are my top places to gain inspiration.
1. Fred’s Diner: 930 Home Ave., Akron Fred’s serves up generous portions at great prices and looks as if you have just walked into grandma’s dining room. The at-home feeling allows you to unwind and clear your mind, and the retro atmosphere is great for inspiration, taking you on a trip down memory lane.
2. Gorge Metro Park: 1160 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls The Gorge is part of the Summit County Metro Parks and has quite a few sudden drop-offs and cliff overhangs that will make you think you’re nestled in somewhere deep in the Appalachians. Every fall, Summit County offers a Fall Hiking Spree, where if you walk enough trails, you will earn a hiking badge. Not only is exercise a great stress reliever, it helps to recharge and inspire you, allowing you to think more creatively and possibly come up with that next “big idea.”
3. Ingenuity Festival: Cleveland Art, science and technology intersect at the annual Cleveland Ingenuity Fest. The fest is a free festival that focuses on light and how it can create art. One large attraction from this year was two life-size Tesla coils. A performer stood in the center and seemingly conducted a light orchestra with two ‘light-saber’ like wands. The execution of the performance was beautiful and it goes to show that science can be a spark of creative genius.
4. Stomp!: 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo (January 18-19, 2014) I had the pleasure of seeing this Broadway hit a few months ago at E.J. Thomas in downtown Akron. The mixture of sounds from everyday elements with a bit of humor makes for a tremendous show. But, if you’re not able to make it out to Toledo, check out the IMAX documentary, “Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey.” Who would’ve known drumming on trash can lids could create such a show? Any type of theater or art production can take you out of your current mindset, allowing your mind to open up to new ideas.
5. Travel back in time. If you do not have the luxury of leaving your office during the day, reminisce about a place you vividly remember from your childhood. My trip down memory lane involves a two-hour drive to Cook Forest, Pennsylvania. Often as a child, my family would spend a fall weekend camping in the state park. These fond memories have helped shape me into who I am today—it goes to show how a past experience can provide inspiration in the present.
Sometimes the best way to generate ideas is to relocate—either physically or mentally. From local diners to spontaneous walks to a trip down memory lane, get inspired!
Where do you go to recharge?