GETTING OVER MENTAL BLOCKS

Every creative woman experiences blocks from time to time. Graphic designers, artists, chefs, writers and career women all suffer from the “banging my head against the desks until that next great idea hits” syndrome. As creatives, we identify with our ability to create. And when our creative abilities fail us, we think we are doing something wrong.

The good news is: you’re not doing it wrong and you don’t have to lose an entire day’s work due to a sucky creative block. Try out the tips below, and soon you’ll be able to tear down that dam and allow your creative juices to flow!

GO FOR A RUN

Or a hike. Or a simple walk around the block. As a student, creative, or career woman, you likely spend too much of your time cooped up in your studio or office. Break that habit by seeking inspiration in the beautiful gift of nature. The secret to abolishing your creative block for good is to get outside, girlfriend! Go into the great outdoors and get your adrenaline pumping. It’s amazing what some good ole fresh air can do for your body and mind.

FREESTYLE

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Not talking dropping 🔥 fire bars 🎵 (unless that’s what you’re working on of course!) But did you ever consider you’re obstructing your creative process by being too rigid?  expecting too much too soon? or playing it by the book too much? When you do this 24/7, you send your creative juices into hideout indefinitely. Release the pressure and allow your mind to freely express itself.

A good example of this is stream-of-consciousness writing. It’s an exercise often used by writers as a means to get the “creative juices flowing.” Forget grammar, spelling and all that, just start writing your thoughts and feelings on paper. The key is to not second-guess anything you’re writing, and really not force the process; Write whatever is on your mind.

SEEK INSPIRATION

Every creative professional has an industry hero or a digital sweet spot that motivates them to create something awesome. For a wardrobe stylist, it may be self-taught stylist June Ambrose. If you’re a stationery designer, you may enjoy the work of Ban.do founder Jen Gotch. Browse through your hero’s portfolio and become inspired to create your own work. Or jump on Pinterest and revisit some of your favorite inspiration and mood boards.

ASK FOR HELP OR AN EXTENSION

Worse comes to worst… simply ask for more time! No client likes to receive material beyond the deadline. However, many clients will understand an occasional delay. Timeliness is important, but sometimes an additional day or week will enable you to produce top-notch work.

Experiencing creative blocks are like pesky little summer gnats. You can put screens in your windows to keep them out, but they always find a way to break through the net. Lean in and stay resilient girlfriend! Even though you have little say in when or where your mental blocks appear, you can still work through them and strengthen your skills in the long run. Remember, inspiration doesn’t happen through your will alone. This is a period of rest for you. Take advantage of it, because your next creative surge is just around the corner!

Need an extra creative boost? You may just find your creative bff on Hey! VINA!

HOW TO TELL IF AN INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY IS LEGIT

Throw up the glitter, vinas, because we’re talking giveaways today! Nowadays, there are tons of giveaways and contests happening on social media. Brands large and small are taking advantage of the power of Instagram to connect with their followers and give away some pretty awesome prizes online.

Before you hop on the next giveaway train, here are three ways to tell if an Instagram giveaway is a fake:

IT’S NOT A VERIFIED OR LEGITIMATE ACCOUNT

Instagram is a wonderful visual platform, but it can be flooded with fake accounts and brands. The number one thing to look for before entering a Instagram contest is if the account sponsoring the giveaway is actually real. It helps if the account hosting the giveaway is a business, brand or influencer that you can trust. Verified accounts generally have that blue check-mark symbol, which lets you know that is confirmed by Instagram to be official. Non-verified but credible accounts are out there, though. Here are some characteristics of a credible account that is not a fake:

  • They only have a handful of followers.
  • There’s a blank or non-creditable bio link.
  • There’s no profile picture.
  • There is a lack of posts prior to the giveaway promotion.

 

Check out this giveaway from @ilikevina & @elleboxco

NO RULES OR TERMS

Not only are they required by Instagram, Rules & Terms make a giveaway safe and fair for everyone involved. A legit Instagram giveaway will always have entry rules and guidelines for contestants to follow in order to qualify for the prize. It should also include the details about what the prize is and how to redeem it if you’re the lucky winner.

PAY FOR THE PRIZE

A legit giveaway will only ask for minimal info before you can claim your new prize. It’s not a good idea to release your personal information until you have been confirmed and announced as the winner. At the very least, you may be asked for your name and shipping address, if the giveaway features physical products. If you’re asked by a content host to pay for your prize or share your banking info, run in the other direction, fast!

Don’t forget to follow @ilikevina on Instagram to see our giveaways! While you’re at it, download Hey! VINA!

(Featured Image via Pineapple Supply Co.)

5 APPS EVERY BUSY MOM NEEDS IN THEIR ARSENAL

Being a mom is serious business! Moms are notorious for putting themselves last on the to-do list. Luckily for us, we have amazing technology to help us out with that. If you’re a mom with a tribe that keeps you busy busting your butt, then you’ll love these apps.

PLANOLY

Having a flawless and aesthetically beautiful Instagram feed can be a lot of work. Not only is the Planoly app easy on the eyes, it’s the perfect tool for planning and scheduling a cohesive Instagram feed that your followers are sure to drool over.  Life gets crazy sometimes and whether you’re planning visual content for your business or just sharing the intimate moments of your family, this app will make posting consistently a bit easier for you.

AUDIBLE

When was the last time you sat in a quiet room and indulged in your favorite book? Been a while? Don’t worry Audible has your back! I’m big on taking control over my time and getting stuff done, but that can be challenging when you have an energetic toddler piggy backing most of the time. Reading (or listening) while cleaning the house, doing laundry or even working are super easy with this app. There are also tons of family friendly titles you can listen to with your kiddos.

LIFE360

Keeping up with your busy family can be exhausting. Or better yet, keeping up with multiple devices–a total nightmare. If you’re anything like me and need to know the who, what and where of your tribe at all times, then this app is for you, too. Get automatic notifications of where your family is and even if their battery is getting low!

YOUTUBE KIDS

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via YouTube Kids

Binge-watching on YouTube has pretty much rubbed off on my little one. If you’re tired of your feed being filled with superheroes and action figures, then vina, you need some YouTube Kids in your life! This app is kid safe, colorful, educational and fun. Go ahead and let your little one be curious, learn and binge on!

HEY! VINA

Connecting with other moms has been essential to my parental survival. Even if you’re not a first time mom, trading stories with other parents can be affirming and opens you up to experiences or resources you may not know about. Go ahead, get out of the house and treat yourself to some mom to mom interaction! Hey! VINA was designed for women to create meaningful connections with each other. My first connection was a mom meet-up with a local vina in my community park. This also is a great way to socialize your kiddos and have fun at the same time.

What apps do you have in your Mobile Mom Arsenal? Share below!

(featured photo via @Alexander Drummer | Unsplash )