As part of Celtic’s Lunch and Learn Project, Creative Director, Jeff Faralli shared a few tips on how to boost your creativity.

As agency people, we are always looking for ways to channel our creativity for our clients. Whether it’s the Creative team, Account Management, Social Media, or PR, we all want to have the next groundbreaking idea. We also all hit mental roadblocks. So, what can we do to boost our creativity and overcome those hurdles?

Our brains are the center of our creative network. By doing, or eating, things that stimulate certain areas of our creative center, we can increase our creative thought. Where should you start? Included below are a variety of foods and activities that can help you boost your brain and come up with your next big idea.

Creativity-Friendly Foods

  1. Seaweed: Found in things like sushi and seaweed salad, seaweed contains the amino acid tyrosine, which helps control your brain’s reward center, promotes deep thinking, and taps into your abstract thoughts.
  2. Avocados (Instagram foodies everywhere applaud): Avocados offer a hefty dose of glucose, which enhances blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Plus, they’re full of fiber which reduces hunger and helps you focus.
  3. Berries: Like seaweed, berries contain tyrosine and also activate the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which maintains and controls communication between brain cells.
  4. Alcohol (Celtic employees everywhere applaud): Alcohol impedes executive thinking and boosts creative thinking. Shocking, right? Amazing writers like Poe and Hemmingway were greatly influenced by alcohol … and also died because of it. Drink responsibly friends.
  5. Green Tea: Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which helps improve cognition and reduce stress. It also releases caffeine slowly, preventing that sudden crash.
  6. Walnuts: Packed with neuroprotective compounds like melatonin, antioxidants and omega-3s, walnuts limit damage to brain cells.
  7. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains flavanols which increases blood flow to the brain by dilating vessels. Plus, with the perfect amount of caffeine and magnesium, it helps decrease stress and releases “happy hormones,” serotonin and endorphins.

Creativity-Catching Activities

  1. Take a Break: Whether you take a quick stroll around the block or stay inside with a coloring book, completely remove yourself from your current project and give your brain a break. When you return, you and your brain will be refreshed.
  2. Surround Yourself with Inspiration: Make your desk or office a display with anything that captures your attention. Whether it’s an ad you love or a picture that makes you laugh, hang it up! If you don’t have a physical space, create a digital one on Pinterest and turn to your online outlet when you feel stumped.
  3. Start Your Day in a Creative Way: Make your emails wait! Start your day off right and in a creative way, such as listening to a podcast, reading an interesting blog, doing yoga or watching a short, non-work-related video.
  4. Write a 500-word Article with No Topic: No topic, no outline, no headline, no editing, no self-critique. It will likely be crazy and nonsensical, but it could spark a fresh idea or create new perspective.
  5. No Bad Idea Brainstorm: Check your technology and criticism at the door and brainstorm for 45 minutes to an hour with at least one other person. Write down every idea, without any negative energy or feedback. While most of the ideas might not work, multiple ideas could come together to make something great.

None of these ideas sound right for you? Go explore! There are thousands of resources and ideas out there on how to boost creativity. Find one that works best for you and let the creative juices flow.