Soon, the holidays will be over. The bills will start coming in. Tax season will be upon us, and we will be enduring the shortened days and the lowlight of winter. But before you crawl under a blanket to hide, look on the bright side: You can find inspiration everywhere around us. We just have to know where to look. Here are a few tips to keep your spirits high and get inspired.

Rekindle an old interest.

What else did you do before you got into design? Perhaps it was reading novels, or astronomy, or cooking. Shake off the rust of your forgotten hobbies and dive in headfirst. It’s great way to awaken a slumbering muse.

Break some rules and get inspiredBreak some rules.
At least on the surface, there is a fine line between crazy and genius. We are so used to following sets of rules in our everyday lives, it’s easy to forget many of these are entirely arbitrary. Take the scenic route instead of the highway. Stay up late. Embrace your inner rebel!

Do you have a mentor? Perhaps a former professor or colleague? Reconnect.
Invite her for coffee, and pick her brain. Discuss the old times, ask a lot of questions, and do a lot of listening. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice (but the cup of coffee is on you).

Get away from that monitor and head out and examine the environment around you.
Depending on where you live, in most places the world over, December and January are quite frosty. So wear a warm hat when the cold winds blow, and don’t let that stop you from exploring. Even simple observations can lead to revelations. The old oak tree in the backyard? Looks like an entirely different creature in winter.

Find inspiration outside your comfort zoneStep out of your comfort zone.
Sometimes this is the only way to break yourself out of a funk. Rearrange your workspace. Better yet, work remotely. A spark will occur, and it will show in your work.

Have you ever tried to start a car in frigid temperatures? The engine tends to sputter. Like a well-oiled machine, creativity requires a certain amount of maintenance to continue performing at a high level. Next time you feel your creativity begin to freeze, trying thawing it out with the above tips.

Looking for even more inspiration? Learn how singer and songwriter Kristin Hersh is inspired by music.