On the way in to work this morning, I was reminded of the importance of looking up and taking a visual and mental break from my routine each day. We are still in the throws of winter in the Shenandoah Valley, and things are muddy, salty, messy, and frozen. Yet still, it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the world can be. Above is a photo of what I saw this morning.

We all need to take time to look up from our phone and computer screens and soak it in. There is a plethora of studies on the benefits of taking breaks from work, especially for those of us who work on computers all day. Taking time on my way to work to snap this photo with my phone was refreshing in a way that even caffeine can’t beat.

I would argue further that those of us in creative industries need these breaks even more to refresh and revive our creative minds. Not only should we be absorbing visual (and other) media for inspiration, we also should be watching the outside world. I’ve lived in rural, urban, and suburban settings, and there is beauty of different kinds in each place.

No matter where you are, take time to walk outside and soak in the the landscape. Keep an eye out for those special moments – the perfect sunset, the eagle in flight, the cloud shaped like a dog – whatever it is. Photograph it if that inspires you, or just enjoy the moment!

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