048: Home (and foot) Decor

Anna and Maria discuss decor this week, and how decorating our spaces can help us encourage creativity and wellness. They consider decorating as a creative act and project; a tool to promote mental health; a method through which we can curate body positivity; and much more! They also cover how decorating may be different for a young adult without much space of their own than for a homeowner, and how those of us with limited space can still maximize our spaces for different purposes. Anna and Maria also bring in some connections to past episodes on space, seasons, and values (proving just how holistic creativity and wellness can be!).

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047: Know Your Values

This week’s episode is all about values: how we can identify what they are, why we might want to, and what impact they have on our wellbeing and our creative lives. Anna and Maria discuss how values can help us in our decision-making process and understand the WHY behind what we do. They also explore the ways ego, judgment, and comparison can get in the way of determining our true values, what happens when our values differ from those around us, and whether some values are better than others. And, because our hosts are detail-oriented language nerds, they discuss choosing specific words with particular resonance for YOU, and why that might be more helpful than having a huge list of all of the positive words you can think of.

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046: Seizing the Season

As the fall colors start to hit their stride, Maria and Anna delve into the topic of living seasonally. They discuss how seasons can be opportunities for change and reflection, as well as sources of difficult transition, and how we can better adapt to these changes. They also dive into the cyclical nature of seasons, and how different types of seasons often mirror what is going on in nature. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Never Wear Boring Socks episode without diving into wellness and creativity… so Anna and Maria make sure to cover seasonal self care, as well as how seasons affect our creative processes. Really, they’re both just excited about how many new fall foods are in season.

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045: Getting creative, staying inspired, & appreciating beauty with Jackie Randall

This week, Anna and Maria talk to graphic designer and wellness enthusiast Jackie Randall. They get into many aspects of creativity, including creative collaboration, the importance of beauty, and the emotional impact of art. Jackie also talks about how she got into graphic design, her experiences in art school and working in a creative field, finding creative community, and her many sources of inspiration. Plus, a Hamilton tangent and lots of recommendations for things to check out!

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043: Spiritual Material

In this week’s episode, Anna and Maria dive into the very complex topic of spirituality. Some of the questions they attempt to answer: How does spirituality play into wellness, and specifically the mind-body connection? Do we have to separate ourselves from our physical experience in order to have a spiritual one? What is the relationship between spirituality, art, and creative inspiration? Is there a difference between spirituality and religion? Our hosts discuss how their relationships to spirituality have changed over time, how the language we use impacts our relationship to spirituality, and the importance of empathy, community, and compassion.

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041: Creativity: Wellness for the World

How can creativity make a positive impact in the world? What is our responsibility as artists, musicians, writers, and people who are making things and sharing them with the world? From choices we make about our supplies, to carefully considering the content of what we share, to the added opportunities for impact if and when we decide to turn our creative pursuits into a creative business, Anna and Maria discuss a few of the many layers of this complex topic. Also discussed: how does this all fit into the topic of wellness?

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039: Making Life Spicy with Routines

One important factor in the realms of creative work and wellness is routine. Morning routines, evening routines, in-between routines...Anna and Maria discuss their value, and some of the things they personally do each day to set themselves up for success. They also talk about finding balance between the structure of routine and the joy of spontaneity, as well as allowing our routines and habits to change as we experience change in things like our life situations, seasons, and hormones. Plus, our hosts discuss ways in which wellness routines and creativity can sometimes be in conflict, and share some of their favorite skincare rituals.

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037: What's Good for Me? Creativity!

A fitting follow-up to last week’s episode, Anna and Maria dive deeper into the intersection between creativity and wellness. This time they focus on how we can view wellness with a creative and intuitive lens, rather than a rigid and dogmatic one. Our hosts discuss some of their favorite outside-the-box “wellness” practices, how to get more creative with the inside-the-box ones, and talk about what specific actions they’ll be taking to infuse their wellness routines with a bit of fresh creative energy. Plus, some discussion of delicious Ayurvedic dishes, wisdom from Amy Poehler, and another listener challenge!

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036: Getting Rid of the Gunk

How do self-care and wellness help us cultivate more creative lives? Following a discussion on the symbolism of watermelon and Harry Potter socks, as well as Maria’s coining of our listeners as “creative soles” (the more sock puns, the better, yes?), Anna and Maria delve into this question on the podcast this week. They cover a range of topics from the complicated issue of the tortured artist archetype, to how nourishing our mental well-being can help us share our creative work. They also take time to appreciate the benefits of food and sleep (is there ever enough time to devote to these topics?). Throughout the next week, Anna and Maria agree to commit to one wellness practice that will help nourish their creativity, and invite listeners to join them in this pursuit! To wrap up the episode, Anna breaks the rules by leaving our creative soles with not one, but TWO quotes.


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033: Envy, Comparison, & Creativity

This week’s episode is all about envy and comparison. In particular, Anna and Maria delve into what it’s like to experience these feelings in the realm of our creative outlets. We regularly compare ourselves to others in all sorts of ways, but as creatives, we can get particularly obsessed with comparison when it comes to our craft. Our hosts talk about their own experiences being both inspired and discouraged by others’ creative output, and explore the ways in which comparison can get in our way when we’re trying to produce original work. Ultimately, they apply PMA to the situation and arrive at a conclusion that allows them to use envy as a tool for self-reflection. Maria shares an envy-exploring exercise involving alumnae/i magazines, and Anna brings in a classic bit of wisdom from none other than Dr. Seuss.

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032: Self Care

Anna and Maria delve into the diverse topic of self care this week. Self care is pretty trendy right now, but what is it exactly? Our co-hosts discuss what it means to take care of ourselves and how this fits into the traditional perceptions of self care, and why self care is so important (especially within our current busy lifestyles). They talk about some of their favorite self care practices and the individualized nature of self care, as well as the need to evolve our self care routines. Ultimately, self care is about being in touch with our bodies and minds and taking time for ourselves in order to be well and do well. Remember: self care is not selfish, and it allows us to be present in our own lives and in our relationships with others.

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031: Creative Inspiration

As creative people, we love inspiration. It feels great...that is, when you have it. So how do we go about getting inspired? What is inspiration, anyway? Our hosts discuss a wide range of inspiration-related topics, including the inspiration we find in other people’s work, and the mysterious and ineffable qualities of this elusive force. Is inspiration something we take in from the world around us, or is it something that already exists inside each of us? Is it a unique entity with a mind of its own? Is it, perhaps, all of the above? We hope you enjoy this fascinating and rather philosophical discussion as much as we did!

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030: Alanna Okun on Crafting & Writing

This week Anna and Maria welcome a very special guest, Alanna Okun. Alanna is a writer, editor, and crafter...in other words, a very appropriate guest for Never Wear Boring Socks. An avid knitter, she even makes her own un-boring socks. Alanna’s work can be found on Racked, Buzzfeed, NPR, Apartment Therapy, The Hairpin, and The Billfold, and she’s appeared on Good Morning America and The Today Show. Our hosts talk to Alanna about crafting, writing, and her recent project that merges the two: her first book, The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater. Alanna also talks about paid creative work vs. creativity for its own sake, why crafting is so welcome in today’s tech-focused world, and her extensive yarn collection.

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027: Stress

This week, Anna and Maria discuss stress. We all experience it… but we each experience stress in different ways and manage it differently. Our co-hosts delve into the causes and types of stress, how stress is different for both young adults and for creative people, and the mind-body connection in regards to stress. They ultimately provide some possible ways to develop a better relationship with stress, and recognizing that managing stress is a question of changing our perspective on time.

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025: Eva Peterson on trusting your intuition, traveling, creativity, meditation, & more

This week, Anna and Maria interview special guest Eva Peterson! Eva is an artist, illustrator, vlogger, world traveler, and a fellow journaler and meditator. We talked to Eva about listening to your intuition and how Eva’s led hers to quit her job and travel, what she’s experienced so far in her travels, drawing, creativity, what it’s like to do a 10-day silent meditation retreat, editing videos, and more!

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024: Perfectionism

On this week’s episode, Maria and Anna discuss perfectionism. They offer answers as to why some of us are perfectionists, what areas of life we apply perfectionism to, and how it both hinders and helps us. They also discuss how perfectionism relates to control, how it affects collaboration with others, and ultimately how we can change our views on perfectionism in order to benefit us. And, they round out the discussion with some classic wisdom from Voltaire.

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023: Sock Talk: Updates & Reflections

A lot has happened since Never Wear Boring Socks was born, so our hosts took the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and share a few updates. Topics include charitable donations, a newly released EP from a past podcast guest, the PMA award of the year (yes, of the year, even though it is only February. This was a very impressive display of PMA), the statuses of Anna’s and Maria’s New Year’s resolutions, current creative projects, some general life updates, and a discussion of what Anna and Maria have gained from the podcast over the course of the first 23 episodes.

 

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022: Sharing Creative Work

Anna and Maria return to the topic of creativity this week, specifically addressing the process of sharing creative work. They tackle the various fears that might preclude us from sharing work, discuss the benefits of sharing our products with others, and some things to keep in mind along the way. Ultimately, they decide that although sharing work is scary, it helps us become better and more confident artists. And it makes us want to share more!

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021: Habits

This week, Maria and Anna talk about habits (and struggle to correctly say “habit” throughout the episode… what is up with this word?). Our fearless co-hosts attempt to answer some elusive questions: What makes an action a habit? Why do we label habits as good and bad? How do we keep the positive habits in our lives? They also talk about how habits relate to creativity, time, decision-making, and more. We hope you find some of our suggestions helpful as you continue your resolutions for the new year—habits are a good way to follow through on your goals!

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016: Holiday Gift Ideas

The holidays are upon us! For many people, the holiday season means gift-giving, so Maria and Anna set out to compile some gift-giving approaches and ideas. They discuss the five different love languages and how these can inform our methods of gift-giving, and the importance of giving something that will make the recipient feel loved and appreciated. They then share some of their favorite small businesses and artisans that create wonderful products and gifts, because supporting independent artists means supporting creativity. Gift giving doesn’t always have to be about purchasing items, however, so Maria and Anna give some gift ideas that don’t necessarily cost money, but do communicate love and thoughtfulness. Finally, our co-hosts encourage listeners (and each other) to remember that giving gifts is not just about spending money, but about showing our love for others and also for enriching our own lives.

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