Keeping up with your life as a creator is hard during the holidays.
Believe me, I can relate! So I’ll start with the most important takeaway: there is no pressure to keep up with your hobbies when your routine is disrupted.
It’s hard enough to carry on normal activities in the flurry of holiday get-togethers, truncated deadlines, and shopping for your loved ones. Or other times of the year, when life simply requires more of your time and energy, it’s easy to get derailed from your art practice.
You are a creator. You are an inspiration. Most of all- you are human.
So how do you keep up with your creative pursuits? How do you make sure you don’t lose yourself in the season of giving to others?
Read on for some tips to navigating the holiday season.
1. This one may seem obvious, but take time for yourself.
Try to carve out a few minutes each day to collect your thoughts, to journal, or to doodle. It doesn’t have to be an extended art making session as long as you feel fulfilled and get to express yourself creatively. Have fun with it!
2. Try working in short intervals.
Start with 5 minute bursts of creating, then work your way up to 10, 15, and 20 minute periods when the time allows. This keeps your brain active, eliminates boredom, and can be quite reenergizing!
When I’m working and feeling particularly distracted, I try the Pomodoro technique for time management.
3. Revisit past work or series.
When the inspiration isn’t striking hot, don’t feel pressured to create something totally new every time. Try reworking an unfinished painting, pick up a previous series, or go back to your favorite thing to paint- even if you’ve done it before! This makes for great practice and may even lead to new discoveries within that body of work.
4. Set the mood.
Put on your favorite music (noise canceling headphones are a godsend!), set the lighting in a way that makes you feel happy, and surround yourself with things that inspire you. Stay mindful of the effect that the weather can have on your mood. Rainy days make it hard to get motivated, and sunny days just make me want to be outside! Find your happy medium and recreate that whenever possible.
5. Set screen time limits.
The effect of our phones and computers and tablets and TV screens (oh my!) is so underestimated. The constant influx of information can stifle your creativity- so try setting time limits on your screen time. Most devices even have settings where you can limit your time on certain apps or shut down the device altogether.
6. Turn to your community.
You may find that most times, you have to be your own cheerleader. You supply your own motivation, and your personal goals are the number one reason you create. But when you have the support of a creative community- a group of individuals with similar goals and skillsets- you can turn to them when you need an uplift. Groups like Learn, Paint, Grow are a beautiful community that support one another, offer tips from their own practice, and share information, feedback, and their artwork for the greater good.
7. Step back.
Remember to step back from time to time, to remind yourself why you chose this creative outlet. It’s not about the result, it’s enjoying the process. Watch this quick clip about stepping back and seeing “the forest through the trees”, your reminder this week to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the present.
Do you have any tips or communities to share? Drop them in the comments for others to learn more!