The festive season holds many terrifying threats to your creative nature, which you must guard against with much vigilance.
OK, so I’m dramatising but….. I was thinking about the ways in which the creative habits we have built up so carefully can be derailed during the holidays. I’m no bah humbug and love any excuse for a party, not to mention the odd dash through the snow….. but it’s worth remembering and preparing for the less-fun aspects of Yuletide.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah or Saturnalia, or if you just join in the eating and gift-giving with no particular religious focus, there’s no getting away from the changes in routine and additional stresses at this time of the year.
Let’s face it, sometimes you just want to run away from it all, right?
For years, I ignored the whole thing and even now I play it right down, but that doesn’t mean everyone around you is going to!
Here are the top 5 dangerously dangerous dangers….and how to help get through them!
1) Bye-bye routine. Time off work, visiting relatives, things being closed, all disrupt carefully laid out routines. For many of us, creative time relies on some set routines and having them changed can mean we just don’t get the time to create. Prepare for this lack of ‘normal’ in your day by making it easy to do a small creative task – prepare your materials, work on projects that are easy to stop-start and don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get so much done.
2) Too many orders! If you are a working maker or artist, you may find your sales shoot up at this time of year. On one hand, this is glorious, on the other hand it can lead to stressy times. Set a limit on how much you can do and resist the urge to take so many orders you’re up all night trying to fill them – unless you really enjoy working like that, of course!
3) Money doom. This one is simple – if you are starting out or even far along the way, you may know that January will be quiet on sales and you need to watch your spending. Tell your family you are hand-making presents, or not giving gifts, and explain why. Trust me, for a few years they will keep buying you stuff and kind of expect something in return, but the message sinks in eventually! Make sure you take chances to be generous at other times of the year, so you don’t just appear mean.
4) Lack of energy. This time of year if you are in the Northern hemisphere it can be dark, dark, dark. Most people will feel some drop in their energy levels and some of us quite a dramatic one. Combine with extra stress, more orders, money troubles and you have a recipe for feeling quite horrid. Make time to snuggle under blankets with hot beverages, enjoy a movie, take a winter walk or a long bubble bath – take good care of yourself!
5) Family woes. For many people, choosing a different path is fairly simple all year long as you will have, if you are sensible, surrounded yourself with supportive and likeminded souls. This time of year, we can be forced into the company of people who think art is a waste of time, that we don’t have a proper job, etc etc.
Use your journal to support you and to vent, if needed. Limit time spent with people who drain you – being a member of your family doesn’t give anyone the right to judge you or make you feel rubbish – and stay connected with your tribe as much as possible through social media, or just picking up the phone, or arranging a post-boxing-day get together.
Remember, it’s OK to get away from it all when you need to!
I hope you are enjoying the festive season as it comes ever closer, however you celebrate (or don’t)
Please share your experiences and ideas in the comments section below – how does this time of year impact on YOUR creative practice?
I am preparing a gorgeous, creative, you-focussed gift for everyone on my mailing list, so sign up now!