The holidays are a time filled with both magic and chaos. It’s the most wonderful, and often most stressful time of the year. Especially if you’re an artist torn between staying productive in your studio and enjoying the season’s festivities. On this episode, I’m going to breakdown why this time of year can feel so hectic to artists, how to be kinder to yourself when the holidays get overwhelming, and how to plan ahead to make the end of 2023 merry and bright!
Outline of This Episode
- [3:39] Why are the holidays so hectic?
- [7:06] Giving yourself the gift of breathing room
- [17:17] Planning the holidays around your goals
- [22:38] Navigating unexpected holiday surprises
Identifying the holiday overwhelm
As artists, we know how important it is to stay focused and committed to our work. Even when there are distractions and temptations all around us! But during the holiday season, it’s especially difficult to not get sidetracked by all the activities and events. And it’s this time of year when I hear so many artists talk about feeling overwhelmed. With every invite to a holiday party or family get-together comes the dread of falling behind and not getting everything done they had planned. I find that much of the anxiety we feel around the holidays stems from not meeting our scheduled level of productivity or even goals we made for the year that is quickly ending. But here’s the thing: We make the schedule, right? We know the holidays show up every year with all of their craziness, family, friends, and time commitments. So why do we set such unrealistic expectations for ourselves to do it all?
Be kind to yourself
Everything we do is to build the life we want inside and outside of our studio. We get to create it! So ask yourself: Do I want to create a life where the end of every year is a really stressful time? And I’m constantly having to choose between being an artist and enjoying the holiday season? We should aim to create a November through December that is both productive and allows us to spend valuable time with our friends and family. The key is to simply be kind to yourself. It’s good to be ambitious and set high goals, but when December rolls around you need to evaluate how important the deadlines you set truly are. Is the date you set important or arbitrary? If it’s the latter, give yourself some breathing room! Push it to January without making it mean anything more than this: You deserve to enjoy this time of year and all the goodness it has to offer.
Taking care of the future you
Although it may feel like the holidays creep up on us out of nowhere, they happen every year. Rather than allowing yourself to get blindsided by them, plan ahead and set yourself up for year-end success! If you know the holidays are filled with a bunch of events and activities you don’t want to miss, plan to be less productive during this time of year. You can even gradually taper off productivity as we get deeper into December. This is what I call taking care of your future self. You can give future you the gift of not attempting to do 10,000 things during one of the busiest times of the year. Or maybe you have a certain level of productivity you want to maintain during the holidays. That’s great too! Set a limit of three to five holiday events you want to attend so that you maintain balance and achieve your goals. But whatever you do, know that it’s your choice and you have the freedom to make it.