3 tips for Keeping Your Creative Practice Alive during a busy {holiday} season

Prepare your Creative Practice + Mindset for the holiday season

Keeping a Creative Practice active and alive during the holiday season (or any busy season) can be tricky, to say the least.

We each may have different reasons for this... packed schedules and more get-togethers, travel, hosting, grief, loneliness, family dynamics, gift-giving efforts, bearing and acclimating to changes in relationships, or things like illness on top of all of that... to name a few obvious reasons.

These next couple of months can be a joyful season for some, and for others a desperately hard time. It is often somehow both, each year carrying its own mix of bitter and sweet.

If I'm honest, my anxiety begins to raise mid-October as the Christmas marketing overlaps with Halloween. ugh.

If you're like me - introverted, or highly-sensitive perhaps - the stimulation, routine disruption, expectation and pressure of it all can make you achy and tired just thinking about it. Even if you can't wait to see your loved ones, or share in the warmth and joy of celebrations.

While I DO love the essence, message and hope of the holiday season, I feel the disconnect/tension strongly... between what the world, society or outdated/extraneous traditions say it should look or feel like, and what it means to actually slow down, be present, and deepen in love with attention to our blessings and relationships.

There is also a holy, sacred rhythm to the nature of this darker season that calls us closer together, closer within ourselves, and into a posture of gratitude, waiting, and faith in the Light that is to come. Yes - more of that, please.

As I've healed some of my own familial trauma and patterns over the years (and continue to do so), I've become more aware and accepting of this tension I'm in tune with, and more allowing of what I actually need during this season to not burn out, de-rail or wind up sick.

I've become more conscious about what it is in relational and family dynamics that triggers me and why - and how to set boundaries and self-care in place, preemptively - so that I can be as loving and present as possible in relationships and experiences... while honoring my own well-being, needs and truth.

I get it closer to right some moments, and fail miserably in others - but the awareness and conscious posture+intention has helped greatly in reducing the anxiety, stress and people-pleasing passiveness that has plagued me in the past.

You might have picked up that this is not really just about the holidays… but aren’t the holidays like the front-lines of applying and integrating our healing work, faith and new perspectives, right in the beautiful mess of relationships and life?

Keeping in touch with my Creative Practice, and little mindset shifts, have been a HUUUUGE part of this in-process change and growth for me.

art journal page, holiday grief, how to keep a creative practice during the holidays with Hali Karla

Creative Practice is a lifeline of sorts for some of us, a way to stay connected and open to what truly matters in the holy heart of things. To our humanness, and to . I can't explain why that is, just that this is how I was made, how I’ve come to be... and I know some of you can relate, in your unique way.

For years, I was so desperate to *not* lose my center or Creative Practice connection at the holidays, that I would set unreasonable intentions for keeping my Creative Practice during the season (while traveling, mind you).

Then, I would inevitably “let myself down” and hardly keep my practice going at all in those months... even though that's exactly the anchor I wanted and needed to stay true and centered.

Because my Creative Practice is a way to touch-in with all the deeper ways I’ve been doing my healing work and a safe place to offer up my burdens and failures, too. A way to rest and re-fill.

I would end the season exhausted, dry, sad, feeling off, sometimes even sick, and struggle several weeks into the new year to get back to my life-giving practices.

I’ve learned from those years of trial and error, though, and made adjustments in my approach that have made it all lighter and do-able.

I spend just a little time preparing and considering intentions+approaches that actually help me keep my practice ongoing in nourishing ways... so that it can hold and keep me closer to Creative Spirit amidst the day-to-day holiday buzz.

We may not be able to slow things down as much as we’d like in these next couple of months, but we can love ourselves just enough to make a little room for simple touch-in practices that inspire, heal and give us respite.

There are 3 mindset tips that will help you find your own do-able holiday season Creative Practice at the end of this post.

Guard your heart art journal mixed media creative practice page | Hali Karla Arts

This year I am offering a new mini-course, KEEPER, sharing what I've learned and the approach I use with my own Creative Practice this time of year.

KEEPER is an 8-day, short, sweet and deep mini-course to encourage and help you prepare your Creative Practice for the upcoming season.

I invite you to become a more conscious KEEPER of your own Creative Practice, perspectives and relationships as you move into the season this year... whether you need your practice to carry what is most challenging for you, or just a place and way to capture some of the joy in a life that never stops changing... or maybe a little bit of both.

You can receive all I share in KEEPER by becoming a SEA-Changer patron on my Patreon page (that’s the $24 tier).

By the way, being a “patron” is kinda like joining a membership site, except that there’s no required commitment to join… AND it’s a little more like a mindful way of supporting artists in their ongoing creative process/projects, rather than just ‘consuming’ a product. With my Patreon, you get access to tutorials, Creative Practice prompts, virtual gatherings, personal updates and other rewards… like KEEPER. Let me know if you have any questions about it!

Once you sign-up, all content will come to you conveniently via emails (with links). (more details below)


Here are 3 mindset tips for keeping a Creative Practice that will keep+carry you through a busy, full or difficult season:

  1. SIMPLIFY with Trust, going in :: Before the season kicks off, if you can, choose a journal, prep some pages, minimize your art supplies into a portable kit, and most importantly identify and release any expectations or pressure that are just not realistic for your Creative Practice OR your relationships and experiences in this temporary span of time. Keep your intentions so so simple.

  2. Bring PRESENCE & INTENTION with Grace, during :: Be in the details of your days and encounters, returning to your intentions as needed. Be present with the people before you; flexibility and patience will likely be required. Ask for what you need, offer what you can. AND make & take a little time, every day or two, to Be Present to You and your Creative Spirit, within your Creative Practice(s). As in art, so in life (and relations)… When we creatives bring consciousness into our relationships, we honor+protect our creative energy; when we make time to re-charge within our creative energy and practices, we open ourselves to bring more consciousness+presence+respect to our relationships, too. Everybody wins.

  3. UNWIND & DEBRIEF with Love, coming out :: Once the season has shifted into next iterations, the clock doesn’t stop… but do make just a little space and time to decompress and process, with a trusted person or right in your Creative Practice. Honor the joy you experienced and “keep” what you want to remember and carry into the future, release the debris and what you don’t need to carry forward, or what no longer serves who you are now. Express, bless and rest.

If you’d like to explore these tips (and a few more), as I guide you through a gentle preparation to tend and keep your Creative Practice in the midst of a full+real life this holiday season, join us over on Patreon for KEEPER.

Creative Practice as a spiritual practice | keep yours going during a busy season with simple shifts in approach (Hali Karla Arts)

KEEPER details…

WHAT :: KEEPER is a short, sweet & deep 8-day mini-course to help you prepare your Creative Practice, perspective, and relationship-posture for the holiday season

WHEN :: Begins November 14 (with access until 2020)

HOW :: video, audio, prompts & reflections, plus peeks at some of my holiday Creative Practice pages from years past

WHERE :: On my Patreon - Become a SEA-Changer (or SKY-Gazer) patron at least for the month of November to participate

EXPECT :: 1) To simplify & prep your Creative Practice "Kit" and pages to carry you through the holiday season; 2) meaningful reflections with short prompts to help you get clear on your needs and intentions in your relationships and self-care for the season; 3) encouragement for connection with your sense of Creative Spirit + Truth in this rich season. Short. Sweet. Deep.

However you tend & share your creative heart+life over the next few months…

May Creative Spirit open the eyes of our heARTs to our own Wholeness, to the Belovedness of those we encounter, and to full Presence in the season that is to come...

with joy+gratitude,