If you are like me, you are busy with holiday preparations while still maintaining a busy freelance work routine. There are a lot of extra things to do this time of year: shopping, baking, social events, writing cards.

Even volunteer opportunities abound at this time of year, with everyone holding holiday fundraisers and toy drives.

It’s easy to look forward to some quiet time when everything closes down for a few days of family celebration, but for a freelancer, there’s no such thing as a paid holiday. It can be hard to relax when you know your income will be affected by your time off.

Here are some ways to handle taking time off without worry:
Plan Ahead

It might be too late for this year, but next year you can be mindful about putting some money aside so that you can take a couple of weeks off for the holidays.

Reach Out

If you want to take on some extra work or try to keep busy, get in touch with your clients and make sure they know you’re available to do last minute projects or pick up projects that have stalled because their regular staff is on vacation.
For creatives, now is a great time to come up with a new graphic design or image to put on a holiday ecard and send it out to your network!

Schedule Your Free Time

Everyone deserves a break this time of year, so carve out some specific time for yourself and quality time with your family and friends. If you look at your calendar and it says “Christmas Party, 7-11pm” you won’t feel guilty when you walk out the door!

Post-Date Some Blog Posts

If a holiday falls on a day when you would normally publish a blog post for yourself or a client, write a holiday-themed post in the days leading up to your day off and schedule it to post on the day you plan to be roasting chestnuts.

Here’s the most difficult task, though.

Don’t feel guilty!

If work slows down, try to think of it as a gift. Appreciate the precious time you have with your loved ones. Use it to play board games, cook together, spend time at home doing that you don’t normally have time for, but that don’t cost a lot. Walk around and see the holiday lights in your neighborhood. Think up projects for the new year. Watch old movies and drink lots of tea.

Everyone at Artisan Creative wishes you and yours a wonderful, relaxing, and guilt-free holiday season!

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative