10 More Self-Care + Sanity Tips from Accomplished Makers

For many of you, the madness of the holiday season remains in full swing right now. You’re probably turning a corner but I know that a little supportiveness can feel great when things are hectic.

Last month, we shared a post called How 3 Makers Stay Organized + Sane In Hectic Times and got a great response. So today we’re sharing tips for staying healthy and productive from two more powerful makers who know their stuff.

Kara from Karacotta Ceramics

Kara Pendl believes that everyone deserves to live and work in a space they truly adore -- and she makes gorgeous, exuberant, functional ceramics to support you in that. Each piece is hand-thrown in Austin, TX.

Kara at the wheel. Via  @karacotta_ceramics

Kara at the wheel. Via @karacotta_ceramics

Kara shared her three top self-care tips for makers during the holiday season:

Find your village.
It takes a village to run a small business, especially during holiday. Outsource all of your mundane life things, as much as your budget & creativity allows. Hire that house cleaning crew, get your groceries delivered, pop your kids in a carpool, have your laundry picked up.

Secure the boundaries!
Keep your schedule simple, and hold your boundaries TIGHT. For example, maybe only taking meetings on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesday are for making, Thursday is web/admin, and Friday is loose-ends. Do not deviate! I think the tighter you can keep your schedule, the easier it is to weed out extraneous time-sucks, and the more productive you will be, knowing you only have a finite amount of time.

Don’t let supplies limit you.
Order extra, extra, extra supplies! It really is the pits when you're cranking away in the studio, getting a million things done, and then you run out of branded stickers, or packing boxes. Order double what you think you will need - it will get used eventually, and then make a supply list for everything you use, and do a quick 15-min supply inventory check on Fridays.

Elana from Elana Gabrielle

Elana Gabrielle is an illustrator, designer, and maker based in Portland, Oregon. Her illustrations, design, branding, and textile goods are tactile, warm, and wild. She’s constantly developing new art and products, but all with her distinctive approach.

Elana at market. Via  @elanagabrielle

Elana at market. Via @elanagabrielle


Elana shared a lot of kind guidance as well as her own experience of this season:

Busy times can be difficult to navigate, and finding ways to stay organized and productive has been one the most important things I’ve done for myself and my business. Through trial and error, I’ve found that having a routine with daily guidelines has made a huge difference in keeping myself focused, healthy, and avoiding burnout. Finding a structure that works best for your lifestyle and personal preference is key, and the following list is an overview of some things I’ve found helpful.

Start with the big picture.
I start my day with a cup of tea or coffee, and I create a list of all my tasks for the day and divide it up in order of priority/urgency.

Plan according to your rhythms.
I plan my day/week according to my to-list, organizing logistics during times of the day when I work best. For example, my mind is most fresh first thing in the morning, so that is when I complete any writing, research, communication, etc., and I do my creative work in the afternoons.


Limit distractions.
When I get stressed I find that I am much more easily distracted, so I either keep my phone in a separate room or use an app like Moment to keep myself out of the social media rabbit hole.

Ode to the crock pot.
When things are most hectic, I make sure to have some simple healthy options stocked so I don’t have to worry about it or resort to unhealthy options. Crock pot meals are a good option for this, especially during winter months!

Exercise really does help.
Exercise is so important for my mental and physical wellbeing during busy times. No matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, I am always more clear-headed, energized, and focused.

Sleep and work faster.

Sleep is a priority for me! I work 10x faster when I am well rested.

Get outside!
Every day.

Finding moments to slow down here and there and focus on my own well-being is so helpful in staying sane through hectic busy times, and I hope this can help you too!

Thank you so much to everyone who has shared their insights in this little series: Kara from Karacotta Ceramics, Elana from Elana Gabrielle, Lora from Free Period Press, Jonnie from Grey Theory Mill, and Paris from Paris Woodhull Illustration.

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