Recently I explained my 5 Ingredients for a Creative Holiday. To preach about how to do something is much different than acting on said topic. Today we review my recipe for vacation and let you know how practical my advice has been… for me!

(1) Pick a new MINI project.

When I arrived in Seattle and then went to Canada, I had zero desire to make art. So much for my urban sketching focus on holiday. Instead I took photos, slept and played lots of games. My photography definitely allows me to access my creativity while I travel; I once was big into souvenirs, now I see my photographs as my souvenirs!

There has been a change of pace, however, in North Carolina and I now aim to draw/paint every day. I’m doing little drawings, which makes it doable, and yesterday I managed two! It made me feel SO good, so I do plan to do it while I’m visiting the Outer Banks. It’s beautiful here and there is plenty to see.

Don’t judge yourself for being creative (or not) while you are on vacation… it’s called being on holiday for a reason! (Click here to Tweet Me.)

Lesson Learned: Be flexible with your mini project. Allow for ebb and flow while you are on vacation. Some days may be more filled with family time, tourism activities, etc. Don’t judge yourself on vacation, it’s called BEING ON HOLIDAY!!!! That means you get to take a break. The MINI project should be fun, not a burden.

(2) Schedule/Allow for quiet time.

This is the one I’ve probably done the worst with; as much as I love quiet time, I really missed all of my family and loved ones. So, (3) supercedes this expectation. I need a lot more quiet time than I’m getting, but I don’t want to miss out on this family time. And considering my time in Muscat has so far provided me with a lot of my quiet space I can handle the change in social pace for a while longer. Doing yoga has been my one break from everybody, which definitely has helped!

Lesson Learned: Sometimes we must extend outside of our Myers Briggs personality type. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it might do us a little good! You can still experience a restful holiday or a fun holiday while being a bit outside your INFJ comfort zone.

You can still experience a restful holiday or a fun holiday while being a bit outside your (insert your Myers Briggs here) comfort zone. (Tweet me! Just click here.)

(3) Reconnect with loved ones.

This one is totally at the top of my list this vacation. Spending time with my husband,  in-laws, my parents and my sister’s family has been SO special! I feel so incredibly lucky and these visits only remind me of that. I’ve been tearing up randomly (well, in part, because I can somehow cry even during a commercial – no joke) just taking it all in and recognizing how special time like this really is.

Lesson Learned: We so easily take our loved ones for granted. Making family a part of my vacation time is something really important to me. I will continue to prioritize seeing my family. This feels even more important living so far away. Video conferencing is a wonderful tool, but nothing beats a real hug.

(4) Read. Everything. Anything.

I usually LOVE to read. As a kid I would beg my mother to go to the bookstore. She’d buy me a handful of books and somehow I would read them all in one weekend; I can still be quite the ravenous reader. This trip? I read on my flights a bit, but other than that? Nope; not happening. Reading can be such a wonderfully escapist activity that supports hitting up the beach. But this time, I’d rather have my sketchbook.

Sometimes what works for you to relax is completely different than you expect or even knew about yourself! (Click it to Tweet it.)

Lesson Learned: Sometimes what works for you to relax is completely different than you expect or even knew about yourself. Honor the time you need and don’t force yourself to do stuff that “should” happen on vacation. There are no real “shoulds” during a holiday!

(5) Exercise.

I LOVE that when we get up in the morning all kinds of people are out and about in the Outer Banks: riding bikes, walking, running, etc. It’s so wonderful to see other people who also believe exercise is a welcome part of vacation. I’ve been doing yoga several times a week and yesterday managed to do two of my holiday recipe in one go: a long walk on the beach by myself did the trick! A healthy body is a healthy mind. I sleep better and have more energy for all of our activities because I choose to be fit.

Lesson Learned: Download the app for MindBodyConnection to easily find workout facilities in a town near you. I found several yoga studios and their schedules for the area, it was great! Making my exercise a morning-ish commitment also better guarantees it will happen.

I still have some time remaining on this vacation but already I got to visit with a friend on the phone and she could hear the difference. She said my voice seemed “lighter.” And it’s true. I realized this is the first time I’ve slowed down properly in two years! I knew I was keeping myself at a bit of a pace but man it feels good to really slow down and breathe.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: How does your recipe for a creative holiday match with your choices and actions during your vacation? I want to know! Share about it in the comments below.

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