How a Freelance Writer Can Take a Break During the Holidays

The holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and for many of us, an overwhelming to-do list. When you’re a freelance writer, balancing the festive season with the demands of your work can be especially challenging.

It’s easy to feel guilty about taking a break when projects are waiting and client emails pile up. That said, as a freelancer, it’s your responsibility to find a healthy work-life balance, especially during a time that’s traditionally for relaxing and recharging.

A well-timed, planned break will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to tackle the new year.

In this blog post, we’ll share tips on how you, as a freelance writer, can step away from the keyboard and make the most of the holiday season.

What Does it Mean to Take a Break?

“Taking a break” refers to a temporary cessation of work or other demanding activities to rest, recharge, and return to your task with renewed focus and energy. It’s a crucial component of self-care that allows you to manage stress, improve well-being, and ultimately, be more productive in the long run.

Here are some key aspects of taking a break:

  • Temporary: It’s not about completely abandoning your responsibilities, but rather allowing yourself a defined period to step away and focus on your well-being.
  • Rest and Recharge: The purpose of taking a break is to allow your mind and body to rest from the demands of work or other activities. This can involve physical rest, mental relaxation, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and a sense of rejuvenation.
  • Improved Focus and Energy: By allowing yourself to rest and recharge, you can return to your work feeling more focused, motivated, and energetic. This can lead to improved productivity and creativity.

The exact duration and activities associated with taking a break can vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. However, the essential message is the importance of prioritizing your well-being by intentionally allowing yourself to step away from demanding tasks and recharge.

The Importance of Taking a Break:

Taking a break might seem counterintuitive, but it’s essential for maintaining optimal mental and physical health. Stepping away from the desk allows for rejuvenation, increased productivity, and a fresh perspective when returning to work.

Taking a break from writing can involve various activities such as going for a walk, practicing mindfulness or meditation, engaging in physical exercise, or simply taking a few moments to relax and clear the mind. These activities can help reduce stress, improve focus, and prevent burnout.

Rejuvenation is a key benefit of taking breaks. It allows writers to recharge their creative energy and approach their work with renewed enthusiasm. This can lead to increased productivity and better quality of work when they return to their writing tasks.

Additionally, stepping away from the desk provides an opportunity for a fresh perspective. Taking a break can help writers gain new insights, overcome creative blocks, and approach their projects with a clearer mind. This can lead to more innovative and effective writing.

Ultimately, taking breaks is not only beneficial for individual writers but also for the overall quality of their work. It is an essential practice for maintaining mental and physical well-being in the demanding field of freelance writing.

How do I know I Need a Break?

Recognizing the need for a break can be tricky, especially when you’re passionate about your work. However, your body and mind often send subtle and not-so-subtle signals when they’re yearning for a break. Here are some signs to watch out for:

Physical Signs:

  • Feeling constantly tired: Even after a full night’s sleep, you might experience persistent fatigue and lack of energy.
  • Changes in appetite: You might notice significant changes in your eating habits, like skipping meals or overindulging in unhealthy snacks.
  • Difficulty sleeping: You might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to restlessness and overall exhaustion.
  • Physical aches and pains: Unexplained headaches, muscle tension, or frequent illness can be signs of your body being overworked and stressed.

Check this: How to Relieve Hand Pain From Typing As a Writer

Mental and Emotional Signs:

  • Loss of motivation: The tasks you once found stimulating and enjoyable now feel overwhelming or uninteresting.
  • Increased irritability and frustration: Everyday annoyances trigger disproportionate reactions, and it’s hard to maintain a positive outlook.
  • Difficulty concentrating: You find it hard to focus on tasks for extended periods, experiencing frequent mind-wandering and forgetfulness.
  • Loss of creativity: You struggle to generate new ideas or feel stuck in a rut creatively.
  • Neglecting personal care: Activities like healthy eating, exercise, or hobbies are put aside as you prioritize work, leading to a general decline in well-being.

You Also Need A Break When Family Needs You

If you find yourself being pulled in different directions by family demands or obligations, give yourself permission to take a break from work for clients. During the holidays, it’s common to either host gatherings or spend time at your parent’s home for a few days. When you’re with your family, don’t worry about work deadlines! Instead, focus on cherishing the time you have with them and being present in the moment.

You Also Need a Break If You Want/Have to Travel

The holidays are a great opportunity to travel! If you can, try not to plan any work commitments during your trip. After all, who wants to work while on vacation? It’s also a chance to recharge and rejuvenate yourself so that you can return to writing for your clients feeling refreshed and at your best.


  • Increased reliance on caffeine or stimulants: You feel the need to constantly reach for coffee or other stimulants to stay energized and focused.
  • Procrastination and avoidance: You find yourself delaying tasks or putting them off indefinitely, even when deadlines loom.

These signs are your body and mind’s way of communicating that they need a break. It’s crucial to listen to these signals and take action before experiencing burnout or other negative consequences.

Remember, taking a break is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of self-awareness and a commitment to your long-term health and productivity.

How a Freelance Writer Can Take a Break During the Holidays

Freelance Writer Holiday Break

Freelance writers often find themselves working long hours and feeling overwhelmed during the holiday season.

However, it’s important to take a break to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Here are some tips for freelance writers on how to take a break during the holidays:

#1. Plan Ahead

To ensure a stress-free break, meticulous planning is essential. Freelance writers should carefully plan and organize their work schedule in the weeks leading up to the holidays.

This includes setting clear deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and allocating specific time slots for different projects. By doing so, writers can avoid last-minute rushes and enjoy a more relaxed pace during the festive season.

Additionally, freelance writers can consider communicating with their clients or editors about their availability during the holiday period. This can help manage expectations and ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding project timelines and deliverables.

Furthermore, freelance writers need to take care of their physical and mental well-being during this time. This may involve incorporating self-care activities into their daily routine, such as exercise, meditation, or spending quality time with loved ones.

Finally, it’s beneficial for freelance writers to plan for the post-holiday period as well. This could involve setting goals for the new year, organizing their workspace, or preparing a strategy for getting back into work mode after the break.

Overall, by proactively planning and organizing their workload, freelance writers can set themselves up for a more enjoyable and stress-free holiday break.

Here’s how to create a plan:

  • Know Your Deadlines: Review your calendar carefully. Identify and prioritize deadlines in the weeks leading up to and directly after your planned break.
  • Assess Your Capacity: How many projects can you comfortably complete before your holiday break? Be realistic. It’s better to underpromise and overdeliver than to leave clients hanging.
  • Communicate and Set Expectations: Inform your clients well in advance of your planned break. Be upfront about your availability and project turnaround times throughout the holiday season. This builds trust and avoids miscommunication.

Related: 17 Highly Effective Ways To Get Freelance Writing Clients

#2. Outsource and Delegate If Possible

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workload, it may be helpful to seek external assistance to alleviate some of the pressure. You could explore options such as outsourcing certain tasks or delegating responsibilities to others. Here are some potential avenues for seeking external help:

  • Virtual Assistant: Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can take care of administrative tasks like scheduling, social media, or client communication, freeing up time for your writing.
  • Editing Services: Proofreading or editing services can ensure your existing projects are polished and ready to deliver.
  • Subcontracting: If you have another freelance writer in your network, consider subcontracting some work to share the load.

#3. Create and Use Templates

it’s important to note that by automating or simplifying these tasks, individuals can free up valuable time and mental energy to focus on more complex or creative endeavors.

This is particularly relevant in the context of communication, where efficient and effective interaction is essential for productivity and collaboration.

By utilizing tools and strategies to streamline communication processes, individuals and teams can enhance their overall efficiency and reduce the cognitive load associated with managing constant streams of information.

This can lead to improved clarity, reduced misunderstandings, and ultimately, more streamlined and productive workflows.

Here’s how:

  • Out-of-Office Autoresponders: Craft a concise, friendly message for your email that clearly states your dates of unavailability and when you will resume responding.
  • Communication Templates: Create template replies for common questions or requests. Customize them as needed but having a basic structure saves time and ensures you include all necessary information.
  • Social Media Scheduling: Avoid distracting pop-in work by using tools to schedule your social media posts in advance.

#4. Manage Boundaries with Clients and Family

The holiday season often brings with it a sense of joy and excitement, but it can also make balancing work and personal life quite tricky. With holiday parties, family gatherings, and the pressure to meet end-of-year work deadlines, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Setting boundaries becomes crucial during this time to maintain your sanity and well-being.

Setting boundaries means clearly defining what is acceptable and what is not in terms of your time, energy, and commitments.

This might involve communicating with your employer about your availability during the holiday season or making a conscious effort to prioritize self-care and relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to say no to certain invitations or requests if they interfere with your well-being or personal time.

By setting boundaries, you are acknowledging your own needs and limitations, and taking proactive steps to protect your mental and emotional health.

Additionally, setting boundaries can also help you manage expectations, both from yourself and others. It allows you to establish realistic limits on what you can realistically accomplish during this busy time, reducing the likelihood of burnout or stress.

Ultimately, by setting boundaries during the holiday season, you are empowering yourself to create a healthier balance between work and personal life, ensuring that you can fully enjoy the festive season without sacrificing your well-being.

  • Set Work Hours: Even if a little bit more flexible, create designated work hours and stick to them. Commit to logging off when work time is over.
  • Turn-Off Notifications: Limit distractions and the urge to check in constantly by turning off notifications for emails and project management apps outside of work hours.
  • Communicate Honestly: It’s okay to tell family and friends “no”. Explain that you’re prioritizing spending quality time with them and will need uninterrupted time to relax and enjoy the festivities.

Related Also: How to Become a Ghostwriter for Beginners | Ghostwriting Step-by-Step

#5. Focus on Wellness and Self-Care

The holidays can be stressful, and freelance life can be isolating. Prioritizing your well-being makes those breaks truly count” involves further elaboration on the impact of stress during the holidays, the challenges of freelance life, and the importance of prioritizing well-being.

The holidays often bring about a mix of emotions, as people navigate family gatherings, financial pressures, and the expectations of creating memorable experiences. This can lead to heightened stress levels for many individuals, impacting their mental and emotional well-being.

Additionally, freelance life can contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Without the traditional office environment and colleagues, freelancers may struggle to find a sense of community and support, leading to potential feelings of isolation.

Prioritizing well-being becomes crucial in such circumstances. Taking the time to focus on self-care, setting boundaries, and seeking out social connections can significantly impact one’s overall happiness and mental health.

Also, by prioritizing well-being, individuals can make the most of their holiday breaks, allowing them to recharge and return to their freelance work with a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

It’s important to recognize that self-care is not selfish, but rather a fundamental aspect of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Whether it’s engaging in mindfulness practices, seeking professional support, or simply taking time off to rest and rejuvenate, prioritizing well-being is essential for navigating the challenges of the holidays and freelance life.

Here are some ideas:

  • Get Moving: Include some form of physical activity in your day, even if it’s just a quick walk. Exercise can boost your mood and improve energy levels.
  • Eat Well: It’s easy to overindulge, but try to nourish your body with balanced meals. A healthy body fuels a healthy mind.
  • Sleep: Prioritize getting enough sleep. It plays a significant role in your focus, mood, and overall well-being.
  • Enjoy Hobbies: Pursue your outside interests and hobbies. Make time for activities that bring you genuine joy and relaxation.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Take some quiet time each day to practice mindfulness, whether it’s meditation, mindful breathing, or simple quiet reflection.

#6. Setting Realistic Goals:

Expanding on the topic of setting realistic goals during the holidays in the freelance world, it’s important to recognize that the hustle and bustle of the season can often lead to overcommitment and burnout.

By acknowledging personal limitations, freelancers can avoid taking on more work than they can handle, which ultimately contributes to a healthier work-life balance.

Setting realistic goals involves assessing available time and resources, as well as considering potential distractions and obligations that come with the holiday season.

By doing so, freelancers can plan a manageable workload that allows them to meet deadlines without sacrificing their personal time and well-being.

It’s also crucial for freelancers to communicate with clients about their availability and any potential limitations during the holiday period. This open dialogue can help manage expectations and prevent last-minute requests that may disrupt planned time off.

Ultimately, by setting realistic goals and managing workloads effectively during the holidays, freelancers can enjoy a more balanced and fulfilling work-life experience.

#7. Automate Tasks:

Automation tools are incredibly beneficial for freelance writers as they can help alleviate the burden of routine tasks. By utilizing these tools, writers can streamline their workflow and free up time for more creative and high-value work.

For example, tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor can help writers improve their writing by identifying grammar and style issues, thus saving time on manual proofreading and editing.

Additionally, project management tools such as Trello and Asana can help writers organize their tasks and deadlines, ensuring that they stay on track and meet client expectations.

Moreover, automation tools can also assist in content distribution and social media management. Platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer allow writers to schedule posts in advance, saving time and ensuring a consistent online presence.

This not only helps in maintaining an active online presence but also allows writers to engage with their audience without having to be constantly online.

Overall, by automating certain processes, freelance writers can effectively manage their time and workload, allowing them to enjoy a break without compromising efficiency. This not only contributes to better work-life balance but also enables writers to focus on producing high-quality content and meeting client demands.

Read More: Best Copywriting Software And Tools For Freelancers

#8. Embrace the Break and Enjoy the Holidays!

While planning and organization are vital, remember that the holidays are ultimately about enjoying time with loved ones, slowing down, and replenishing your energy for the year ahead.

Here are some tips to embrace your break and truly unwind:

  • Disconnect: Take a break from your work devices. This might seem daunting, but even a short digital detox can be incredibly refreshing.
  • Explore New Traditions: Try new activities or create new traditions with loved ones. Embrace new experiences and enjoy the spirit of the season.
  • Travel (if feasible): If possible, consider a short trip or even a staycation. A change of scenery can be a great way to break routine and recharge.
  • Volunteer: Giving back to the community can be a rewarding way to spend holiday time and connect with others.
  • Spend Time with Loved Ones: Prioritize spending quality time with family and friends. Engage in meaningful conversations, share stories, and create lasting memories.
  • Reflect and Recharge: Use some quiet time to reflect on your achievements and set goals for the new year. However, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. This is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Remember, taking a break is not a sign of weakness or a hit to your productivity. It’s a crucial part of self-care and essential for long-term success.

By planning, managing boundaries, and prioritizing your well-being, you can enjoy a restful holiday break and return to your freelance writing career feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the new year with renewed energy and creativity.

You might want to see this: How to Deal With Difficult Clients As a Freelance Writer | 15 Proven Tactics to Use

Conclusion | Freelance Writer Holiday Break

The holidays are a time to celebrate, connect, and recharge. As a freelance writer, don’t let the pressure to work rob you of this precious time. By planning, managing boundaries, and prioritizing self-care, you can create a balanced approach to the season and return to your work feeling refreshed and inspired.

Remember, taking a break is not a sign of failure; it’s an investment in your well-being and future success. So, unplug, reconnect, and embrace the joy of the holidays! Wishing you a season filled with peace, happiness, and renewed creativity.

FAQs | Freelance Writer Holiday Break

Can freelancers really afford to take a break during the busy holiday season?

Yes, by planning ahead and setting realistic goals, freelancers can enjoy a break without compromising their success.

How do you take breaks when writing?

1. Fill your time with inspiration. Many writers get creative inspiration from art, music, films, and podcasts
2. Focus your energy on a different project.
3. Follow a schedule.
4. Take a break once you reach a milestone

How often should a writer take a break?

Take all the time you feel you need. Your writing will be there when you are ready to come back to it and it will benefit from the break. So, if you feel that your writing is getting stale or if you feel that you simply are not making progress, then do yourself a favor and have a break from your writing.

How can freelancers overcome the guilt of taking a break when there’s always work to be done?

Recognizing the importance of self-care and the long-term benefits of taking breaks can help alleviate guilt.

What are some creative activities freelancers can engage in during their holiday break?

Activities like exploring new hobbies, attending creative workshops, or simply taking time for personal reflection can boost creativity.