The holiday season, though technically a "vacation" for most, can seem anything but relations and that's if you're a civilian. If you're an entrepreneur or biz owner, on the front lines, fighting for customers, sales, buzz, ideas and more - on a near daily basis - they can represent an even bigger challenge as you're torn in multiple directions.
Though you want to be fully present with friends and family (or even squeeze in some necessary "me time") you still have thoughts of business must-do's or "must-think-abouts" swimming in your head.
I admit it. I did the same thing for years. I didn't find time to disconnect and enjoy the season, and that meant that when the New Year rolled around I wasn't feeling as pumped and renewed as I wanted to. There were even years that I didn't fully recognize the calendar and symbolic change as one year passed and another began. And though I told myself it didn't matter, I think that my quality of life and quality of business focus, excitement, and ideas suffered. Don't be like me. Make time for self care. It doesn't have to be a big production, but it does have to be something. Here are some ideas of how to make that happen:
Schedule Time for Stillness (Electronics Free)
I know. It's hard to get away from the holiday chaos. But you need to find time - I would suggest daily - that you can get away from everyone - including your laptop - for a minimum of 10-15 minutes a day. Sound difficult? Here's how I've managed in the past: I headed out for a solo walk in the snow, it was cold but it was alone time, and it was interruption free. I found a quiet, corner of the house and asked no one to interrupt me for 15 minutes because I needed to make a conference call. Then I turned off all my appliances, sat in the silence. I've gotten up early or stayed up late to just stare at the Christmas tree when everyone else was asleep and let my mind wonder. Wondering minds come up with some of the best ideas and answers....
When You're Doing Something Holiday Related, Do It FULLY
Don't do it while emailing, talking on the phone, billing clients, etc. This will not only basically take away some of the joy and relaxation of the activity you're engaged in. It becomes work time, whether you like to admit it or not. You've heard people say "no work in the bedroom", well know work while baking cookies. Or singing Christmas carols. Or unwrapping presents. Or going to a friend's parties. This is the one time of year we really go all out enjoying each other's company and relaxing into the flow of the holiday. Relax into it. Put away your smart phone, there isn't anything that can't wait until after you sit down and have some egg nog. You'll not only feel more revitalized and happy afterwards, but you'll most likely create better work as well.
Journal Your Gratitude Every Morning During the Holiday
The nature of entrepreneurship forces many of us into a "what isn't working" zone on a near daily basis. We're putting out fires or trying to keep up with demanding schedules. Sometimes we forget about how awesome our life and our work opportunities really are. Bring them into the forefront of your mind this year by spending at last five minutes a day writing down what is going right, what is making you happy, and what you're thankful for. Celebrate it, anchor into it, and give thanks for it. Then go along with your day.
Agree on Some Firm & Clear Cut-Off Times & Days with Work and Stick to Them
Whether you work solo or with other people, it's 100% fair to pre-designate days and times that you will be unavailable during the holidays. Decide on these, give the details to people who need to know and stick to your rules. If someone emails or calls during those times, let it go. Check in if you feel you must (but try to resist) and do not engage with people when you do. Giving ourselves freedom often involves creating boundaries. Sticking to these boundaries seals the deal and gives you the rest and relaxation you deserve.