It’s the beginning of December. We’ve given thanks. It’s full-steam ahead to festive holiday celebrations, end of the year parties and welcoming a new year with friends, family, employees and business relationships.
Excitement is all around. Lights are shining bright. The clean scent of pine is in the air. Bells are ringing, music playing. Messages of peace, love and goodwill are in the mail. It’s ideal.
There’s also the traffic jams, long lines at the post office, cancelled orders and appointments, too many orders and appointments, staffing shortage, family obligations, too much to do, irritable customers and unfinished grieving for loved ones. The real.
There’s the ideal. And then there’s the real. We live in-between.
Whatever our “ideal” is of the holiday season and how we think things should be, we’re often challenged to adapt to the realities of human frailties, imposed limitations beyond our control and just plain over-reach. Overwhelming, stressful feelings happen.
In this article…
Entrepreneurs who tend to run on empty and are first in line to seize opportunities can benefit by using this holiday time to continue or begin practicing some healthy habits and behaviors so they show up smiling and spreading good cheer at work and at home.
7 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Practice Self-Care During the Holiday Season are listed below…
#1—Create a bigger picture to keep you focused.
Take some time to think about the end of the holiday time.
- What do you want to be able to say about yourself?
- What does success look like, feel like and sound like for you and your business?
- When you think about the human side of business, what will be remembered about your business and you?
When you’ve created your bigger picture, it becomes your guide. So when things get chotic or mixed up, you have guidelines to keep you focused.
#2—Eat, drink and be merry while exercising. Practice spontaneity. Be flexible.
It is so easy to forgo the healthy habits we’ve started because of the changed schedules and routines common to holiday festivities.
Beware of slipping into the all or nothing thinking…if I can’t exercise like I have been, I won’t exercise at all.
Instead, accept that things will be a little unpredictable, and take advantage of that by getting your fitness fix in during the quiet moments like an earlier morning walk or hitting that mid-day yoga class you couldn’t otherwise do because of work.
Apply the spontaneity to your eating and drinking choices too.
#3—Allow extra time.
Give yourself extra time.
- Leave earlier so you’re not rattled if the traffic is heavier than usual.
- Plan extra time between appointments to give yourself a break. Walk around, stretch, close your eyes for 3 minutes and relax.
- If you’re working at the computer, plan to stop after 30 minutes. Go shoot baskets outside after you’ve worked for 2 hours or call your sister for a friendly chat.
The point is to insert some gentleness into your schedule because you recognize it’s a stressful time…remember good stress or eustress is usually motivating and fun. Even more reason to design breaks during your day.
#4—Share your intentions with supportive others.
So, get behind your intentions and share what you’re doing. Let people know you want them to check-in with you if you’re not following up on posting, for example, your progress.
Not only are you helping yourself, but your support group is encouraged by your example.
#5—Pause and turn off the activity. Be mindful.
How are you with making transitions?
For example, after a day of good, but intense activity when a lot has been accomplished, are you going home, carrying the intensity with you and getting the feedback that you’re absent or somewhere else? Maybe your energy is over the top and you’re overwhelming others at home. It’s easy to do.
Sometimes you’re still chewing on something, maybe frustrated and you’re irritable. People at home notice and feel dumped on unjustly.
- Make pausing before you quit work to be with others at home a conscious task.
- Turn off the light in your brain that is processing work, and tune into the people you’re getting ready to join.
- Sometimes that’s taking a few minutes in the car before you walk in or spending a few minutes alone, in your home office to visualize the people waiting to see you.
- Smile, move into the loving space for your loved ones.
They deserve it and you’ll feel good.
A list of self-care strategies would be remiss without the reminder to breathe. I have a little 4×6 card with the word, Breathe in a bold, cursive script. I move it around so I see it. I also have the MindBell app on my phone that I can program to ring periodically during the day.
Breathe in slowly 1 2 3 4 5 Breathe out, letting go 1 2 3 4 5 (repeat 3 times).
#7—Appreciate the bittersweet aspect that life goes on.
You may be feeling the absence of someone during the holiday times for the first time or for the umpteenth time. You or the people who work with you may be currently dealing with the loss of a significant relationship through death, separation or divorce. There may be other undesirable, painful or sad realities which feel dreary for a while or last a longer time and become emotionally draining.
Holidays can intensify the feelings of loss. Uncomfortable feelings can be triggered and show up in unexpected ways. For example, a sullen moodiness can seemingly come out of nowhere or a wave of depression washes over you when the sun is shining outside and there’s a lot you planned to do. Now you just want to stay indoors.
Yet, the holiday season brings so much joy and happiness for many… you too! We can be sensitive to ourselves and others who are going through whatever personal difficulty or emotional twist and still appreciate the best of the season’s goodwill.
It’s a reality that’s bittersweet.
Acknowledge your mood shifts, analyze where they come from if you like. Journal about it. Talk it through with someone you trust. There’s usually some understanding to be had.
My hope is that you join the merriment, if only for a little while… maybe a long while, and enjoy the holiday goodness.
The takeaway is…
The holiday season is a time for personal celebrations and business opportunities.
There’s a space between the ideal and real where we all live and work which can be imperfect and stressful.
Entrepreneurs who practice self-care strategies during the holiday season benefit not only themselves, but their business goodwill, employee satisfaction and home-work harmony.
Please share: What are your favorite self-care strategies during the holidays?
Contact me for a I’ve Got This! Strategy Session if you’d like to brainstorm more ways to manage business challenges.