There's no doubt you’ve been stressed this year. Business owners, like you, deserve a break to kick back and relax this holiday season.
Owning a business can be all-consuming, commanding all your thoughts, feelings, and energy. Add a particularly stressful year into the mix and you’ve got the perfect recipe for burnout. One of the best ways to cope? Take a break.
The holidays, especially the few days leading up to the New Year, are an opportune time to recharge your batteries and take care of that very special someone in your life (…we mean you!)
Here are 5 ways small business owners can give themselves some love and appreciation over the holidays.
1. Reconnect with Your Creative Side
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a business. It can be difficult, though, to find the downtime you need for creative thinking.
Maybe your business brand needs a refresh? Or it’s time to innovate on your services? Perhaps you have one pesky problem that needs a fresh approach.
The holidays offer a great opportunity to disconnect and let the mind roam, scribble down those ideas, and even think beyond blue sky and consider what executing on your ideas looks like.
To get in that creative mindset, surround yourself with inspiration. Whether it’s nature, exercise, or just kicking back that puts you in a creative mindset, make the time for it.
You may even find that allowing your brain to disconnect from the day-to-day helps you see your business from another perspective.
2. Treat Yourself for Once
‘Tis the season for giving gifts. Perhaps you’ve been itching for a new tool or piece of technology to help run your business?
Our advice: Treat yourself! After all, a lot of (unexpected) hard work went into this year.
Maybe you’ve been eyeing a comfy new desk chair or wishing for some noise-canceling headphones that allow you to work more effectively from home. It’s easy to put these purchases on the back burner, but they’ll actually make a huge difference to your day-to-day.
On the flip side, maybe you’ve been putting all of your blood, sweat, and tears into keeping your small business afloat all year? If that’s the case, why not treat yourself to a little self-care. A hot bath, day of leisure, or yoga class might be just what Santa ordered. Don’t feel guilty—you’ve earned it!
3. Use Your Break to Learn Something New
If Netflixing is your only fallback plan over the holidays (no judgment), we’ve got another idea: Now’s a great time to seek out some knowledge in whichever form you fancy.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about brushing up on your skills for a while now? Or you’ve got a pile of business books on your bedside table that you’ve been dying to read?
Here are some suggestions:
- Take a course to master a tool or technology that you’ve felt stumped by. Perhaps it’s time to learn more about finances. Or, maybe it’s Photoshop, WordPress, Google Analytics, or another tool. LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare have some great micro-learning courses to help you!
- There are so many “Top Book” lists around this time of year. Why not pick a title and kick back by the fireplace to read at your leisure. Here’s a TIME’s list of the 10 best fiction books to get you started. If business books are more your thing, check out this list we curated earlier this year.
- Connect with real people! Of course, that’s easier said than done this year. If you have a mentor (and you should) our bet is it’s sometimes difficult to find time to connect. So schedule a virtual coffee or dinner with your mentor over the holidays. Because you’re both in that “downtime” mode, the conversation will probably lead to some amazing ah-ha moments!
4. Give Yourself Permission to Do Absolutely Nothing
There’s a lot of pressure for small business owners to absolutely LOVE what they do. After all, you’re living the dream of independent work, right?
But let’s be real. We all sometimes need to disconnect from the stress of work. You should have zero guilt about not working, not even thinking about work. And the holidays are a perfect time to give yourself a break and relax—totally guilt-free.
Spend some quality time with loved ones (an activity is not required!) Perhaps flip on your favorite holiday movie, or just cozy up by the fireplace channel. You could even practice a little mindful meditation. Whatever it is you choose to do, be sure to take in these restful moments for all they’re worth.
5. Give Back to Your Community
Don’t forget about the joy of giving, if you’re in the position to give back this year.
You won’t believe how good it feels to give back this season. After all, brightening someone else’s day is a treat in and of itself! This could be for a loved one, a member of your team, or people in need in your community.
Social responsibility is not just good for the soul—it’s good for business. And you don’t have to wait until you’re Bill Gates to contribute…there are many small things you can start doing today.
Tell Us How You’re Spending the Holidays!
How do you plan to spend your holidays this year? Perhaps you run a seasonal business, where the holiday season is indeed your busiest time. No matter what the case, be sure to take a few minutes to appreciate your own hard work, and how far you’ve come as a small business owner.
From all of us here at FreshBooks, we wish all business owners a very happy holiday and a wonderful new year. Here’s to a better year in 2021.