I love the Holiday season! Having no kids that will be on Winter break, having no set plans for traveling, and being used to being at home, because I work from home, you might think Holiday season isn’t that different than a usual week for me. But it is! The atmosphere is completely different: we have cold days, soft Christmas lights, the anticipation of giving and receiving presents to family, thinking of adventures for the coming year, and eating those yummy treats we only get during this season! Believe me, I don’t want to spend those days working on a computer. I already eyed a few good books from the library, my cozy outfits are ready, I have a list of video games I want to play, and I want to take a nice break to warm up next to my dog and reward myself with a well-deserved staycation.
What are you going to do?
Regardless of whether you are staying home, or traveling away, whether it’s warm outside or freezing cold, whether you have a big family celebrating with you, or will relax by yourself—you don’t want to spend these days working, working, working!
We work all year. And chances are you work for yourself if you are visiting this blog, which adds a whole new layer of stress and responsibilities to that work. We don’t get PTO, we work late nights, and sometimes even weekends. We deserve a break!
So, how do you take a break, while staying open for business? How can you relax, instead of worrying about emails, and content, and potential clients? How can you make the time easier, so that you don’t have to stress over so many things?
Every year I ask around among my network, and this is some awesome people have shared with me:
“Don’t forget to add an email auto-responder! This is such a simple systems tip (that can be turned into a marketing channel) that most folx forget to take advantage of. In your email responder, you can keep it simple and short, or you can use it as a way to share about your services for the new year, any freebies, or even digital products you might have.
Some people might not read through it and delete your auto responder, but it is a nice touch to have something that does marketing for you even through the holidays until you get back to your inbox and respond to emails (:”
— Cassandra Le, founder, brand strategist, and copywriter at The Quirky Pineapple Studio
Cassandra also has a workbook to help you review your year, set goals, find long-term solutions to recurring problems, and understand whether or not your dreams align with your current lifestyle: Check out the Impactful Business Guidebook and use it this end of the year to create more intentional plans for the coming year!
Balancing and Planning
“Set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish and plan ahead as much as you can. The holidays are always crazy and trying to do everything last minute is near impossible. Be honest with yourself and balance saying yes to a mix of what you want to do and what you need to do to help manage overwhelm and burn out. I start holiday planning in the Spring, take care of gifts in the Summer and Fall, leaving wrapping and mailing to the holidays. That’s made a world of difference for my personal and professional life, not to mention my pocketbook!”
– Vanessa Shephard, business and marketing expert, founder of She’s Got Vision.
“Stay connected with other business owners! Taking the time to check in with other business owners, share your stresses, worries, ideas, wins etc. will take a HUGE load off your mind at a time of year where there’s already a-million-and-one things going on in your brain! It can be hard to be surrounded by friends and family over the holidays who don’t understand being a business owner so it’s important to stay connected and support each other.”
— Dani Fairhurst, virtual assistant and organization pro, owner of Organize and Grow.
Scheduling and Meals
“My quick tips are:
1. Timeblock out your schedule. Plan out everything that you need to do so that you don’t allow urgent things to take over time from important things.
2.Get boring with your meals. When things get busy I make a big pot of soup every Sunday and eat it for lunch everyday that week. I also premake or prebuy breakfast and eat nearly the same thing everyday. This way I don’t have to think about food (even though I work from home) and I don’t skip meals when I am short on time.”
— Katie Goulet, designer, digital strategist and website developer at Katie Goulet Design Co.
Tips from more Experts
During November 2020 we hosted an expert panel on how to Run Your Business During the Holidays. The conversations we had during that event were amazing! If you’d like to watch, listen, or read the replay of the panel, you can do so here.
Do you have any other tips on how to take a break from work and enjoy the holiday season? Feel free to share!