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Running a business

3 mental health tips for small business owners during the holidays

The year is quickly coming to an end, and we are about to enter the holiday season. As exciting as it is to think about barbecues, going to the beach, and family get-togethers, I know a particular group of people who are preparing for their busiest time of year. No, I am not talking about Santa’s elves, although they are a close second. Instead, I am referring to my small business owners out there. I have worked closely with many small businesses throughout my career. One thing I can say for sure about them is that they are hard workers.

I know that you small business owners often wear many hats when it comes to running your business (in some cases, all the hats). This can make the busy season that much more difficult. You of course want to take advantage of these busy months, get your products out to your customers on time, and get those positive reviews. 

But I want this to be your reminder that the holidays are for you as well. This sacred time is for winding down, spending time with family, and eating your heart out. Just because it’s an extra stressful and busy time for business, you shouldn’t miss out on the holiday season joy. I will share with you my three best tips for prioritising your mental health as a small business owner during the holidays, so you can enjoy this time while killing it in business.

1. Manage your time

Time management should be your best friend as a business owner, especially during these busy months. Working all the time is getting you nothing except a one-way ticket to burnout. Avoiding burnout is in your best interest professionally and personally. So what is the best way to go about time management when you have a million things to do? Ensure that any time you are spending working is productive. Working for 6 hours productively is more beneficial than working 12 hours unproductively.

The best way to ensure productivity is to set a routine and stick to it. Decide what tasks need to be completed, and assign each task a specific amount of time in your day. Setting alarms on the phone for when it’s time to switch tasks has been a huge help to many of my clients (and me).

Bonus tip: Don’t forget to set aside time to relax. Make sure you take a lunch break and give your body the fuel it needs. Take a walk in the evening. Enjoy quiet time before bed. Whatever it is, take time every day to do something for yourself.

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2. Accept support

You know what they say, it takes a village. I know that business owners want to do everything themselves. But, I am here to tell you that it is more than okay to accept help and lean on your support system. If you have employees, delegate tasks out so everyone can pull their weight.

When I refer to support, I mean your mental support system. Your family, friends, and peers. Sometimes even talking to the people you love about your everyday stresses can be a load off your mind. It’s easy to allow yourself to feel alone when you are overwhelmed or dealing with stress. Even going for a coffee with a family member, friend, or fellow small business owner can be a healthy outlet for you. Your loved ones want to support you. You just need to let them.

3. Let go of what you can’t control

As a business owner myself and someone who has worked with many small business owners, I can confidently say that sometimes things go wrong. You probably feel a huge sense of responsibility for everything to go perfectly. Of course, that’s the goal. However, it’s healthy to accept that some things are just out of your control. When you hit those bumps in the road, try and remember it’s all part of the process, and you are doing your best. Striving for perfection usually leads to more problems. Focusing on the aspects of your business that can be controlled will be more productive and easier on your mind than fixating on those details or situations that are out of your hands.

Letting go of what you can’t control doesn’t come easily to everyone. Owning a business means many unknown factors and self-imposed feelings of pressure. If I can leave you with one thought, it is that you are not alone in these feelings. Every business owner struggles, and you do not need to be perfect. By prioritising your mental health and following these tips, you are doing what is best for your business. A happy and healthy business owner means a happy and healthy business, and I stand by that. Remember that your own mindfulness and health come before everything. You deserve to enjoy the holidays as much as anybody. So take a breath, set your schedule, lean on your support system, and remember to let go of what is out of your control. You’ve got this!

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