Can you hear the Christmas bells jingling? The festive season is well and truly upon us and who isn’t excited to take the time away from the usual daily tasks to spend the whole day seated in a couch with your feet up? Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy to take a break, at least not for everybody – and especially not for business owners.
Some of us love the hustle and bustle of a busy office and can’t stand not having something to work on or to think about regarding our businesses. However, our bodies and minds don’t always agree. Everyone gets tired. Unless you’re secretly a humanoid blending in well with the world, it’s really important to take the time to rest in order for you to gain the energy to accomplish the rest of your goals. Because, after a while, if you don’t make time to rest, our bodies can make the decision for us and enforce time out by getting sick and rundown.
“All adults have lives that are filled with some form of stress, even if we don't truly acknowledge this fact. Chronic stress takes its toll in part on our body's ability to resist infection, maintain vital functions, and even ability to avoid injury. When you're stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your arteries take a beating, and you're more likely to have an accident. Your sleep will suffer, you won't digest your food as well, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way. Mentally, not only do you become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, but your memory will become worse and you'll make poorer decisions. You'll also be less fun to be with, causing you to become more isolated, lonely, and depressed.” - Psychology Today
Burn out isn’t pretty. And who wants to spend a holiday feeling sick?
There are many benefits to taking holidays. In a 2009 study, Canadian researchers Joudrey and Wallace reported that "active" leisure pursuits helped to buffer the job stress among a sample of almost 900 lawyers. British researcher Scott McCabe noted that the personal benefits from vacations have been found to include rest and recuperation from work, provision of new experiences leading to a broadening of horizons and the opportunity for learning, and personal and social development. In addition, holidays can strengthen family relationships, contributing positively to “family bonding, communication and solidarity.”
Before you embark on this holiday season, first ask yourself this question: “How do I want to spend my holiday?”
If your answer involves more work (even considering wrapping presents as work) then, you need to do some tweaking for your holiday plan to have room for, well, a break. Here are five tips for busy business owners to rest over the festive season:
- Remember that holidays are for loved ones to be together.
I’m pretty sure that you love your family more than anything. The holidays are a perfect opportunity for you and your family to spend quality time together without worrying about the kids being late for school or your impending client meeting. Keep your family front of mind and think of how much they would appreciate you being fully present (mind and body) and love having your involvement in the Christmas preparations. This thought might encourage you to step away from your laptop and share precious moments with your loved ones instead.
- Set a limit to how much you will work during the holiday.
If you really need to do some work over the holidays, create a list of things to do that is work-related during the holiday and stick to the list. Stop.Adding.In.Tasks. Choose which tasks you’ll work on and set specific times that you’re allowed to get work done, if needed. (Psst, and remember that you’re on a break.)
- Accept and embrace the holiday downtime.
Stop thinking about business stuff unless urgent. Claim your right for relaxation and peace. Plant your bum mark on the sofa, put your feet up, grab some popcorn and call your family for a relaxed movie night. You deserve a break so, own it!
- Get active.
If you are used to spending a lot of your energy on business tasks, this holiday season might be the perfect time to divert that energy into getting some physical activity in. With extra downtime, you could go for a run or hit the gym because, let’s face it, during workdays you probably feel either too busy or too tired to do either. Having this time away from the office can help improve your lifestyle and maybe even create a new healthy habit for next year.
- Relax, reflect, renew
Consider relaxing as a way of hitting refresh on your computer. Relieve your mind of the troubles and stress for a while and you’ll undoubtedly come back feeling refreshed, renewed and filled with amazingly bright ideas for the new year. It’s amazing how our mind has room to breathe and think when we step away from every day tasks and get a different perspective.
Enjoy the holidays with your family and mates. Gift yourself this time of the year to just chill and step back from the office workload, it might be the only time you can do so. Before you know it, the new year will be running towards you with new tasks. It’d be best if you approach the new year to-do list with a well-rested, refreshed and renewed body and mind.
While you are having a well-deserved rest, our office elves (a.k.a. the #nerdherd) will also need a break from fixing computers (although we often joke that they’ll probably be at home tinkering on their own computers or playing online games!). The Grassroots IT office will be closed for Christmas starting 21st December, COB and back in action on the 2nd of January, 2019.
May you have a restful holiday break. From all of us at Grassroots IT, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
As you are resting, you might find yourself starting to dream and plan for the new year ahead. We’d love to help you with the technology aspect of your business goals for 2019, schedule a meeting with Gary for January and we look forward to making your dreams a reality in the new year.