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Don’t Drop the Ball this Holiday Season: 5 Tips to Thoughtfully Slow Down

The year-end hustle and bustle is upon us. As much as I’d like to keep all things pushing forward at full steam, this time of year is when I take a pause.

It’s a practice I’ve been cultivating for the better part of a decade.

I remember how uncomfortable it felt at first to approach the holidays with a slow-paced mindset.

To not put in the extra hours in my job, then in my business.

To not go to three family gatherings in two days.

To not get stressed out by all that I might be missing out on.

I thought you might be in the same frame of mind, that you need to be superwoman, in both your home and your business, despite the number of items on your to-do list increasing exponentially.

Here are my 5 top strategies for staying happy, healthy, and sane during the busiest of seasons:

1. Make best friends with ‘NO’: A strong ‘no’ to a colleague’s affiliate opportunity is actually the kind response, rather than begrudgingly saying ‘yes’, half-heartedly sending out the promo emails, which garner no traction.

Instead, tell her you’d love to help, but your calendar is full and to reach out to you for her next launch.

Oh and, this totally strategy works for the many holiday party invites. And yes, you’ll still be friends after the holidays.

2. Show yourself oodles of self-compassion: If you’re successfully practicing the above item, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) thoughts will likely creep up and bring out the gremlins that tell you “you’ll never make it”, “you’re not hustling enough”, “you are not enough”.

Instead, tell yourself that you’re choosing to slow down and savor the holiday time with friends and family and there will be plenty of time to jump back in at full force next month.

3. Add buffer times before and after activities: As humans, we’re notoriously poor at predicting how long a task will take to complete and even worse at factoring in transition time. The result are overpacked schedules.

Build in breathing room between activities. It can be an extra 20 minutes for phone calls or one hour for in-person appointments.

4. Make a list of everything that MUST get done: the key here is on must. There will be lots that should get done, but what must get done in your business this month. It could be simply sticking to your newsletter schedule, continuing to serve your current clients, and answering your inbox, with all other activities going out the window for a few weeks. These are things that will keep the ship moving forward. Bonus points for pre-scheduling any task so it takes care of itself during this time.

Want to loop in the personal events, like your husband’s work party and Christmas Eve at your mother’s home, too? Think about where they fall on the must list, if at all.

5. Put self-care time on your calendar: Since you’re not only a business owner but also the key person in your household that makes it all work, it’s super easy to put yourself last on any list. But similar to the airplane analogy where you help yourself with the oxygen mask before helping others, make doing something indulgent a priority for YOU.

Schedule a massage or take a yoga class or tell your family that you need one hour each weekend morning to read without interruption. Whatever floats your relaxation boat – do it.

These tips are not just useful during the year-end holidays. Use them anytime you need to take a step back in your business to relax, regroup or rejuvenate.

How will you incorporate one, two or all of the tips into your holidays? Tell me in the comments below – can’t wait to hear from you!

Photo by Freestocks on Unsplash

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