Q4 isn’t the time to stuff your stocking with astronomical commitments and huge goals.
Many of us solopreneurs and mompreneurs wind up exhausted in January because of the sheer amount of marketing, socializing, cooking, shopping — you name it — that went into the end of the year.
So how do you manage to save your sanity, keep your business up and running, AND fulfill your family obligations? It will take foresight and focus, but it’s totally possible.
Here are four steps to help you out.
Step 1: Schedule in Downtime
It is unreasonable to expect yourself to go-go-go for three months (or even three days) straight. The body and mind need downtime. The first step to saving your sanity during the holiday season is to proactively schedule in downtime.
For the past few years, I have been learning to live with the moon cycle thanks to Shannon Murray and the Lunar Ladies. This method for living includes slowing down and resting during the new moon phase when there is less light at night. Before electricity, the diminishing light forced our ancestors to rest more. It has worked wonders for me to schedule in extra downtime every new moon. This gives me space every 28 days. Beyond that, it’s helpful to have downtime every single week in the form of an afternoon or evening not filled with social commitments or household chores.
I’ve recently begun frontloading my days with self-care. A half-hour of affirmations, positive thinking and stretching makes a huge difference in how positive and capable I feel during the day.
Step 2: Schedule in (and Outsource) Household Tasks
Cooking, cleaning, and childcare is real work. In my household, we make a lot of food a couple of times a week and survive on leftovers for the rest of the days. In order to make sure you’re not overcommitted in the holiday season, take the time now to plan for the household tasks that need to happen.
On top of the extra social activities Q4 generally brings, there are also extra household tasks including:
- Holiday shopping
- Gift wrapping
- Sending a holiday card to your loved ones
- Cooking and baking
Consider buying your holiday cards and gifts as soon as possible so you don’t find yourself stuck in Target for hours with all the other last-minute shoppers. And take the time to schedule all the many household commitments you will have over Q4 to give yourself a realistic forecast of how available you can reasonably be for social activities and family.
Step 3: Give Yourself Permission to Say No (and Forgive Yourself for it)
Downtime and most household tasks are non-negotiable. You will need to turn down certain parties or invitations if they conflict with your schedule. That’s ok!
One of the keys to saying no is meaning it and forgiving yourself for it. Yes, your friend or family member might be disappointed. It’s okay. I like to remember that each person is creative, resourceful and whole. They will recover and your relationship will be better off because you are taking care of yourself in it.
If there are social activities that you just can’t pass up that conflict with your downtime and household tasks, it’s time to get creative. What can you outsource? Can you order pizza instead of making dinner? Take a day off work to squeeze in that self-care? Get some extra help around the house? Or maybe it’s time to call in a favor from a neighbor or retired family member.
Step 4: Roll with Punches
Plans are made to be broken. Kids get sick, last-minute invitations roll in, exciting projects come your way. Life is unpredictable and that’s okay. You got this!
Stay flexible AND resolute in your commitment to take care of YOU this holiday season.
A Mantra for You:
I take care of myself first.
It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Your business, your family and your future will thank you!