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Beat Holiday Stress at Your Small Business With Some Self Care (2022)

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

The holiday season is full of joy, goodwill, and peace. Most people spend time with their family and friends to celebrate the holiday cheer. But for some, the holiday season is a much busier occasion than it is simply relaxing.

Small business owner holiday shopping with family

Holidays as a business owner are typically the busiest time of the year. Sometimes there isn't any time for owners to even sit down and enjoy Christmas cookies while watching holiday movies. Most spend months preparing for the biggest shopping season and work long hours in their offices or storefronts. Even if they don’t operate a retail store or other directly seasonal business, those businesses typically drive the economy, and sales, upward.

Small business stress is a huge issue that is worth mitigating as best as possible. After all, the season of giving can lead to serious burnout. So how do you avoid letting the ‘small business holidays’ take a toll on you?


Here are a few self-care methods you can beat the holiday stress.

Plan for a Break

Small business owner relaxing with a book

When you run a small business, there are a lot of items on your to-do list. Therefore, it is pertinent that you be sure to schedule some time to take a break from work. Make that break be a literal line item on your to-do list just like all the others. This way you’ll likely treat it more like an accomplished task rather than viewing as a waste of time.

It's easy to push off a break, promising you'll do it after the next task or after lunch or the day after.

… and the next thing you know, you've worked a whole day with no downtime. But if you write down in a planner or on your calendar that you're going to take time off, you're more likely to keep your word.

Be Flexible During the Holidays

The holiday season is unpredictable, and that means you have to roll with the punches. This laissez-faire attitude can be hard for you as a small business owner because you didn't achieve your success by simply letting things run their course.

But during the holidays, you can't plan for everything. If you're looking to relax, the holidays aren't the time to be rigid with your plans. There are some things on your to-do list that you won't be able to get done.

Instead, separate your tasks into must-dos, do-soon, and can-wait. This will free up more time than you think.

Step Away and Stay Away

It's easy to get sucked down a work rabbit hole when you start a task. But if you should be taking time off from work to reduce some stress, you need to step away and stay away.

cute puppy in wrapping paper

Those emails may feel like they're calling your name but you must ignore the beckoning to get back to work. If you're not in the office or at the store, it may be tempting to check in with your employees, don’t.

When you have time off, try your best to be present. The time alone and relaxed or being mindfully present with family is far more important. Do activities that relax you and remind employees that you won't be reachable until you're back at work.

Don't Forget to Delegate Tasks

As the owner of a small business, you may feel like the best way to get everything done is to do it yourself. But putting everything on your plate leads to you getting burnt out that much quicker.

Combat against exhaustion before it even has the chance to set it. Allow some of your employees to share the workload and delegate tasks they can complete. This can lighten your load and allow you to easily take some time away.

As a bonus, you'll get to empower you employees. Building morale and hopefully discovering new potential talent for your future growth.

Forgo Your Alarm

When you take a day off, don't set your alarm to go off early the next day. Alarms often wake you up before your body has gained sufficient sleep and can be a jarring way to start the day.

Santa asleep in a chair