by Patricia Weber | Featured Contributor
When will we learn stress can be redirected into better thinking and being? Entrepreneurs, just being human, may find themselves running around their Christmas tree, and I don’t mean to hang ornaments or deck it out with garland. Just think about some of the physical and emotional reactions to the season.
The stress fever this time of year may start with all the Black Friday hype. The frenzy keeps rising until a person a happy jolly season is a distant memory.
Take me away from office drama, take me away from to-do lists and just – take – me – away!
In a 2012 USA-wide survey commissioned by Fed Ex, one-third of small business owners say they feel stressed about the holiday season. It’s somewhat of conundrum because in many countries people use the word “holiday” to mean “vacation” which is for rest and relaxation. The research statistics on this report running a business during the holiday season is as stressful as :
- finding the perfect gift for a partner (68 percent),
- going to the mall for holiday shopping (65 percent) or
- getting every gift wrapped (60 percent).
Any woman whether a small business owner or an entrepreneur with either an online, or brick and mortar business, might hear the phrase “Calgon, take me away!” come to mind. 🙂
As you might find it on the beauty product website, you might think as the words in one of their more current ads:
Welcome Relief in the Middle of Holiday Stress
Tip #1: Take some time off
Take time off? Is that crazy? I suppose it depends on what you do with that time off.
One idea is to do what you need to do to come back after the holidays in good spirit and more energy to rev up for a new year.
This might mean a mini-vacation. One of my clients used the winter holidays to go away just for a weekend to somewhere warmer than where we live and work.
It might mean to get started (or ramp up) a physical workout routine. Exercise both lifts your spirit and will work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie you eat.
Maybe it means simply sleeping in late and then taking the day to do what you want to for yourself.
The thing is to use your business sense and plan the time off, so it puts you in an improved mood with greater energy.
Tip #2: Be grateful
When we practice gratitude regularly, there is researched evidence that we increase our well-being. For me, the holidays is the perfect time for a dose (or two or three) of well being!
“What?!” you cry out as you read the phrase, practice gratitude. “You want me to add yet another thing to my daily list?”
That’s not at all the suggestion.
There is good news as I frantically (not really) researched some facts for proof about what to be grateful about and how often to express it, in writing.
Compare what the participants had to do compared the control group: think about “the things for which they are grateful” just once or three times a week! Focusing on people and situations as opposed to things is more effective too. The control group completed a happiness assessment.
The results: “short-term increases in happiness are possible. Furthermore, optimal timing is important. In summary, students who regularly expressed gratitude showed increases in wellbeing over the course of the study relative to the control group, but these increases were observed only among students who performed the activity just once a week.”
Right here, in the case for gratitude journaling, do a happy dance: less is more!
Tip #3: Forgive
Go to any search engine and find out about the benefits of forgiveness. Or for a quicker route to reducing your stress, if you are holding on to a grudge, or anger or hate, for whatever the reason, it’s all summarized in this Buddha quote.
One of the best coaches, Mo Bailey, I ever had created this image for the quote.
Just for a short while at least, redirect your stress to have more energy, compassion and are ready to take on any challenge:
- take some time off
- practice gratitude
- forgive and move on
Just what is in the middle of holiday stress to give you relief? Just change the letters around and you find: rest. 😆 Yup. And these are just three ideas.
One last thing to leave you with a smile and less stress and more – rest:
There was one bit of good news in that 2012 survey mentioned earlier: just 23 percent of small business retailers claimed that running their business during the holidays is less stressful than spending a week with in-laws!
What do you do as an entrepreneur to welcome relief in the middle of holiday stress?
Patricia Weber: I understand the possible difficulty of being an introvert in business and am on a mission to build the confidence of those more introverted, with a variety of practical tools to navigate communications work and life.
Since 2007, recognized internationally, on radio and in print, for most things introvert I blog at http://patricia-weber.com Followers, who regularly comment find the messages both resonate with them and inspire them.
My recent book, Communication Toolkit for Introverts: Find your voice in everyday business situations, is something a publisher asked me to write –imagine that.
If you are fed up with the often, uncomfortable extrovert rules, or tired of being tired, be ready to be inspired.
I am NOT shy. Many introverts are not either.
My work is not my life. I have other interests, in the past: had my own Harley Davidson (FX model no longer manufactured) until I slid horizontally a few times!
That’s why now; I go along with my husband in our safer car hobby.
Also, we enjoy traveling. We go from one coast to another to have the joy of seeing my son and his family including two granddaughters. On occasion, it’s off to Europe.