Editor’s Note: The following guest column, “Finance in Focus,” was first featured in the Square Banking newsletter. The author, Aja Evans, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in Financial Therapy. She owns and operates a private practice in New York City.
The most wonderful time of year is upon us. For some, it’s a time to unplug from work and see family and friends, settling into the coziness of togetherness. For business owners, it’s go time. The holiday season is the busy season, where vacation seems far away and the pressure to work through your to-do list feels heavier.
The emotional toll of being a business owner is sneaky — creeping in as you break your promise to take time off — as you are constantly grinding, working, or thinking about your business, feeling as if you are not doing enough to be successful. It’s normal to want to pour all of yourself into your business, particularly when you’re busier than ever. Striking a balance between caring for yourself and your business is the key to sustainability and longevity. Burnout is a friend to no one.
It’s hard to separate yourself from your business after all the work you’ve put into building it, but it’s necessary. Rest is a means of gaining perspective, making room for creativity, and recharging in a way that fills your cup. Please remember, taking a break does not mean stepping away completely. It’s an investment in yourself to be able to show up for your business in a healthy way. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your business.
Schedule time off now
This is your not-so-gentle reminder to put time on your calendar. You know the ebbs and flows of your business — look at when things tend to slow down and schedule time to rest. It could be a staycation or time spent traveling, but make sure you create the space on your calendar.
Honor your off hours
If taking time off is difficult financially, plan a day where you stick to the time boundaries of your day. No work before you open, and no work after. Don’t check your email or sales — you’re out of the office. Allow yourself to sleep in, relax, or do something you enjoy.
Limit the urge to compare yourself
Social media is a great place to find community, but it can lead you down the rabbit hole of comparison. Recognize when you might be comparing yourself to a highlight reel (literally) of another business, and shift your focus away from them and toward how far you and your business have come.