It’s been a rough year.
Never has there been more of an understatement than this. Twelve months ago, we were looking forward to a Christmas break, a chance to unwind and spend time with our families. Just like we always do.
This year, we’re wondering how close we can stand to our relatives, who we know that will be worrying about the expense of Christmas, and whether or not we can grab a pint with friends (along with a substantial meal of course…)
The festive period is always a good time to take stock, be thankful, make plans for the next year etc, but this year, all of that is more important than ever.
We may have lost loved ones, we may have friends and family members who have been ill, or who have lost their jobs. None of us will have been unaffected by what’s gone on this last nine months, and not just in a practical sense either.
Mentally, this year has been taxing like no other before it.
We have been isolated and tested to the extreme, in every sense of those words.
So, business owner, as we approach Christmas, what are you doing to look after yourself? Your Christmas Number One?
If you’ve come this far with your business still intact, chances are you’ll be able to come into 2021 ready for a reboot. Ready to start again.
You may have been one of the lucky ones to have seen an increase in business, you may be within the majority who have seen anything but…
Either way, before you get started on the next chapter, the next quarter, the next little bit, you need to recharge the batteries, however you like to do that.
If you can, and we know it’s hard, give yourself a few days away from social media. A few days away from the mobile phone, the email inbox and the ‘just a quick WhatsApp message’…
It’ll all be there after Christmas, we promise.
We’re sure you’ll have no problem enforcing a festive Zoom embargo, we know that we won’t.
Wherever your Tier system allows, and however comfortable you are with it, get outside and see people. It doesn’t have to be in a pub, a beer garden or a covid safe Christmas market, just go for a walk with your friends, go for a walk with your family.
Exercise, in whatever way you like to exercise, be that at the gym, by going for a run, or at home. No one, in the history of ever, has felt worse after doing a workout.
Of course, it’s Christmas time, so if exercising isn’t whetting your appetite so much, you could always put it off until the New Year and simply eat, drink and be merry instead.
Seriously, if that’s what is going to make you happy right now, to allow you to relax and end this awful year with a smile on your face, then just do it.
Volunteer to help people less fortunate than yourself. We work closely with Samaritans, and they need all the help they can get this year, as do homelessness charities, food banks, hospices…
…if you’ve got a spare few quid, or a spare few hours even, find out how and where you can help this Christmas.
So, how do we summarise all that then?
A social media break, seeing friends, working out, pigging out, helping out…
…Whichever combination of these you choose to go for, we promise that the benefits will outweigh the negatives (if indeed there are any negatives for switching off for a week or two.)
It’s all about looking after your mental health, and these few suggestions will help you to do just that.
In 2021, 20:80e is entering into a partnership to promote mental health awareness for business owners like you, because it is such an underappreciated factor in the world of business.
We buzz around from project to project, and from place to place, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, chasing the dream. There’s nothing wrong with that, really.
We’re driven, we’re dedicated, we’re do’ers and we’re dreamers.
But we need to look after ourselves as well, and if we can’t do that at Christmas, then we’re never going to be able to do it.
Now, more than ever, the need to be aware of our mental health is of paramount importance. What can we do to make sure our busy working lives don’t have too much of a detrimental effect to what goes on between our ears?
There will always be stresses, there will always be challenging situations, and problems that need solutions, but that doesn’t mean we should just accept the mental wear and tear, that we should display our frayed edges and frazzled faces like some sort of badge of honour.
You are a business owner, but before that, you’re a human being. Valued and treasured by so many people who rely on you for so much more than simply bringing home the bacon.
The office will be there in January. It might still be in your shed, kitchen or spare room, but it’ll be there.
The conversations can pick up again, the network contacted and engaged with, but for now, just for a week or two, see if you can look after your Christmas Number One – You – as best as you possibly can.
Oh, and if you must, absolutely must take a call, reply to an email, do something to do with business, make it quick, and then get back to the break that we all so badly need.
You’ll thank yourself later.