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How do you survive Christmas while managing an SME?

Christmas can be a wonderful and a stressful time for many reasons; the pressure for it to be just right and for everyone to get on! Fitting in extra activities, buying presents and if you have a business – trying to manage that too, writes Confidence Coach, Andrea Barker.

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For some business owners I know the festive period is a time to wind-down and an opportunity to plan for the coming year. For others it can be relentless managing staff holidays, while keeping clients happy.

My advice would be: do have a cut-off point so you can have time over the festive period to be festive, or to relax and re-charge. We are much more effective and efficient as a result – because as much as you may love, live and breathe your business, there is more to you and your life. If we look after our well-being and literally sometimes do ‘nothing’ – yes nothing or watch a film, play games with family and friends or get some fresh air, the benefit is immeasurable.

To truly-wind down, this means managing the expectations of any staff you may have, your clients and family too, most people do understand. Be clear when things can be done by, switch the email to ‘out of office’ – you have worked hard – but no-one can run on empty. Think of yourself as your favourite car or an amazing race horse, how would you look after them?

So, your present to yourself is: TIME! To rest, recuperate, recharge and be you, and so that you can free up your mind to come up with great solutions and ideas. When we are stressed or running at max constantly – the solution focused centre of our mind closes down, because we are just ‘surviving’.

Look to the greats; Einstein knew the power of doing ‘nothing’ to gain his best ideas, and the likes of Richard Branson know about the power of true rest, and meditation (there are many forms; nature; music, exercise and Yoga). This also puts you very much in tune with yourself – your intuition or ‘gut instinct’ which is never wrong and will serve you well, not just in business but in life too. If there has been a problem or issue to deal with you are certain to come up with the answer by allowing your mind the time to process a solution.

Christmas isn’t the best time for a lot of people, so if you have people around you and food on the table – being grateful is an amazing boost for you too – and those closest to you.

Have a Happy peaceful Christmas and New Year.