Let’s set something straight: it’s okay to let yourself rest this holiday—it’s time to shut down your computer, slow down your pace, and set your mind to activities that you don’t have enough time for; an extra hour of sleep or exercise each morning, more time with your family, or revisiting a good book you put down for a while.
While rest might be a smooth transition for some entrepreneurs, it’s not so easy for others. A recent study reinforces the importance of accepting rest as being productive, and it’s a healthy exercise for entrepreneurs with “harmonious passion”—people who allow themselves to take breaks from their work without feeling guilt. It’s not surprisingly then that entrepreneurs with harmonious passion are less likely to suffer from feelings of burnout.
YouInc recently spoke with three founders from Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, to learn how they’re allowing themselves to unwind this holiday and be flexible with their daily routines:
Lane Merrifield, Co-Founder & CEO, FreshGrade
How I unwind: Besides relaxing with family, friends and great food, I like to use down time just like my kids: to play with toys. I always have new technology laying around that I haven’t had enough time to explore. For example, this year I’ll use my new wireless Vive Pro VR headset and my new Gimbal action sports camera.
Routine change: Sleep! When I’m going full tilt during a normal work week, my sleep can sometimes suffer. Over the holidays, I try to set the alarm a little later and let my body fully recover with as much sleep as I can get.
It’s easy to keep running and have life turn into one long blur. I remember times when the holidays felt like an inconvenience and a distraction from what I was trying to accomplish. Give yourself permission to take time to enjoy your family, “work” at unwinding and relaxing and getting ready to hit it hard again in the new year.
Lisa King, Founder, Eat My Lunch
How I unwind: During the Christmas holidays, it’s summer in New Zealand, so it’s a great time to be outside, enjoy the beach, go for walks and picnic in the park. It’s the only time I feel I can actually slow down and enjoy the beautiful city I live in, especially because Auckland becomes really quiet with everyone away. There are a lot of public events during summer, which I try to attend, such as movies in the parks, music concerts, food festivals and sculpture walks.
Routine change: I try not to have a schedule and go with the flow. I’m not a morning person, so during the holidays I love to sleep in. The sun doesn’t set until after 8:30 p.m., so the long days mean I feel like I have more time to do whatever I want; sometimes that means binge watching a series on Netflix.
Michelle Kennedy, Co-Founder & CEO, Peanut
How I unwind: I limit the hours in the day I spend working; I’ll keep it to a couple of hours in the evening, and most importantly making sure that I’m with my son during the day. He’s the best way to unwind, because when I'm with him, I simply don't want to be involved in anything else; he's consuming in the best way.
Routine change: I start to sleep a little better during the festive period as my mind slows down. It's not for long, but it does help [me] refresh. I also try not to start at 6 a.m. and have some days in pyjamas.
Running your own business always makes winding down at any time difficult. Taking time to unwind and switch off isn’t something you should feel guilty about. We all need to take breaks to relax and refresh before a busy year ahead, and it's important we do that for our business as much as for our families.