Being a small business owner can be draining – you are responsible for nearly everything in your business. The everyday responsibility and constant activity can be very draining and get overwhelming very quickly. Fatigue and stress harm both your physical and mental well-being, which in turn harms your effectiveness and your business.
However, many small business owners find the thought of taking a break downright frightening. Yet, taking a break and giving yourself time to reboot and recharge your batteries is vital to the success of your small business. You may not feel taking an extended vacation is possible right now, but there are other ways you can refresh your mind and spirit. Some ideas are listed below:
- Spend time with family and friends
A lot of times, being a small business owner means that you may not see your friends or family as much as you would like. Take time away from your business to be involved with something as a family or a group. It is definitely a challenge trying to balance a good work life/home life. If you have to, schedule family events or get-togethers on your business calendar.
- Find a passion or hobby
As hard as it may be, it is important to understand that there is more to life than your business. Take time to enjoy a passion of yours or a hobby. It does not need to happen daily, but occasionally take time to indulge in a hobby, whether it is fishing, sports, woodworking, etc. Give your mind a chance to think about something other than your business.
- Make sleep a priority
Most small business owners feel that there are not enough hours in a day. It is a juggling act trying to take care of everything involved with your business and have some kind of social/family life at the same time. Usually, sleep is the first thing that gets eliminated from a busy schedule. This is one of the worst things you could do. Having a healthy sleeping pattern and getting good quality sleep is necessary in order for you to function properly. Lack of sleep can have a devastating effect on your health. Giving your brain and body time to rest, de-stress, and re-charge ultimately helps you be more productive.
- Take a day to unplug
Understandably, taking an extended vacation can be out of the question at times. However, even a single day away every now and then can help you tremendously – especially if you “unplug.” A walk in nature is a great way to refresh your mind and give it a break from the constant noise and chatter of your average day. Even in larger cities, there still tends to be small campgrounds or retreats within driving distance. To make your day away even better, choose to completely unplug. Do not let the stress of your business creep its way into your time of relaxation. If, for some reason, these ideas are not possible for you, even a day or two away at a nice hotel is helpful. Keep the phone off and just relax.
- Schedule weekly downtime
If you do not have the ability to get away, at least schedule a few hours each week in which you unplug and enjoy some downtime. People who say that they simply do not have any time for downtime, are merely not managing their time properly.
- Build small breaks into your day
Find small ways to give your mind a break throughout your day. It could be a short workout or walk at lunch, listening to an audiobook, or time for meditation or yoga. Even just 15-20 minutes a day can make a tremendous difference.
- Go for a drive
A great way to take a small break and recharge is to go for a drive. Explore different areas within a few hours driving distance – state parks, tourist attractions, view fall foliage, etc. This allows time for you to clear your mind and come back to work refreshed. Schedule your drive in the middle of the week to avoid crowds and excess traffic (those are great ways to increase your stress, not reduce it!).
Try out some of these small ideas as a way to refresh and recharge your mind, spirit, and body so you can continue to give your all to your small business.