Week 3: Make Time to Relax
Finding time to relax and unwind seems relatively easy, right? As a small business owner, this may start to seem utterly impossible! The reality is that you need to carve out time to either mentally or physically relax. Whether it’s a quick cat nap, or an activity that releases some tension, it’s a necessity, not a luxury. Without an outlet to let yourself unwind from the day-to-day stressors of running a business, you have the potential to find yourself burnt out and unproductive.
Tips to Getting in Your Relaxation Zone
1) Make a Daily Relaxation Meeting
Sometimes to find time, you have to make time. Is having a meeting with a client important to your business? Are regular check-ins with your employees important to your business? If you answered yes to either of those, you need to look at relaxation through the same lens. Schedule time with yourself either daily for a short period of time, or perhaps weekly for an extended amount of time.
Rather than scheduling a mental meeting, or making a mental promise to unwind, it’s better to put a block of time on your calendar. Set a reminder. Set a timer. Do whatever is necessary to make this a part of your day.
Use this time to remove yourself from the business life. Put your phone somewhere that you can’t see or hear it. Physically remove yourself from a stressful environment. Think about something that has nothing to do with work. This is time for you!
2) Schedule a Getaway
Sometimes your mind and body need a complete getaway to fully relax. Being able to disconnect for even a few hours counts as escaping. A week long vacation may not be feasible, but try to find an afternoon or one day that you can totally unplug from the daily routine and really get to relax.
If you pay for something, you’re more likely to actually follow through with going. Find a local event and buy a ticket. Maybe a play or a concert? Find a friend that won’t let you cancel or say no and make them get you where you need to go.
Schedule time for a vacation if you have the time and funds. While it can seem more stressful to schedule this much time away from work, it may be just what you need to have a fresh perspective. Check out this article from Microsoft on how to take a vacation as a small business owner.
3) Find a Relaxing Hobby
No, it doesn’t have to be yoga. There are lots of activities that can help free up some mental tension, or force you to take deep, cleansing breaths. Yoga is actually a great hobby, but there are plenty of other options. For people who prefer more physical activities, try hiking, kayaking, biking or dancing. If you’re looking for an indoor, or less physical activities, try knitting, reading, coloring or baking. Many of these “indoor” activities can be done anywhere you go, so bonus points for being able to take your relaxation with you!
4) Resurrect a Guilty Pleasure …And Don’t Feel Guilty
Did you love Days of Our Lives in college? Are you secretly a K-Pop superfan? Could you watch cat videos on YouTube for days? One of my personal favorites is reading National Geographic from cover to cover. Guilty pleasures may be silly, but they achieve their purpose! They give you a few minutes away from reality and usually bring some sense of satisfaction. Dig up some of your favorites!
Bask in Your Zen
Whether you can find 5 minutes a day, or take a 5-day vacation, make the time to give your brain and body the rest it needs. It may seem like it will add more stress just thinking about it, but in the long run, you will be more relaxed and refreshed on a regular basis.