How To Survive The Holiday Season As A Maker
The pressure of all the expectations around they holiday season can be overwhelming. Couple that with what is likely your busiest selling season, and it's no wonder this is such a difficult time of year. Maybe you're madly making things and burning the midnight oil, or you've perfectly planned your production, here are a few tips and tricks on how to survive this busy season without the stress.
Stick To Your Routine
Nothing gets you into an uncomfortable frame-of-mind more than going to bed late, waking up earlier than normal, or eating at different times. Add in family obligations and now you have a group of people who are not at their best when schedules go awry. As much as it might seem like a good idea, too much change, too often, doesn't serve you.
When we're busy, it's easy to let our self-care items slip. Let's be honest, not many of us have time for grand self-care moments on a normal day. Self-care is not always about getting a hot-stone massage; sometimes self-care is taking the time for a hot shower, going for a quick walk around the block, getting a good night sleep or eating a healthy and delicious meal. This year I vowed to eat one salad as a meal each day. While I've missed a few days, at the very least I have ordered a salad whenever I'm eating out. I'm amazed at how much better my body feels with this one simple change.
Scratch the Unimportant Things
You had a list, and you're checking it twice. Good, now scratch off a few things that really don't need to get done. Yes, it would be great if you could accomplish every single one of your goals. What can you give up this month in order to keep your sanity?
When you are working, ask for assistance from your coworkers/family/roommates to stay focused. Put your phone on silent, or better yet, leave it outside of your workspace. Nobody needs to check Facebook while you're pouring your latest batch of Gingerbread Cookie Dough. Get the work done, AND enjoy a Christmas movie, and not a single Instagram post will be harmed by you missing it.
Have A Backup Plan
When all fails, prepare yourself for catastrophe with a backup plan. What do you do when the event you're at doesn't have electricity at your location? Or when you run out of your best-selling item? This past weekend my POS system failed me due to terrible WIFI connections. Thankfully, a late-night Square purchase at Walmart saved the day, but if I had planned for this, I wouldn't have been setting up Square at 11:30 the night before an event. You can't predict every disaster, but having a backup plan for important things (like accepting debit and credit) is a real life-saver!
Support Other Makers While Helping Yourself
You might normally make your grandmother's shortbread recipe every year for the family dinner, or cook a turkey with all the fixings. There are other makers out there who are doing exactly these things! At your next event, take a few moments to seek out makers who can help check some items off your own list. Help yourself out by ordering cookies, desserts, snacks, and gifts. Order your dinner from a caterer or ask for help from a friend!
Plan A Date With A Friend
Spending time with someone you love during the holidays is a really quick way to recharge and refresh your soul. Fill your cup by investing your time with someone dear to you. It's really a Christmas gift to yourself.
Save Product Improvements For Later
If you're like me, you're always trying to improve your product line. New products, fragrances, colours, packaging and labelling are always up for improvement, not to mention new displays and booth arrangements. While it's great to have awesome goals, this time of year is not the time to be trying them out. A few years ago I purchased this amazing label printer, with the plan of all new labels on all my products for the holidays. Needless to say, I was beyond frustrated in learning how to use this new printer, and I set myself up for disappointment.
Create a Self-Care Kit
Self-care looks different for every person; for me, it's watching Love Actually (my favourite Christmas movie) with the fireplace and a glass of wine. For others, it's mountain-biking down a snow-covered trail. Put together a kit to help inspire you to take that time to recharge your batteries. The right clothing, great footwear, a delicious beverage and an activity you love are all you need! Add a bath bomb, a great smelling candle, and your favourite fragrance for afterwards, of course!
Practice it with me now...NO. No, I don't have time to make that last-minute order. I'm not able to do that. I'm unable to attend. Thank you for asking, no thank you. If it's not a priority for you, then now is exactly the time to decline.