October is halfway over and starting today, there are only ten weeks until Christmas! It’s safe to say that the holidays are about to be in full swing. In our Holiday Prep blog post, we covered tips on preparing for Etsy shop success during the holiday season. Implementing those tips is a sure-fire way to ensure you’re ready to go and not completely overwhelmed when the craziness begins in your shop. But, something that is just as important is keeping yourself healthy, both mentally and physically during the holiday season. That’s why we feel that it’s just as important to cover tips that can help you achieve health for yourself so that from your health, a healthy Etsy shop will follow.
1. Start your day or evening off right
It doesn’t matter if you’re an early bird or a night owl, start your “day” off right. Whenever your day might start, have a set routine that allows you a few moments to collect your thoughts before jumping into work. Starting your day by opening your computer and jumping right into work can lead to stress later on. Instead, take a few moments to drink your coffee/tea/your drink of choice, and just be present in the moment.
The benefits of meditating (in whatever form this takes for your personal beliefs) is proven and will help to calm your mind before your day begins. Really committing to starting your work day off in this way will truly help you keep your sanity and will reduce your chances of complete burnout by the end of your day.
2. It takes a village
As an Etsy seller, it can be hard to ask for help. However, this could be your saving grace during the hectic holiday season. Decide beforehand who you’d ask to help you out during your busy season. Is it a friend or several friends? Maybe family is who you should turn to? Whatever the case might be for your life, whoever you choose to bring into your inner circle should be thought through now and not decided on in an emotional and hectic moment. Who is it that lifts you up and keeps you positive? Who can you laugh about the insanity with?
The last thing you want to do is to ask a “Negative Nancy” to help out in your shop if things are crazy. If at all possible, make a list of the people you’d love to have around you and go ahead and ask them now. Even if you’re not positive you’ll need the help. It’s better to have a backup plan than to get yourself in over your head. If money is tight offer to trade your products for their time. If you can afford to pay someone, decide this ahead of time as well so that you have all your details worked out before jumping in.
3. Give yourself a break
More than likely, the holidays usher in some seriously long work days. It’s not unusual for us to hear of sellers putting in 12+ hour days in their shops between filling orders, answering messages and making sure their inventory is where it should be. The last thing you want to do is work a long day straight through with no breaks. This would not be legal in an office setting and you should not allow yourself to do it, just because you work for yourself.
Instead, schedule breaks into your days where you step away from the computer/desk/studio. Go for a short walk, do a breathing exercise, grab a healthy snack and refill that water bottle, whatever it is, give your mind a break. Taking the time to allow breaks into your day will help your mind stay clear and when you come back to work, you’ll find that you’re more focused and ready to tackle the next few hours of work refreshed.
4. Let it go, let it go!
So it happened. You ran across a customer who is a bonafide Scrooge! Just like Elsa, learning to let go of negative words that happen to come across your computer screen will save you a TON of mental energy this holiday season. Sure, it’s 100% frustrating when you’re really going above and beyond for a customer and trying to provide excellent customer service. Will you just not be able to make some customers happy no matter what you do? Yes. But, ultimately that’s not your problem to solve. Take some deep breaths and walk away from your computer for a bit.
Whatever you do, don’t reply to messages in the moment when your emotions are running high. Instead, take a beat to remind yourself that everyone is fighting an unseen battle. You actually have no idea why this particular customer is being such a jerk, but it doesn’t matter anyway. You’re going to throw kindness around like confetti because, after all, it’s the holidays and no one can suck your positivity away unless you allow them to! So, pull up your bootstraps and keep going with all the kindness you can muster! In the end, it will be worth it and will not be the mental drain that responding in a negative way often is.
It’s such a small word, but it can be so very hard to learn. See, here’s the thing. You cannot be everything to everyone. You are not Santa. There are going to be times this season when you simply need to say, no. Learning to say no to the things you need to (and only you know what these are) without guilt is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Setting boundaries and sticking to them will help you to clearly see what is most important for your life and business. Choose to say no in order to keep your emotional well-being at the top of your priority list. Even if it means saying no to people who are used to hearing yes. You have to start sometime. If you’ve been looking for a sign, this is it.
6. You deserve it and balance is key
Whether it’s simply sitting down to watch your favorite movie or allowing yourself to go get a pedicure, schedule time to actually implement some self-care. This is incredibly important during this hectic season. Whatever it is that speaks to your soul, be sure you’re allowing yourself the time to indulge in that.
If you’re balancing a family and your Etsy shop, allowing yourself the time to enjoy your family is also extremely important. Remember, this is not just everyone else’s holiday season to enjoy, it’s yours as well. Stopping to bake cookies with your kiddos or watch a Christmas movie shouldn’t be cut out altogether. You won’t have another chance to enjoy this particular year of holidays again. Take advantage of that and to the best of your ability, find the work/life balance that works for you and your family.
Sure, you have a lot of work to do! Could you work non-stop through the entire season? Yes! But, please don’t do this to yourself. Consider all of the above tips. There will ALWAYS be and I do mean ALWAYS, be a reason to NOT care for yourself. There will be plenty of excuses to keep working, to just answer one more message, to package up one more order. Finding the right amount of work for yourself will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll do.
However, if you begin to think about this now and decide beforehand to follow the tips above (or others that apply more to your life) it will ensure that you come out on top with less stress at the end of all this. Remember, you are the only one who can take care of you. It’s important to not only be kind to others during the holidays but to also be kind to yourself. Strategize a way to stay healthy in the upcoming weeks and set boundaries in place to see that you can follow through with your plan. Say no when needed. Smile. You got this.
Do you have tips and tricks you use to remain positive and healthy that weren’t on our list? We’d love to know what they are, so be sure to share them with us in the comments!
Happy selling, everyone!