For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a joyful holiday!

Holidays can be a mixed bag for many of us. On the one hand, you look forward to spending time with family members you love – but at the same time you know that there is nothing triggers all your sh– faster than spending days at a time with them! Maybe you suddenly find yourself responding like a teenager when your mom gives you “helpful advice.” Or you and a sibling find yourself in the same argument you’ve been having over and over for 25 years now. Everyone in the family tends to take on their old family roles within about one hour of being in a room together.

Sound familiar?

For years, I’ve heard coaches and other service business owners complain that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a terrible time to do business, and I’ve always had a different perspective than most on this subject. I happened upon my own perspective by “accident” in my first year of business, when I hadn’t heard all the stories about how no one wanted to buy coaching in December and had my best month ever.

But I do wonder if there is another reason that business owners struggle this time of year. Could there be a “hangover” effect from spending too much time with family?

Think about it – those of us who’ve become successful entrepreneurs have had to break through all kinds of programming that made us successful students and employees, but actually hurts us in the entrepreneur world. We had to change from the “rules” that made us good followers to brand new rules that made us good leaders in our lives and businesses.

And then, in the matter of a 3- or 4-day holiday, we find ourselves steeped in the very energy of that early programming and rules we learned from our families and childhood environments all over again! And it’s so easy to start reverting right back to our old defaults!

Is it any wonder that it takes us weeks to recover our “new” rules again, and by then we’re back with family for Christmas?

So what can you do to avoid this holiday hangover from affecting your bottom line? Here are 5 of my best tips:

Holiday Hangover Cure #1: Ramp up your “immunity” before that holiday get-together! Make sure that you keep up your daily practices in the weeks leading up to that holiday get-together. AND consider adding a practice or two before it that will help you stay true to who you are now. Personally, I sat in my car and meditated for 10 minutes before I even walked into my mom’s house on Thanksgiving, and I have to tell you – it really helped me stay connected and grounded that day!

Holiday Hangover Cure #2: Plan your personal care routine before the holiday arrives. This is going to look different for different people. Personally, I’m an introvert, so I get drained when I don’t get time away from the group to re-charge. I’ve learned to look ahead at the holiday schedule and plan my strategy for time-away breaks ahead of time. This year I actually scheduled some work meetings on Friday after Thanksgiving to give myself time away from the family group for a few hours. And it really helped me keep my energy and current self intact! Then, when I was with family, I was energetically intact and could truly enjoy my time with them.

Holiday Hangover Cure #3: Schedule your recovery time. If you know you’ll need a half or whole day to recover after all the family time, plan ahead for it in your business. And use that time for personal growth activities that will quickly remind you of who you have become – not who you were 20 or 30 years ago!

Holiday Hangover Cure #4: Reconnect with past clients. December is a wonderful time to reconnect with past clients, some of whom may be ready to work with you again! The holidays provide a lovely and authentic reason to check in on them and see what they want for themselves in the coming year.

Holiday Hangover Cure #5: Be the exception to the holiday slump rule! I’ve closely observed the business owners who regularly experience a holiday sales slump. Like every other result in our business, there is a cause for it! And the cause in most cases is slacking off by using the excuse that no one wants to buy in December! Go about your business as if you expect to have a good business month, and you will see that you can!

Bonus Tip!: If you have a coach or therapist, consider spending part of a session before your next family gathering creating your strategies for staying on track. I can’t tell you how many pre-holiday sessions I’ve done with my clients that resulted in them sailing through the holidays successfully!

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