Happy Yule and Winter Solstice my dears! This sabbat is one of my favourites for many reasons, not just because it marks the start of longer days filled with more light, but also because it’s a time of winding down and spending time with those you love.

Although this time of year is all about family and friends, work doesn’t come to a grinding halt for all of us, especially if you’re running an e-commerce or retail business. It can be an extremely stressful time trying to keep everyone happy, keep your business afloat and still find time to enjoy the holiday.

Something’s got to give

We can only give priority to a few things at a time, so the key to doing this during this busy time of year is getting on top of time management. It also means we have to be a lot stricter with ourselves when it comes to setting boundaries, whether that be boundaries around work time, family time or downtime.

There is a time and a place for everything, it’s up to us to decide what that means for all areas of our life. Plan ahead, let family and friends know when you are and aren’t available for festive fun. Let your clients or customers know what your Christmas opening hours are and don’t try and fit your full to-do list into one day.

Balancing work and life

This goes beyond the general work/life balance we try and practice all year because more is expected from us in December. We’re not just trying to make sure we get rest from work, we’re trying to make sure we get rest from work and take part in festive zoom calls and meetups. We may even have to fight against the December shut down that happens every year in our brains, because our body knows it’s nearly time for a break and it wants to hurry up and get there already!

For most business owners, the ratio of work and life is tipped in the favour of work for most of the year, but during the holidays, life skyrockets above work tasks and we have to try and navigate the extra energy needed to balance them both. To do that, we may have to rethink our work hours, shifting normal work time into ‘life’ time. Remember, we only have a certain amount of hours in a day and some of those have to be spent eating, sleeping and doing things that bring us joy.

Take a look at a 24 hour day, how many of those 24 hours are spent eating and sleeping? Take that off the 24 hours and what are you left with? For me, it may look a little like this:

24 hours in a day

  • 8 hours for sleep

  • 3 hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Total = 11 hours

Hours left over: 13 hours

13 hours for work, life and rest

  • 6 hours for work

  • 4 hours for life

  • 3 hours for rest

*I work from home, so I haven’t factored in commuting time, because I just walk up the stairs in my house to my office. If you do spend time commuting, this needs to be included in your calculated work hours.

If you know you’ll need more time for family, then you can shift that 13 hours around to give more time to life and less time to work. Figure out what takes priority that day and allocate time accordingly. During weekends, I’ll be able to take that 6 hours of work and put it all into life tasks or rest activities like painting, reading or watching TV.

Obviously, you don’t have to be a clock watcher, but getting clear about how you allocate your time can help to take the stress away from planning your days or weeks. You’ll be able to better manage your wellbeing as well as your workload and still have the time and energy to enjoy the joy this time of year can bring. My biggest advice for finding balance during Yule is to set boundaries, don’t let others dictate how you spend your time and hold your ground against external energies.

Have a wonderful Yule my dears!