The Business Owner’s Guide to Relaxation This Festive Season

Five non-boring ways to relax and put your feet up this festive season – because we believe in rest, as much as we believe Mrs Claus is the real (s)hero.

Emma Bowdler | The Women's Accountant

Emma Bowdler

I’m a cheerleader for women and an accountant bursting with personality. 

Can you? Can you see it? There she is — the finish line. That sweet, sweet moment when the ‘out of office’ goes on, the feet go up and the f*cks fly out the window.

As the festive season approaches, it’s not just about decking the halls and jingling the business bells because you’ve got another year under your belt (although that’s important). It’s about grabbing hold of this golden opportunity to pause, breathe, rest, and re-assess (bonus points if any of that includes cocktails by a pool).

But let’s face it, when you’re running your own show, ‘slowing down’ can feel like trying to do a U-turn on a Formula 1 track, or keeping the pee in during a sneeze. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: rest is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

 Time away from the daily grind is not only vital for rejuvenation, sparking creativity, and maintaining your entrepreneurial zest — but it helps us see things as they are, not just as we are (a bit frazzled and exhausted to be quite frank). You don’t have to earn it or work hard for it. Or to borrow from the words of Tricia Hersey, founder and creator of The Nap Ministry’: “Rest is a beautiful interruption in a world with no pause button.”

So, how can you, the unstoppable businesswoman that you are, actually unplug and recharge during the festive season? Here are five certified non-boring ways to do just that for service-based business owners – because we believe in walking the talk, as much as we believe that Mrs Claus is the real (s)hero this time of year.

1. Get Those Accounts Up to Date

Santa’s not the only one who should be making a list and checking it twice. Getting your accounts up to date is like giving your future self the gift of peace of mind. Why? Because nothing nags at your holiday spirit quite like unsorted receipts, unreconciled accounts and unpaid bills.

How to do it? Set a ‘financial tidy-up day’ before the holiday madness kicks in. Review your invoices, reconcile your accounts, pay any outstanding bills, automate any upcoming payments. Basically, just make sure everything is as neatly wrapped up as your Christmas gifts.

Bonus tip: Use powerful accounting software like Xero to turn this daunting task into a less Ebenezer Scrooge, more Fairy Godmother experience. Let us know if you need a hand to set yours up!

The Business Owner’s Guide to Relaxation This Festive Season | The Women's Accountant

2. Trim the ‘To-Do’ List

You might not have Santa’s workshop, but you do have a network of capable hands that can help lighten the load. Delegating tasks is not a sign of weakness; it’s a hallmark of a skilled and strategic boss.

Identify tasks that can be handed over to team members or outsourced. This could be administrative duties, social media management, or customer service inquiries. The key is to trust your team and let go of the need to micromanage. Delegating helps give you time back, at the same time as empowering your team and cultivating a culture of collaboration.

Of course, if she’s a solopreneur — maybe it’s time to take a pair of hedge trimmers to somewhere other than the bikini line; the to-do list. Almost everything can wait if it really has to. The key is to communicate it in advance, and set clear expectations, not just pull the plug at the last minute and hope for the best.

Bonus tip: You are a human being, not a human doing. A great way to survive the festive season with your sanity intact is to also think about who you want (or need) to BE over this period. Generous? Patient? Moisturised? Grateful? Away from your annoying relative? Take a few minutes to think beyond the never-ending list of things to do, and write on a post-it note who you also want to be.

3. Re-establish Your Boundaries

When you turn the ‘OOO’ on, does your business sometimes feel like the Ghost of Christmas Past, lurking in the shadows and never quite out of mind? Let’s do something about that! The holiday season is a time for family, friends, and festivities – not dealing with a million, gazillion work calls and emails.

Set clear boundaries with clients and your team about your availability. Communicate your holiday hours well in advance and stick to them. Use auto-responders, put the details in your email signature, and delegate emergency contacts. Remember, respecting your own time teaches others to do the same. And resetting boundaries allows you to fully embrace the joy and relaxation of the season without the fear of an inbox ambush.

Bonus tip: This can also be the perfect time of year to reaffirm your business (and life!) non-negotiables, interrogate whether or not they still apply, and how you’ll keep them in place next year. Need a little help? Jump straight over to our blog on: Setting Business Boundaries and Non-Negotiables

The Business Owner’s Guide to Relaxation This Festive Season | The Women's Accountant

4. Get Deliberate About How You Will Rest & Recharge

Sure, cramming in a few spa days, books by the beach, or taking a few walks in nature is a great way to spend the holiday season — but they are unlikely to do little more than top up your cup enough to make it through next week, let alone next year. Taking your self-care, resting and recharging as seriously as you take your business means having enough fuel to keep the engine (you) running smoothly for a bloody lot longer than that.

We know that most women are used to taking care of everyone but we’re gonna say this one a little louder for those in the back: SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.

Taking care of your most precious resource (spoiler alert: it’s you) is mission f*cking critical. A well-rested business owner is a more strategic, effective and inspired business owner. A well-rested person is a more creative, kind and empathetic human. And a well-rested woman, well — we don’t know one, but we’re sure they would be U-N-S-T-O-P-P-A-B-L-E.

Spend a moment — preferably with your diary — and reflect on what truly recharges you. What makes you feel like the most like yourself, and the most ready to show up and be your best self? Now schedule the time for it, and show up like you would any other business meeting.

Bonus tip: Some of the most productive and high-achieving business owners we know are those who take their rest and recharge as seriously as they take their bottom line. They set up recurring self-care appointments. They have regular morning and evening recharge rituals. They set (and stick to) weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly rhythms to make sure they can hustle when they need to, and also rest when they need to.

If you’re looking for some support to set up high-performing rituals, rhythms and routines, we highly recommend checking out foundher.’s signature program Sustainable PACE.

5. Book a Retrospective and Strategic Planning Session for *Later*

Navigating the business world without a plan is like trying to find your way through a blizzard without a compass, or the supermarket on Christmas Eve without a list. As the year draws to a close, more often than not you don’t quite have it in you to look back on everything you’ve done and start planning ahead. So, just let it go. Don’t even bother. Instead, book a date in early January for a retrospective and strategic planning session. (There’s a handy ‘Year in Review’ template in our free Slay All Day workbook).

Reflect on the big wins, the small hiccups, and the complete ‘what the effing eff’ moments of the past year and use these insights to help you map out your priorities for the year ahead. This is not just about setting goals and ticking things off a list; it’s about crafting a vision that aligns with your values and aspirations, and building a sustainable and profitable business — on your terms (not ours, not hers, and certainly not his).

Bonus tip: Never forget that The Women’s Accountant is always here to help, and we’re far more than your average bean counters. If you want to get a jumpstart on the New Year with helpful reflections, useful templates and strategic insights, get in early and Book A Business Growth Strategy Session for the New Year.

Merry Christmas!


From all of us here at The Women’s Accountant, have a safe and very merry festive season, and bring on an abundant and rest-filled New Year for us all!

Book your business growth strategy session for 2024:

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