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As a small business owner, living your passion is not a 9-5 job. It doesn’t necessarily carry a Monday through Friday schedule. It’s not something you go to work and do and come home and forget about.

It’s something you live and breathe day in and day out.

It is because of and not despite this that finding ways to relax are that much more important for you as a small business owner.

The Huffington Post has cited 10 Health Benefits of Relaxation, highlighting research on how taking time to relax can help keep you focused, reduce the risk of catching a cold, improve your memory and make better decisions.

How you opt to unwind is up to you, but spending time with your family is among the best things you can do to reboot. There is a lot of research supporting how family time benefits cognitive, emotional and academic development of children, as well as how forming strong bonds helps unite a family around a common goal.

The time you spend with family may not last a whole weekend, or happen on the traditional weekend at all, but what is important for you is to make it a priority for it to happen at all.

We know your time is precious, so here are a few ways to maximize the time you spend relaxing with your family:

  • Accomplish something together.  Family and small business often go hand in hand. Whether your spouse runs the finances or your children help with errands around the office when they get home from school, it’s not uncommon for everyone to pitch in somehow. Whether that’s the case for you or not, doing something together as a team has a way of strengthening and recharging the family dynamic.
    • It could be anything from perfecting your family recipe for lasagna to putting together the most beautiful servings of Kraft macaroni and cheese you’ve ever seen. What you cook doesn’t matter as much as who you cook it with. And, in a way, it’s time saving because you’re relaxing as you work toward the common goal of feasting together on whatever delicacy you create.
    • Ideas abound all over Pinterest for all things artsy you can do as a family. Meanwhile, research conducted by the American Art Therapy Association dotes on the benefits of expressed creativity on the reduction of anxiety and improvement of self-esteem and overall functioning. Put together a painting for your entryway, conduct a creative science experiment or craft something completely unique – the point is to do it together and have fun.
    • The idea of doing more work for free may not sound that appealing, but giving back to the community in some way can serve a dual purpose. Not only is there fulfillment in doing something nice for others, but being out there in the community, as a family, is among the most potentially influential methods of networking for your business.
  • Be silly together.  Laughter and stress management go hand in hand. Research shows there are both short- and long-term benefits to regularly laughing, including relief of tension and pain and an improved immune system. Create a treasure map and do a scavenger hunt in the backyard, try out your own version of at-home “Minute to Win It” or watch your favorite silly comedy indoor drive-in movie style.
  • Be outside together.  Put down the Smartphone and get outside. Spending time in nature is good for the health and well-being of the whole family, research shows, so (weather-permitting) get outside and do something together as a group. Even if it’s as simple as walking to a nearby playground or around your local zoo, it’s not the activity that matters as much as the fresh air and who you’re breathing it with. Catch fireflies, go on a bike ride, park or wading pool hop, try kayaking or tubing, go to a local farm and pick whatever’s in season – just get out and breathe some fresh air together.

Ultimately that is the point. You’re living your passion for a purpose, and for many that purpose is to provide a better living for their family. But that’s why it is that much more important to make time for those you are working so hard to support.

It all brings to mind the saying that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

As the owner and operator of a small business that may be true, but only if you let it be. Finding work-life balance is that much more important for small business owners who know bringing a passion to life is not a 9-5 job. It doesn’t necessarily carry a traditional schedule and doesn’t have an “off” switch in your mind.

It’s something you live and breathe day in and day out.

You’ve made the commitment to believing in your business. Now is the time to invest in ways to make it last. Carving out time to accomplish something, be silly and …with your family will not only help you and your family be more balanced. It will help your business itself be more balanced.

If that isn’t a case for dusting off your game shelf and having at it in a round of Monopoly or Apples to Apples I don’t know what is.

Ideas For Things To Do