Let’s talk self-care!
It’s easy to put self-care on the back burner — especially when you’re a business owner and have to do all the things! Taking care of ourselves seems like the last thing that should be on our minds. But slowing down to refresh and recharge our physical, emotional, and mental well-being needs to become a priority.
Running on auto pilot doesn’t do anyone any good. Your business is here to serve and offer value, but how can you expect give your best if you aren’t taking care of your health and happiness in a way that you deserve? Yes, deserve!
TAKE A BREAK
There have been too many times that I’d work on a single task for hours, only to later wonder when the last time I ate something was (and did I even have water today?). I’d stand up, stretch my achy back, and close my tired eyes, and wonder why I hadn’t so much as moved until now. It’s easy, when you’re taking care of a business, to forget to take care of yourself. All too often, this is the life of an entrepreneur, but it doesn’t have to be. Set a timer and take a break — several thought the day, ideally. They don’t need to long. Even 10 minutes here and there will do.
TAKE CARE OF THE NECESSITIES
I’m not talking about your to-do list. I’m talking about the basics of life. In the previous point, I mentioned how even simple tasks like eating or drinking sometimes get lost among everything else that needs to be done, but these are things that keep you healthy. If you’ve been sitting for hours on end, stand up and walk around. Keep a glass of water on your desk so you remember to hydrate throughout the day. Set alarms so you don’t miss meals. Make one of those breaks above a little longer, and get some exercise in.
NO SCREENS ALLOWED
For most of us, the first thing we probably do in the mornings or before bed is check our screens — we pick up our phones and browse social media to see what we missed, or we open our laptop to check our emails. Let’s break that habit. Instead of looking at a screen first thing in the morning, let’s use this time to set the tone for the rest of the day. Lay quietly for a few minutes. Wake up slowly, if time allows. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit in the stillness for a few moments before going about your daily tasks. Maybe spend a few minutes reading, or journaling, or meditating. When your work hours are over, close your laptop for the night. Give yourself this time to rest.
START SAYING NO
I love whitespace in design and in my calendar. Leonardo Da Vinci one said that “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”, and I couldn’t agree more. As a business owner, you’ll no doubt have people wanting something from you at all times — consultations and meetings, collaborations and partnerships, requests for speaking engagements. Saying “yes” to it all is a quick way to get overwhelmed and burnt out. Leave space in your calendar where you aren’t doing anything.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO INDULGE WITHOUT GUILT
Buy a new magazine. Brush on your favorite face mask. Light some candles and take a bubble bath. Or a nap. Go for a walk, or to that yoga class you’ve been thinking about. Get outside. Grab a coffee. Interact with other humans. Take time alone. Do what you need to rejuvenate, and make it a daily practice.
SHOW YOURSELF GRACE
Until you make a habit of practicing self-care as an entrepreneur, there may be days when you feel guilty. “Why didn’t I get this task done today” or “I have so much waiting for me — I shouldn’t be relaxing” or “I’m not successful unless I’m always busy”. Be kind with yourself and with your thoughts.
What are your favorite self-care tips for busy entrepreneurs? What self-care practices have you made part of your routine, to keep your mental, emotional, and physical health in tip-top shape?