A few tips for squeezing in some self-care, no matter how long your work week is.
If you’re anything like me, your ‘to-do list’ is more of a ‘to-do mountain’. There are the deadlines (always tight, always clashing), the ever-present cashflow worries – and don’t get me started on the unanswered emails! As a small business owner, it’s hard to escape the fact that it’s all on you, and that list can weigh pretty heavy on your mind.
All too often, what should be a number one priority – your health and wellbeing – gets relegated to the bottom of that list (and let’s be honest; that’s if it makes it on the list at all).
If you’re a fellow entrepreneur who is guilty of self-neglect, it’s time to change your approach. Here is the good news: I’ve been through the ups and the downs, and I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to squeeze in self-care, even in the midst of that crazy 90-hour work week.
Feed your business brain
Baby steps. If the idea of spending time on something that doesn’t directly contribute to your bottom line just flips you out, start with some professional development. Feeling inspired and refreshed is good for business and good for you!
- Set up or attend a peer-support group or networking event for other business owners.
- Read professional journals for fresh ideas.
- Sign up for a professional development program to enrich your entrepreneurial journey.
Feed your body
When you’re fit and healthy, your energy levels will be boosted, and that means a greater ability to deal with your work and personal commitments. Win-win.
Develop a regular sleep routine – think herbal teas and no screen time an hour before bed for optimum zzzzs.
- Take regular mini-breaks from your desk. A few sun salutations every hour is an immediate energy boost, and does wonders for your mobility.
- Quit eating lunch at your desk – use that 30 minutes to get out and soak up some nature. You’ll return more productive than ever, and you won’t be spilling sandwich crumbs into your keyboard.
- Combine catch-ups with exercise. Meet a friend for a game of tennis or walk.
Feed your mind
When you feel relaxed, your mind is clearer and better able to handle stress and pressure.
Make time to catch up with friends and family – talking things out can be really therapeutic.
- Start a new hobby. Getting creative not only enriches your personal life, often that newfound creativity can help broaden your professional horizons too.
- Instigate a no-phone zone. As entrepreneurs, we’re attached to our phones 24/7. It can get exhausting. Turn it on silent, put it in another room, and let the important people know that you’re unavailable for a few hours.
- Schedule time to relax. Book that massage, coffee catch-up, or make a date with your couch and a favourite book
Feed your soul
We all ride the emotional rollercoaster from time to time, and feeding the soul – whether it be through nurturing supportive relationships, dedicating time to gratitude practice, or practicing mindfulness – is critical to getting through those rough patches.
Celebrate your friendships and loved ones and take the time to tell them how much you value them.
- Start a gratitude jar. Pop a Post-It note in your jar of something you feel happy or grateful for at the end of each day. When a stressful day rolls around, pull a few notes out to have a look at some of the things that have made you smile. It’s a guaranteed stress-buster!
- Get some friends together for social sport (or social feasting!).
- Practice mindfulness or keep a reflective journal.
Don’t scrimp on self-care. Pick out a few of the tips above and schedule them in to your diary for next week, the same way you would a business meeting. An investment in your own self-care means that you’re better equipped in all aspects of your life, from business and beyond.[author title=”About the author”] [share title="Share this post" facebook="true" twitter="true" google_plus="true" linkedin="true" email="true"]