Being an entrepreneur can be exciting, passion-driven, financially advantageous and personally fulfilling. It can also be stressful and emotionally taxing as each day presents many obstacles to navigate. Without a solid health and wellness focus, an entrepreneur’s vision can become skewed, making their goals harder to reach. Entrepreneurs grapple with a heftier load of stress than most people and can quickly get overwhelmed.
Whether running a brick-and-mortar store, providing a service to a steady stream of clients, or hosting a popular podcast, prioritizing self-care can be a big part of navigating the entrepreneurial waters to success.
Entrepreneurs can often prioritize burning the candle at both ends over caring for themselves. Doing one thing for your self-care can help boost productivity in the long run and help you feel more fulfilled with your chosen career path. Here are some great self-care habits to develop while you run your empire.
1. Nourish your body with good fuel
Having the energy and stamina to run a business starts with fueling your body with healthy food, rest and exercise. Self-employed people often stay up late and burn the midnight oil making their dreams a reality. This propensity for overwork can lead to eating whatever is available and making food choices that don’t nourish your body. Even if you’re not ready to give up late nights and long hours, focusing on a balanced diet will be the difference. A solution for this may be a meal delivery service that portions the ingredients of various meals or a service that allows you to heat and eat. Hydrating your body is just as important, so keep a jug of water at your desk!
2. Make sleep a priority
As we mentioned, entrepreneurs are famous for preceding sleep in favor of idea creation and business building. Having a consistent bedtime and a sleep schedule will ultimately boost productivity, allow for more spaciousness in mind for creativity and benefit overall health. The CDC has said that 1 in 3 adults do not get enough sleep a night. The average adult should make 7 hours sleep a night a common goal. Getting rest sounds like the obvious thing to do, yet so many entrepreneurs cannot switch off. The mentality of “just one more email” or “hustle-mode” can often mean that rest is compromised. Once you develop a regular sleep cycle, you also know how much sleep you need. Resting isn’t at all difficult — it’s giving ourselves the permission to rest that is difficult.
3. Set firm business boundaries
When building your business, you may be tempted to take calls at all hours of the day, answer emails immediately, and be consistently available, especially for your clients and team. However, having no boundaries can mean interrupted sleep patterns, fatigue and poor choices in nutrition. And the next thing you know, burnout is knocking on your door.
There is a belief amongst those who are not entrepreneurs that you make your own rules in business and you can do what you want, set your own time and freedom. While there is some truth to that statement, businesses and entrepreneurs build these businesses to serve their clients’ needs or solve problems. Communicating your set working hours to clients and that you are “available for calls” is an essential cornerstone for your success. One tip that has been helpful for me is putting my response times in my email signature.
4. Take regular breaks
You may have noticed a theme with these self-care tips: it is a simple fact that entrepreneurs tend to overwork themselves. Even if you have to force yourself away from your work, make it a priority to take small breaks when possible, even if it’s just to sit outside and enjoy a nice day. The pattern interrupts you from being in front of a screen, thinking about a process, solving a problem or expending energy on a call is a recharge.
5. Outsource tasks
A large part of self-care is knowing when to say “no” and knowing what work is better delegated to others. We can have a set way of wanting to do things and expectations of how they should be. But the more you allow yourself to reflect on your zone, the more you can bring to the table.
What is self-care today?
The definition of self-care is constantly in flux. At one time, it conjured visions of cucumbers over the eyes and bubble baths. Today, however, self-care can include any action that helps a person refocus, rest and recharge. Activities such as yoga, meditation, athletics, artistic pursuits and even time out with friends could be included under the self-care banner.
Self-care has been a buzzword recently, but that does not denigrate its importance, especially for entrepreneurs. Building and scaling a business is a formidable challenge. Those well-rested, well-nourished and focused on the importance of wellness are well suited to face that challenge head-on.
Cc: Ginni Saraswati