The majority of entrepreneurs tend to be absolutely awful at taking care of themselves. We seem to just have this urge to put our business first - and I completely get why! However, if we spent just a bit more time on self care, our bodies would probably work better for us and we would be much more productive (ultimately getting more done!).
Even during the most hectic times, you need to take care of yourself. If not, you will sooner learn this the hard way.
I went through a time in my life during A-Levels at school and I was so stressed and worked myself into the ground. Every minute I had, I was revising. I actually became very ill off this and a few years later got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is no definite that my stress caused it, but it seems pretty likely.
I have now learnt the importance of taking care of myself and I want you all to do the same so you hopefully don't end up in the same position I am in right now - determined to overcome a chronic illness which has no cure or medicine.
Try these self care strategies if you aren't sure where to even begin...
Spending time with your own thoughts really helps you start to understand yourself more. It's like a form of meditation to me... I switch off all devices and spend 10 minutes focusing on how I feel and by the end of it, I feel 1000 times better.
2. Say No Sometimes
Don't try and fit so much into your schedule that you don't even get time to stop for lunch. Saying no to protect your health is completely ok and most people will understand. Don't get so stressed about the idea of saying no to a commitment.
This is all about prioritizing! By saying no, you are giving yourself more energy and time to spend on things that matter more.
3. Become More Aware Of What You Eat
A form of self care could be making sure you have allowed enough time in your day to cook a good, nutritious meal instead of quick and easy junk food. By eating healthy, your energy levels will be higher and it will likely boost your mood!
4. Don't Neglect Sleep
Never underestimate the importance of a good sleep. Make sure you set aside however much time you need by completely planning it into your day. Have a set bedtime and wake up time just like you did when you were a child... It really will start to pay off!
Not only will the routine help you fall asleep easier, you are going to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day instead of slowly dragging yourself to the kitchen for a coffee.
The chances are, you probably spend a lot of your day hunched over a desk or on your laptop. This isn't very good for our bodies... Spending at least 15 minutes a day doing a quick yoga flow protects your muscles, improves your posture and refreshes you.
My favorite is Yoga by Adrienne on Youtube or I love to attend a Hot Yoga class when I have more time. If you don't have a yoga mat, that doesn't matter! Just put a blanket down and try and do some light stretching.
6. Be Social
It's important to get out the house and actually talk to people sometimes. It can be easy to spend all day every day behind your laptop screen without having in person human interaction.
I find that a coffee with one of the girls is one of the best ways for me to switch off and talk about anything and everything. I forget my work for a minute and it's a very refreshing feeling.
7. Get Outside
Even if it's just into your garden, it's better than being cooped up all day. Firstly, the change in environment will have you feeling regenerated. Secondly, the vitamin D from the sunshine will do you the world of good.
Find a local park or somewhere quiet and pretty to walk. Try not to check your phone or even put headphones in and just enjoy your surroundings. Take in the sounds, views and smells.
8. Treat Yourself
It's easy to get to a place where all you really care about is your business and every spare penny is re-invested. It's not a bad thing to be doing that - it will certainly help business growth! However, when was the last time you bought yourself a treat?
It might be as simple as treating yourself to your favorite takeaway or a little more pricey and going on a weekend away. It's important to treat yourself for all your hard work because you deserve it.
9. Get Dressed In The Morning
Sounds so simple right?! A lot of us work from home so it can be easy to spend the day in sweatpants or PJs... Trust me, I do it too! However, when I take the time to wash my hair, put on a little makeup and my favorite trousers, I work so much better throughout the day.
The chances are you will be even more keen to get out the house too! No more avoiding those last minute meetings because you can't be bothered to get changed!
10. Ask For Help
If there is just too much going on, ask for a helping hand. Whether you outsource or delegate or even just ask your partner if they could cook tonight for you because you've got a lot on today. The chances are that they won't mind at all!
This will just take some of the stress and pressure from you.