You are a hard working entrepreneur. Wait… lemme clarify… you’re one of the hardest working, entrepreneurs out there, and you chose this entrepreneur lifestyle so you could have more time freedom to be with family, raise kids, and create wealth for your future.
If you’d known you’d be laying in bed with your never ending TO DO list running through your head robbing you of sleep, or that on some nights (or let’s be honest, almost all nights) you’d be working until 11pm or later you’d have chosen this life?
If you understood in advance that once you get one launch done, you’re right into the next one, or learning something new, or trying to find time to find someone to help you with your website/admin/social media/payment portal, would you said YES to this life?
I didn’t choose to be an entrepreneur, it chose me. Or if you look at it another way, a set of events were put in motion that created the perfect situation where I became an entrepreneur. And here I am, loving what I do and I would never go back.
In my “day job” I worked a set amount of hours, had 2 days off a week, a few weeks of vacation per year and if I was really good… maybe a Christmas bonus 😊. I could spend evenings and my days off doing whatever I wanted, and could easily shut my mind off from my work.
After I left my corporate job almost 5 years ago and started working online, days off became difficult, time off in general was a challenge and my brain… well it never shuts off. Like Ever. Part of that is my own fault, I love what I do and I have trouble switching off, but what I have learned is that I need to set boundaries and invest in my own self care. Pronto.
You simply cannot go on all cylinders, all the time and expect to be at your very best. Your ‘fuel tank’ needs to be replenished consistently so you can keep on keeping on. When you don’t you’ll find that you’re burnt out, tired, angry, indifferent, resentful and upset that you get no “you” time. You’ll also find you get sick easier, lose your patience with your family and friends more and will actually turn away great business opportunities because you’re “just not up for it”
Self care is tied directly to success. If you take care of your needs, you can take care of the needs of your business. It’s that simple.
From some hard-earned experience, my favourite list of self care for success must do’s.
“Me time” and “We Time” is a must. Schedule it in.
Turning off your work brain and really spending some quality time with yourself or your significant other every day is non-negotiable. You need that time to recharge your batteries. It can just be an hour or two at the end of the night that you spend with your significant other, or taking a long lunch between client calls to read that awesome new crime drama book you saw at Chapters last week. It might be a long bath with some essential oils before bed, or going for a walk out in nature.
Taking time to do something that is totally non work related is giving your body and brain some down time, and trust me it needs it.
Boundaries!! You gotta have them
By the way, this also includes TURNING OFF THE PHONE/staying away from the computer for set periods of time.
One of our good friends has invested in a second phone, her first phone is her “work” phone, and it has her work email, Facebook, and all her client contacts on it which is constantly going off, and another phone that is JUST for family and close friends, that has no email on it, no Facebook or twitter. On Friday’s she puts the work phone in a drawer and doesn’t touch it again until Monday morning when she’s “back to work” She’s effectively set some serious “Me Time” boundaries and she shouts from the rooftops how much it’s helped her.
Try closing the office door at the end of the day, putting an email autoresponder that says you will respond on Monday, and step away from Facebook for the evening or the weekend!
Night night, sleep tight!
Want to guess my next tip? Yup, it’s sleep. We need on average 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow our bodies to repair cells, process what we’ve learned and rest the body. For years I averaged about 5 hours a night, maybe 4 hours at times, and it was BADLY disjointed and fragmented sleep. I would stay up late because… ummm I’m an adult and I have no bed time thank you very much… and wake up at odd times, unable to get back to sleep. You probably already know that lack of sleep can cause depression, weight gain, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a nasty list of other issues.
You really need to get more sleep to be the entrepreneurial baller you want to be. Sleep is now sacred to my self care routine and I ensure that I get at least 7 hours every night. If I get a bit less, I will even indulge in a 30 minute nap during the day to feel refreshed.
Nourish your body with food and water
It’s easy to forget to eat when you’re 3 days out from your big launch, or have a big project due and you just need to keep on going. I can easily skip breakfast and not eat until 2 or 3 in the afternoon… by then I’m ravenous and I will often choose something carb-heavy because of my cravings and a late dinner that I should have skipped. It’s a bad habit.
Your body is a machine, yes you are a friendly terminator, living tissue over a hard working machine. And if you give it the wrong fuel, it’s going to let you know. Eat too late? You might get stomach upset and bad dreams (or is that just me?) Drink too little and you begin to get brain fog.
Here’s what to do. Fuel your body with healthy foods and lots of water for it work optimally. Eat frequently to keep your body’s blood sugar levels stable and limit the amount of processed and sugary foods that will cause you have cravings and cause dips in your productivity.
When you treat your body like a high calibre machine that needs quality fuel to run efficiently, you start making different fuel choices.
Move your body every day!
You spend hours in front of your computer, sitting at a desk or hunched over while working from the couch (again… me!) which puts strain on our necks, backs, arms etc. It also can impede things like circulation. Moving your body in a way that feels good to you helps refresh your mind, it keeps you limber and the mind blowing thing is moving your body helps fuel your creativity.
You’ve heard people say, “I was out walking when I had this amazing idea”, or “I was working in the garden when BOOM! The idea came to me” It’s not a fluke, there’s science to back it up.
I use my Apple watch to help me move every day. It tells me if I’ve been sitting too long and it has these cool tracking rings that I have right on my watch face that tell me if I’ve burned enough calories, stood enough or worked out enough each day. I actually WANT to get all 12 stands, 30 minutes of exercise and 800 calories burned each day. I get bummed out when I missed the mark. It’s meant that I move more now than I did in the first few years and it’s having a very positive impact on my ability to help our clients. There is for sure a correlation.
Spend time with the amazing people in your life
Don’t you ever feel isolated spending hours and hours on your business? You might have a support network, an understanding spouse but at times, this job can feel really lonely.
We almost feel guilty stepping away from the computer and having lunch with a friend, or not checking email for an hour as we spend time with someone other than your clients.
Your business will actually improve for having some face to face time with friends and family and it should be part of your self care for success routine! This again goes right back to your body being a machine needing the right fuel. Time with your friends and family fills up your compassion/happiness fuel tank and it keeps you from feeling resentful for what you’re trying to build.
The struggle to juggle self care and work is real, try incorporating a few of these suggestions and you WILL see an improvement in your ability to take care of business, to be more successful, and be a happier entrepreneur!
What did you like about this post? What are your self care routines? Comment below, and also consider sharing with others!
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