3 Self-Care Tips For Busy Entrepreneurs
As a business owner, you probably feel like you can never take time off. Your wealth is directly tied to the success of your business. Unlike an employee, each minute of your effort could, theoretically, grow your business, your success, and your wallet.
Every business owner, however, has a body, a mind, and a spirit that all need relaxation and nourishment. The hardest worker on the planet can’t survive without food, and the most driven entrepreneur will make mistakes without sleep. If you want to succeed in the long-term, you need to take care of yourself.
Self-care sounds simple enough, but it’s not as easy as refueling after keeping your pedal to the metal all day. Self-care means truly caring for your well-being as you would another person. Your business is inevitably going to compete for your attention, so you need strategies that’ll keep your mental health front and center. We’re sharing three self-care tips that’ll make this challenge a little easier to surmount.
Find the self-care tips that work for you
Any article on self-care has to begin with the self. Some self-care tips will change your life; some will leave you stone cold. Your friend might swear by meditation when it only makes you restless. Twitter might be full of people recommending spa days even though they make you bored. Instead of following trends, find the self-care activities that build you up.
Self-care is time to put yourself first. Not in a selfish way, but to build the foundation on which you can sustainably build your business and maintain your relationships with other people. The world needs your best self.
Self-care has to happen in and outside the workplace. There will be times when work is unavoidably and justifiably stressful. If a quarter is ending or a product isn’t succeeding or you need to ask your employees tough questions, you’ll most likely be stressed. The key is managing it and making sure it doesn’t consume you.
Entrepreneurs also have to get used to facing hard truths. Your stress isn’t coming from nowhere, and you can’t always treat it with relaxation. If you’re in the extremely competitive consumer tech space, for instance, your stress might come from a deficient sales model. A vacation might work well in the short-term, but in the long-term, it might be better to build a more sustainable growth engine.
Don’t think of self-care as the solution. It’s the foundation for developing good habits and building long-term strategies.
If you can’t put yourself first, you could quickly burn out, lose your motivation to grow your business, and abandon all the people you wanted to help. In this article, we’re sharing three important self-care tips specifically for entrepreneurs. Consider this your permission to take a break.
1. Adopt a daily self-care ritual
Are you so busy that you can’t take a break on a daily basis? If so, you’re definitely too busy.
What are some of your favorite ways to unwind? Do you like curling up with a book? Do you enjoy yoga? Does active exercise help you decompress?
Regardless of what you enjoy, you need to do it every day, at least for half an hour. If you don’t currently feel like you have space to indulge in “me time,” then you must adjust your schedule to make it a priority.
Discipline is better than motivation. Just like you sit down in your chair every day to get work done, ensure your self-care habits have the same structure and regularity. You wouldn’t skip an email from your client, so don’t skip self-care. Self-care should become so essential to your daily routine that skipping it would feel as unthinkable as skipping your morning coffee.
2. Learn how to say “No”
As a business owner, you’re used to going “above and beyond” for your customers and your employees.
Sometimes, however, you need to set boundaries. There will always be occasions when you simply can’t help a person or when helping them would stretch you too thin. Sometimes, going “above and beyond” does more harm than good and will only cause people to take advantage of you. Practice saying “no” and don’t feel guilty about it. Soon, saying “no” will feel empowering, not limiting.
Saying “no” gives you power. It enables you to set priorities and pursue what’s most meaningful to your business. A CEO spending a whole day answering emails isn’t busy—they’re distracted. Saying “no” means saying “yes” to what’s most important.
If you feel too scattered on a daily basis, you should consider hiring an assistant or giving your current assistant more responsibility.
3. Nourish your body with food and sleep
Working hard might feel like progress, but being busy isn’t an end in itself. If your body or mind falls apart for the sake of work, you won’t be able to work at all.
When you’re busy, it’s tempting to fuel yourself with snacks or fast food. Despite that understandable desire, busy people, more than anyone else, should be taking the time to feed the body what it needs: fresh, whole foods. Your physical health warrants a pretty high spot on your to-do list.
If you don’t have time to prepare your own meals, you can invest in a meal delivery service or even set aside a day every week to prepare meals for the rest of the week.
Does a loved one in your household enjoy cooking? Ask that person if he or she will prepare meals for you while you pick up the slack on another household chore or duty.
Beyond food, your body also needs sleep to function. Decide that sleep is sacred and prepare your sleeping space accordingly. Aim for an undisturbed seven to eight hours or whatever you need to feel alert and refreshed. Keep sources of light and electronic devices out of your bedroom and set the temperature to whatever makes you comfortable.
If you can’t sleep through the night, consider speaking to your doctor. Sleep is your body’s automatic self-care ritual, so if you take one self-care tip from this article, it’s to make sure you listen to your body when it tells you what it needs.
By following these self-care tips, you’ll have the strength and energy to grow your business and be an effective leader.