Busy entrepreneurs have mastered the “operate on little sleep” and ignore self-care notion. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to start your own business, this is an accurate portrait: awake at 3:00 am making tweaks to an existing product or gearing up for a launch, can’t remember the last thing you ate (or if you ate at all), text messages from family are piling up and you canceled your personal training session because who has time for that? Simply put: in the midst of nurturing your own business, nurturing yourself goes out the window.
And that’s the reality for nearly every new business owner in the early stages of building a company while also working a full-time day job. You cram every waking moment into working and the limited time you have left is for your personal life: rest, fun, family and self-care. Here’s the truth: it should be the other way around.
You’re not giving your business your best self if you don’t make physical health and mental health a priority through a daily routine. Many studies have proven that prioritizing physical health (diet of good-for-you foods and exercise) can lead to improved mental health (decreased depression and stress levels). And good mental health leads to increased productivity and more creative thinking. Bottom line? A work-life balance and self-care routine is crucial for busy entrepreneurs.
Why Self-Care is Important
We know self-care is important and yet it’s the first thing that gets overlooked. When there’s so much to do, you can’t take a break, right? Author and sociologist Brene Brown said, “it takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” Check in time: When was the last time you did something simply to relax and make time for your well-being? It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you’re too busy to take care of yourself but you can’t pour from an empty cup! Set aside the to-do list for now and take some notes. Here are concrete reasons why you need to practice self-care.
Self-care can help you manage stress
A little stress is ok, a lot is not. If you subject yourself (and your body) to years of stressful living, it starts to take a real toll. Your body and your mind can start to break down, which can result in long-term illness or disease. Self-care helps you to be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to handle the demands of a small business.
Self-care helps you focus
Successful people know that self-care is the key to more productivity, and not less. Taking adequate breaks helps you come back to your work with a renewed focus, a clear head and positive energy.
Self-care can prevent burnout
Entrepreneurship can be hard. And burnout is very real. If you don’t allow yourself any downtime, decision making becomes impossible, you can feel frozen and unable to accomplish anything. How is that helpful to the business you’re trying to build? Just say no to burnout.
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. Invest in future you (and ultimately your business) by finding ways to be kind to yourself on a daily basis. The cost of not taking care of yourself is much greater in the long run if you don’t. We put together 8 self-care tips for busy entrepreneurs that can be added into your schedule ASAP. Pro tip: these are non-negotiables.
1. Add “me time” into your daily routine
The only “rule” for me time is that it can’t be about work. Doing any kind of work during this time is a strict no-no. Whether you prefer journaling, meditating or listening to a podcast, find moments in your everyday where you can quiet your mind and check in with yourself.
Feeling Fab has the tools to take care of yourself and build your own daily me-time routines and rituals. Each monthly subscription sends the best of self-care products, wellness and mindfulness tools, along with journaling exercises and guides to a top-notch self-care practice.
3. Nourish your body
Eating healthy and maintaining consistent physical exercise can help you maintain your energy, boost your mood, stay focused and be more productive. Your food choices have a direct impact on cognitive performance so it’s imperative you choose wisely. High carb foods release too much glucose resulting in the afternoon “crashes” right before you’ve hit peak productivity. And high fat foods reduce oxygen in your brain and zap energy.
4. Find ways to unwind every day
The tendency for busy entrepreneurs (especially female entrepreneurs) is to be everything for everyone, and to squeeze more into each day. But the best way to boost productivity is to find ways to unwind every day. By giving yourself time to unplug, you can decompress and reconnect with family and your own thoughts and feelings. You’ll return to work rejuvenated and ready to tackle the pressures of being a business owner.
The Go Love Yourself Box can help you make this a priority every month. Delivering a book on personal growth and 3-5 self-care items to help you relax, you’ll be able to connect with yourself and bring more happiness into your life.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can cause long-term sickness and disease, prohibiting performance and your ability to carry on in all parts of your life. MindWander is the antidote. Featuring a useful skill, like improving sleep or decreasing stress, each box includes a workbook and therapist-curated lifestyle items like luxury candles, skin and body car products, accessories, jewelry and more to help reinforce relaxation as a vital life skill. In turn this promotes physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.
6. Seek human interaction
Being an entrepreneur in the always on, 24/7 connected world means you’re often isolated and away from human interaction for long stretches of time. And guess what? Loneliness can take a psychological toll and even contribute to health issues. Take a proactive approach to getting facetime with Maven Bliss, a bi-monthly subscription box helping badass career women achieve work-life balance through quality self-care products and an online community where you can share and discuss topics you can all relate to – and maybe even make a new friend for coffee shop meetups!
Sparkle Hustle Grow
7. Get outside
The best part of being an entrepreneur is that you make your own rules. And when you’ve been inside for far too long, it’s time to step outside for sunshine and vitamin D. And, according to Eva M. Selhub, Harvard professor and author, nature ‘turns off the stress response which means you have lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure and improved immune response.’ Don’t think about it and just get outside, your body will thank you!
8. Love your workspace
Have you been intentional on how your workspace is designed? You’ll be spending a lot of time there as you get your business off the ground. Be mindful of whether the space makes you happy and inspired. If you need an extra boost to love your workspace and encouragement to go after your goals, Sparkle Hustle Grow is your new best friend. Each box delivers specially curated books, training tools, tech gadgets, office supplies and connection to a like-minded community that sends extra incentive to focus on your business.
If you’re the kind of person who would benefit most by having a life coach right at their fingertips, CoachCrate has you covered. This monthly subscription box is a one-stop-shop to your best self. You’ll get exclusive online coaching session, along with 3-6 productivity, relaxation, growth and wellness items. If you’ve always wanted inspiration to get out of your comfort zone, this is the perfect companion to take your self-care practice to the next level.