Self-Care for the Busy Entrepreneur: Guest Post by Josée Perron
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For many, entrepreneurship is a dream. You get to set your own hours, decide from where you’ll work and only take on clients, projects and collaborators who align with what most feels right. But beware, it’s not all flexible schedules and dream client relationships!
If you own your own business and don’t make self-care a priority, then you might be putting yourself and your business at risk.
Taking the time the care for your personal wellbeing is just as important as making time to care for your clients, your processes and your bottom line.
Building a business that helps you be successful is great, but only if it doesn’t cost you your happiness and wellbeing.
Why prioritize self-care?
In life, whether you work for a company or have taken the leap to create your own business, you need to be taking care of yourself.
For you brave ladies who have managed to escape the confines of a 9-5 cubicle, this is even more true. As a business owner, it can be easy to put your wellness at the bottom of the massive list of things you need to do to get your business soaring.
Often times, we put more pressure on ourselves to flourish and to make our business a booming success, than a boss or company ever would.
But if you aren’t making your health a priority, then you are putting both yourself and your business at risk. Depression, burn out, loneliness and exhausting are just as real of reasons for a business to collapse as bankruptcy, bad marketing and failed collaborations.
Prioritizing self-care shouldn’t only be important to help you avoid a business failure. When you prioritize your wellbeing, you’ll also notice some great benefits for your business.
Improved productivity, reduced stress levels, better clarity and out of the box creativity are just some of the mega bonuses you’ll benefit from.
Doesn’t that seem worthwhile?
What is self-care?
Taking care of yourself can mean a million different things. The most obvious route of taking care of yourself is through physical health. This includes eating right, exercising, moving your body throughout the day and getting a good night’s sleep.
Although physical health is always very important and lies at the base of most health issues, for most entrepreneurs, the downfall of a healthy lifestyle is usually more related to mental or emotional health.
This includes things like making time for loved ones, making time to do things you love to do outside of your business (art, nature, a fun hobby, etc.), journaling or writing about what you’re feeling, having some downtime, practicing meditation or mindfulness and being grateful for what you have.
Basically, you need to be making some time to connect with yourself and make sure that you’re feeling happy and fulfilled in your business and personal life.
Caring for your physical health is at the base of the pyramid of basic human needs. If your physical needs aren’t being met, inevitably, you won’t feel good mentally or emotionally.
But even if you’re making physical self-care a priority, if you aren’t also making time to care for your mind, it can be what ends up destroying your entrepreneurial dreams.
Sadness, lacking motivation and focus, and just not being able to produce often arise because you haven’t been caring for your mind.
Do yourself and your business a favor and start making self-care a priority.
How to make time for self-care as a business owner
It can be easy to get caught up in all the client demands, financial struggles and dealing with administrative duties. But there are plenty of ways to easily incorporate some wellness rituals into your day. Here are a few easy tactics.
1 Morning wellness routine
For me, my morning routine is sacred. First thing in the morning is when I feel I have the most control of my time. And there’s nothing more beneficial than a positive, healthy kick start to the day.
That’s why I recommend creating a healthy morning ritual.
For me, this includes a half hour meditation first thing in the morning. I follow that with 15-20 minutes of yoga and breathing exercise. Then, I shower and make myself a tasty, energy filled breakfast to help me ease into my work tasks.
Your morning routine doesn’t have to look like this, but I do recommend that you set some type of morning habits to get you off on the right foot each day.
2 Write things down
This might seem obvious to most business owners who have been at it for a while, but for those who haven’t, this might be the simplest and best strategy to improve your mental health while you run your business.
Make sure to get yourself an agenda or scheduling system.
I didn’t start doing this until months into running my own projects. I’ve always been quite organized but in a rather disorganized way, and love having my own (oftentimes inefficient and unbeneficial) ways of doing things.
To plan and organize my days, I’d keep ridiculously huge lists of things I needed to do and meetings in my head, or written on bits of paper that I left all over the place.
Then, I was constantly stressed as I tried to remember everything. I put way too much unnecessary pressure on myself this way.
Use Google calendar, Outlook calendar or just go out and buy an agenda. Whatever you use, just make sure it works to help your brain not be solely in charge of remembering all the tiny details of things you need to do and appointments you’ve made.
4 Put health on the agenda
Now that you have this scheduling system, make sure you add mental and physical activities into each day. Incorporate them into your day’s schedule.
Block out time for your morning routine. Set time to go to the gym and see friends. Put these things on the agenda before the week even starts so that business activities are scheduled around your self-care routine.
5 Set boundaries
Don’t say yes to everything.
The beauty of being building your own business is that you decide what goes and what doesn’t. You decide the types of clients you’ll work with, until how late you’ll work and how much of yourself to give.
Be a good boss; treat yourself kindly.
Say no when you need to.
Building a successful business is great, but only if you do it while also maintaining a healthy and happy personal life.
Josee is a Yoga teacher, blogger