As an entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly heard the buzzwords: “self-care” and “’me’ time.”
By now, you probably know you need them, in order to live a happy and balanced life.
But you also know that creating the type of personal freedom you crave requires hard work.
You may be wondering how to get everything done and fit in self-care and ‘me’ time.
I have good news: hard work and self-care do not have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, creating the time and space for self-care is critical if you want to achieve your biggest goals … and enjoy the journey along the way!
What IS Self-Care, Exactly?
“Self-care” describes any actions you take to identify and meet your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Why Is Self-Care So Important?
Research from the British Psychological Society confirms that we don’t make good decisions when we’re burned out. Yet ambitious, goal-driven people often push right on through the overwhelm, even when they are really stressed.
And let’s face it: most entrepreneurs are stressed, to some degree.
Let’s take a quick look at some numbers:
A recent survey by The Alternative Board found that:
- 19% of small businesses owners work 60 or more hours each week,
- 30% work 50-59 hours, and
- 33% work 40-49 hours.
In other words, more than 80% of business owners work MORE than full-time.
AND, 79% of survey respondents said they are working too much.
Are there consequences to this kind of overwork?
According to this survey, yes. About three-quarters of respondents reported experiencing business-related stress manifesting as impatience, insomnia, forgetfulness, mood swings, restlessness, boredom, and temper outbursts.
Clearly, your stress level impacts how well you’re able to do your job—to serve the people you’re passionate about serving.
If you’re stressed, you can’t effectively serve your clients, you can’t effectively attract new prospects, and you can’t convert any sales.
But when you take care of yourself, you’re able to better serve and take care of those around you.
So, if entrepreneurs are already spending too much time working, how can they possibly fit in self-care?
The first step: make it a priority.
You ARE your business. You can’t afford to be less than your best, or to let yourself go.
In fact, I want you to consider recharging an entrepreneurial essential!
There IS a way to run a business you love, and enjoy all the time for self-care you desire. It’s called structure.
Structure gives you the ability to be successful and to take care of yourself, and it’s as important in your personal life as it is in your business.
If your days are already full and you’re not doing any self-care now, the idea of adding something to your schedule may feel daunting.
It’s okay to start small (you don’t have to drop everything and run off to Tahiti!).
Maybe you set aside 30 minutes of self-care each day, right when you wake up or just before you go to bed. Or, you may opt for an hour of ‘me’ time every weekend.
Start small, and see what works for you. The key is to start.Structure gives you the ability to be successful and to take care of yourself. Click To Tweet
Uncertain of what self-care may actually look like for you? Keep reading …
Get enough sleep. Many of us skimp on sleep, telling ourselves we have too much to do. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says sleep helps your brain work properly and enhances your creativity as well as your problem-solving and decision-making skills—all of which are essential to your business success! Lack of sleep can make you feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel depressed, or lack motivation.
Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy is good for your physical health, and it can increase your productivity, according to a study by the Population Health Management. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals have been associated with a lower risk of depression and stress.
Exercise. Innumerable studies have shown exercise reduces stress, clears your mind, and keeps you fit and healthy. Go for walks, practice yoga, jog, hit the gym … find something that feels GOOD, and do it!
Treat yourself. Whether you love massages or a glass of wine, you should treat yourself regularly.
Take breaks. Stand up after being at the computer for a while. Set a timer, and when it goes off, take a little stroll to clear your mind and stretch your body.
Spend time enjoying hobbies. Read, visit museums, take photos … whatever tickles your fancy!
In the end, it comes down to making your own rules. Which of these items is at the top of your self-care list?
When you incorporate self-care into your routine, you can perform more effectively at work by better serving your clients, attracting new ones, and making more sales.
You’ll also be more productive, happier and less stressed.
So remember, self-care is more than just a buzzword; it’s an entrepreneurial necessity!
P.S. If you’re not sure how to fit self-care or me time into your daily routine, check out these fantastic apps that help you incorporate it, every day.