Owning and running a business can be a gargantuan endeavour with impressive workloads, particularly in early days when the new entrepreneur is often alone to run the show.
Sometimes, even after the business has taken off the ground and enjoyed growing success, the business owner continues to be very busy.
Though being busy is undeniably a source of pleasure for many entrepreneurs passionate about what they do, it comes with an obvious danger where not managed well: burn out.
Burn out is the enemy of a happy and successful entrepreneurial life.
Not only it makes us entrepreneurs miserable and unwell but it also rips us off our ability to think creatively, focus and perform well.
In two words, burn out is not a virtue.
No matter what you choose to do and how you choose to run your business, my advice would be to stay away from it.
Instead, aim at having a balanced life where self-care is cherished the same way business is.
I found that at the end of the day, it’s all about finding and developing the self-care habits that work for us.
But where to start?
And above all, what is self-care?
It’s simply the act of actively taking good care of our well-being as we go through life and doing business.
For instance, ensuring we get enough rest, allowing ourselves some me time on hectic days, going easy on ourselves emotionally speaking when things get tough, etc.
So, you may wonder what you could do to learn to self-care better?
Well, I came up with 10 entrepreneurial self-care ideas to get you started.
Let’s dive in.
1. Add Meditation Breaks To Your Work Schedule
Instead of meditating outside your work schedule, first thing in the morning for instance, integrate meditative breaks into your work day.
With great relaxing and focusing powers, meditation makes the perfect break for entrepreneurs.
2. Take Time for Lunch
Never underestimate the power of a good lunch. I know it’s easy to think lunch can wait but you’d be hard-pressed to find a GP who would recommend skipping or delaying lunch. Meals, in general, are very important to keep us healthy, energized and as a result sane. So, don’t mess with it!
Treat lunch as a king.
Seize this opportunity to be mindful and present, get to know people around you, appreciate the beauty around you, indulge in doing something you love or that makes you laugh, be curious, pay someone a compliment no matter how small, etc.
Turn lunch time into a gem of a time. Make it special.
3. Experiment with Your Work Environment Until You Find a Set Up That Makes You Super Happy
Nobody taught us to be entrepreneurs unless we were lucky enough to grow up in an entrepreneurial family . So, it’s easy to start our entrepreneurial life without any bearings in many regards and that include our work environment.
Sadly, environment can have a considerable impact on how we perform.
Some people need a tidy space to perform well and be happy while they work at their desk.
Others thrive in a messy creative environment.
Yet others love working at cafes or in office co-sharing environments.
What is your favourite work environment? What makes it a favourite? These are the questions I invite you to explore today.
I guess the idea is to seek out new experiences to find the optimal ones that make business life more enjoyable.
I strongly believe entrepreneurial happiness comes first in business because a business that’s led by an unhappy business owner may not enjoy the best lifespan.
Take great care of yourself as an entrepreneur.
The business owner is also entitled, as a human being, some play and fun time. This play and fun time is super important to keep them going and doing their best entrepreneurial work.
4. Start a Creative Hobby
Creative activities are known to have a positive impact on us.
Be brave and take the step to start something creative and new today.
Challenge yourself just because you can.
When we dare stepping out of our comfort zone, good things follow sometimes.
What to pick? Let’s see… knitting, drawing, doodling, graphic design, mobile photography, dancing, acting, writing, wood work, craft, interior design….Shall I continue? I’m sure you get the picture. The sky is the limit.
The idea is to slot in some time for new creative experiences in your weekly schedule.
Before you know it, you might feel that smile coming back again.
The body needs movement.
It can be so easy to end up behind the computer for hours just because we love what we do. Though this brings instant satisfaction to the mind, it doesn’t keep the body healthy.
Take a break to move your body. It doesn’t matter what you do but get active.
Get chores done if you work from home, take a walk, explore an area you’ve never been to before, go to a gym class, yoga, stretch, go and grab yourself a coffee at your local coffee shop, go and introduce yourself to another fellow business owner if you work in an office co-sharing space, etc.
At the end of the day we only have one head and two hands.
We need to learn to seek help, i.e get someone else to do it for us.
I can imagine this doesn’t always come easy. This said, I think it is definitelly possible.
Delegation can relieve us from burn-out or loosing out in business.
I think it can also be of great strategic value when, for instance, a start-up owner hires a Head of Sales and Head of Marketing from day 1.
Either way, it gives the entrepreneur and their business wings to fly.
Whether you go for strategic or pure relief, delegating can push your business forward I think.
7. Improve Self-Awareness and Self-Knowledge for Greater Entrepreneurial Wellbeing
I love thinking of self-awareness and self-knowledge as two golden life skills.
These are all skills that can take you far in life.
They can take you far in life because they allow you to navigate the subtleties and intricacies of life more tactfully and healthily.
Let me explain.
Stress addressed early is much better than stress addressed late.
Stress addressed late may have become burn out or illness. It’s that simple.
To be able to address it early though, we need to be able to read our body well. This, in turn, requires that we have a certain degree of self-awareness.
This is why it is important to work on ourselves to improve our self-awareness.
Good self-awareness facilitates entrepreneurial wellbeing.
Self-awareness can help further.
Entrepreneurial life is not a smooth sea to sail and is bound to bring up an array of toxic emotions such as fear, insecurity and anger. With good self-awareness, we can more easily spot when these emotions arise and we can promptly take action to respond back.
Fear is a great example of toxic emotion. It can either serve or sabotage us depending on our level of self-awareness and self-knowledge.
Something I am yet to try that I think could help us improve self-awareness and self-knowledge is entrepreneurial journaling.
8. Start an Entrepreneurial Journal
Journaling about the emotional side of our entrepreneurial life could help, I think, improve self-knowledge and, as a result, the quality of our future business life.
We can get so stuck in tasks, as business happens everyday, and forget to take a step back and allow ourselves to feel the journey, journey that tries to point us in the right direction if only we listen to our internal diary.
Try it out. Block 20mns at the end of each work day for journaling and see how it goes.
I am yet to apply journaling to entrepreneurial life. This said, I have tasted the benefits of journaling in the past, meaning as when applied to other areas of life. So, I know it can help.
9. Have a Hobby
Hobbies play an important part in regulating emotional life and it ties right back into health.
A hobby makes for the perfect opportunity to take a break from regular life (work and family).
Not to mention that it can bring you more knowledge and offer great social time.
So, stop being a workaholic and go and have a life outside business.
10. Get Social
We, entrepreneurs, are before anything human beings.
This means we need to interact with other humans.
And no, this does not mean social media.
I’m talking interacting with people face-to-face. Getting some real human contact.
Go have a pint, meet up with friends at your local coffee shop, spend time with other business owners you can share your entrepreneurial experiences with, join a book club or knitting club, help out others with tasks or causes that are dear to you, join a martial art class, start a side project with friends. Do something.
Get out there and talk to other people.
I know this may sound cliche but don’t underestimate how important this cliche is for entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs run their business alone, on the go or from home. Certain entrepreneurial professions like creative professsions can be very lonely.
So, cliche sometimes can be wisdom.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time and don’t forget to take great care of yourself!