As an entrepreneur, what does your typical day look like? Chances are you put a lot of time and energy into making your clients happy. That’s the foundation of a successful business, right? But where do you fit in that all important ‘me time’?
It’s time to put others on the back-burner and make self-care a priority.
For many Boss Babes, our time is spent putting others first. We want to ensure that our customers have an enjoyable experience, or that our clients are reaching their goals. There are few things better than knowing that you have helped someone to achieve something they never thought they could. But when this becomes habit, and our own needs become almost secondary, how can we overcome the feeling of absolute burnout?
Imagine you had a headache, that started to get worse, and gave you a stuffy nose and sore throat. Chances are you’d stock up on an over the counter cold and flu remedy and hit it head on. Yet when it comes to mental and emotional illness or exhaustion, we are expected to ‘suck it up’ and carry on. Running a business can often leave us feeling overworked and emotionally drained, and it isn’t always easy to make ourselves a priority.
So What is Self-Care?
In a nutshell, self-care is the act of treating yourself with the same kindness you would others. It is identifying your own needs and taking care of yourself. Unfortunately, it can often be seen as selfish and egotistical to put oneself first, but it really is necessary if you want to maintain your mental and physical health.
Only by helping ourselves can we truly help others.
It is important to treat yourself as a valuable and deserving person, so that you can be in the best position to focus on your business. If you allow yourself to spiral into exhaustion, how can you expect to do anything to the best of your ability?
Coping Strategies & Self-Care Techniques
Over the years, I have developed a number of ways to ensure that I can stay on top form. I live with a personality disorder, meaning that the stress, anxiety and exhaustion hits me particularly hard. Having learnt to make self-care a priority in my day to day life, I am now happy to share advice and techniques with my business partners and other people I work with.
The first thing you should do is step back and take some time away from your work. This is a hard habit to create, and it can take some time to become completely comfortable with taking time out, but it is perhaps the most important step when it comes to self-care. Try writing up a new schedule for yourself and including regular break periods as a starting point. When you get used to taking time for yourself, you can try some of the following..
Make Time for Your Social Life
Get away from your work and see your friends or family. Go for a coffee or lunch, or take a nice, long walk. Being connected to other people is likely to make you feel happy and self-confident, putting you in a great position to achieve more.
This is a very personal one, as different things will make different people feel relaxed. Personally I like to take a hot bath and watch a film, play with my pets or go for a walk. Meditation is a fantastic way to clear your mind and leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. If you have never practised meditation before, you can find various guided meditation audios online.
Find a Hobby
Your hobby should be something you enjoy that is unrelated to your work. If you ask the majority of people if they have any hobbies, the answer is ‘no’. Engaging in activities that you enjoy can really help you to wind down and shift your mindset. A hobby could be something as simple as drawing or knitting, or you could try out something bigger, such as learning a new sport.
Go for a walk in the countryside, or take a picnic to the park. Spending time outdoors can drastically improve your mood. Ecotherapy is a collection of activities and treatment programmes that aim to improve health with outdoor experiences.
Physical exercise causes the body to release endorphins, making you feel happy and leaving you feeling great. You should make an effort to get moving every day; even if it is just a brisk walk or a set of jumping jacks.
Always remember to warm up before, and stretch out after, any exercise.
So now we know the importance of taking time out for self-care, and some of the ways we can do this, it’s time to put it all into practise. Do you have any self-care techniques that work well for you? Why not share them with us? Let’s help each other to help ourselves.