While I was a bit tired in the evening working on some mail, checking a landing page and trying to write a complete blog post, I received an email saying: "Here are nine self-care tips for entrepreneurs" . That was quite a reality check, because I'm going through the last few months as if I'm working towards the end of time.
As I also read in the article, my back hurts, I have a serious shoulder injury that has forced me to cancel my surf lesson for the first time in ages, I don't sleep well and I haven't meditated in ages.
High time for self-care
What I have already done is put a red frame around the Christmas holidays, but that will take quite a while. It's time to start thinking about self-care - in other words: taking care of yourself.
What is self care?
Self-care is a term used in healthcare to be and stay healthy and to prevent illness. It includes basic needs such as sleep, nutrition and hydration and emotional needs such as social interaction.
As more and more studies have shown its importance, self-care has become a popular term in recent years. This results in encouraging meditation, traveling, relaxing and emphasizing your emotions and healthy relationships.
10 Self-care tips for overly busy entrepreneurs
In the article I read you will find 9 self-care tips and I would like to add another one myself. Below I will briefly discuss the tips and add my own findings. To read the full article, click through to: 9 Self-Care Strategies for Busy Entrepreneurs by Dayna Winter.
🧡 Self-care tip 1 - Breathe
Let's start with an easy one. Breathing happens naturally whether you think about it or not, right? But how do you breathe? Short, long, do you sometimes unconsciously hold your breath?
There are proven benefits to controlled and conscious breathing, including the prevention of stress. While shallow breathing contributes to anxiety, full abdominal breathing helps slow the heart and stabilize blood pressure. If you have trouble taking deep breaths, practice yoga or other exercises that focus on breathing until it comes naturally.
Here's a handy video from psychologist Najla who explains a breathing exercise against stress within 5 minutes.
Self-care tip 2 - Minimize stress by moving
Exercise is the first thing we as entrepreneurs leave behind when it's busy. But did you know an average adult should get about 150 minutes of exercise per week? It sounds like a lot, but if you break it down into 20 minute blocks, it should work. Walk the dog, go for a jog, a round of strength exercises with your own body weight or try planking for a minute longer every day.
In this video Marloes from Optima Vita explains how you can easily start with the plank.
Self-care tip 3 - Good quality sleep
Sleep deprivation contributes to reduced focus, makes you indecisive and hinders creativity. Build an evening routine that will improve your sleeping habits. No checking your cell phone before going to sleep, reading a few pages in a (real) book and going to bed at about the same time every night. Sleeping 8 hours is really the best, if you can't manage that, a good power nap of 10-30 minutes in between can sometimes really do wonders.
Self-care tip 4 - Eat well
But what is good food? It depends on who you ask, but let's just stop here: fast food alone hasn't made anyone super healthy. Plus, your food choices have a direct impact on your cognitive performance, so it's important to choose wisely. Especially if you are having a stressful time.
Therefore, plan ahead to avoid bad choices. Prepare healthy snacks and meals for the week, in portions in the refrigerator. When in doubt, choose fruits and vegetables. And don't forget to moisturize.
Self-care tip 5 - Find human interaction
Loneliness can take a psychological toll and even contribute to physical health problems. If you do business alone and at home, you can't annoy your colleague, but you also don't meet anyone at the coffee corner. So schedule some human interaction, even when you're busy. Have a cup of coffee with someone in that nice lunch place around the corner (if the weather is allowed), or go for a walk with a fellow entrepreneur. If it's not possible to make an appointment offline so quickly, a phone call, FaceTime or Zoom call with friends will also suffice!
Extra tip : Sign up anyway for our SYSO Insiders , a free place where you can meet other motivated entrepreneurs and be the first to know many great tips.
Self-care tip 6 - Get outside
What's the best thing about working for yourself? That you set the rules! Go outside if you can, take that walk, with or without someone else. You would almost get a dog for it :-) Do you have a balcony? Get some fresh air there and work with your laptop in those few rays of sunshine for some vitamin D. Fresh oxygen is sooo important.
Self-care tip 7 - Create a nice workplace for yourself
Your workplace is a space where you spend most of your waking hours. Make it nice around you, make sure you have a good office chair and the right height of your desk. Also make sure there is sufficient light and ventilation. But also make it cozy and really your place, because that contributes to the motivation for your work and the happiness you find in it. Small improvements such as a lick of paint or a few house plants can have a very positive influence on your mood.
Self-care tip 8 - Treat yourself
Reward yourself for your hard work, whether it's a face mask or your favorite (relatively healthy) takeaway. There may be no one else around to celebrate your small victories like launching your new shop or collection. But hang those streamers and have your own party. It's a principle that works for large companies that pamper employees to improve their motivation and performance. The same can also help you get through difficult times. Set goals, but don't forget to reward yourself when you reach them.
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Self-care tip 9 - Stay mentally strong
Researchers believe that entrepreneurs are more susceptible to mood swings, depression and loss of motivation. So regularly take a moment to reflect on your mood, maintain healthy relationships and practice good self-care, such as regular exercise and enough sleep. Always seek help from a professional if you feel you are not doing well.
Self-care tip 10 - Stop comparing yourself
Because... "Comparison is the thief of joy". So: unfollow ALL your competitors on social media, for example. You really don't get any more creative looking at someone else... I described it this way before: Social media is definitely a great place to connect with people all over the world and you will undoubtedly find a bottomless pit of inspiration. But it is also a place where it is far too easy for you to compare your own life/business with that of someone else. If you first looked once in a while at a competitor, if you start comparing content and likes and let this guide you, you become reactive and insecure. This is unhealthy for your mental health and can cause anxiety and depression. You often enter the competition without even realizing it. Get rid of it and discover a wonderful sense of freedom and creativity!
So, how do you stay healthy and happy as a busy entrepreneur?
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