While I was a bit overcooked in the evening working through some mail, checking a landing page and trying to write a complete blog post, I received an email with: "Here are nine self-care tips for entrepreneurs" . That was quite a reality check, because I've been 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'm quaking so I haven't been in the water with a board in weeks, sleeping is also bad and I don't really know what meditation is anymore.
It's high time for good old 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 to 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. That results in encouraging meditation, travelling, relaxing and emphasizing your emotions and healthy relationships.
The 10 Selfcare tips for way too busy entrepreneurs
🧡 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 that an average adult should be getting about 150 minutes of exercise per week? It sounds like a lot, but if you divide it into blocks of 20 minutes, it should work. Walk the dog, go for a jog, do a round of strength exercises with your own body weight or try to plank for an extra minute 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
Lack of sleep contributes to a reduced focus, it makes you indecisive and it hinders creativity. Build an evening routine that promotes better sleep habits. Don't check your cell phone before going to sleep, read a few pages in a (real) book and go to bed at about the same time every night. Eight hours of sleep 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 who you ask, but let's put it this way: 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're having a stressful time.
Therefore, plan ahead to avoid bad choices. Prepare healthy snacks and meals for the week, portioned in the fridge. When in doubt, opt for fruits and vegetables. And don't forget to hydrate.
🧡 Self-care tip 5 - Seek 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 get annoyed with your colleague, but you also don't meet anyone at the coffee corner. Therefore, schedule some human interaction, even if you are busy. Have a cup of coffee with someone in that nice lunch spot around the corner, or walk around with a fellow entrepreneur. If meeting offline is not easy, a telephone call, FaceTime or Zoom call with friends is also fine!
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 - Go 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 could almost get a dog for it :-) Do you have a balcony? Get some 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 correct height of your desk. Also make sure there is sufficient light and ventilation. But also make it cozy and really a place of yours, 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 houseplants can have a very positive effect 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 up those streamers and throw your own party (and share it on SYSO Insiders or SYSO VIP ). It is 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 achieve them.
🧡 Self-care tip 9 - Stay mentally strong
Researchers think that entrepreneurs are more susceptible to mood swings, depression and loss of motivation. So take regular time to reflect on your mood, maintain healthy relationships, and practice good self-care, such as regular exercise and adequate sleep. Always seek help from a professional if you feel that 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. Looking at someone else really doesn't make you any more creative... Social media is definitely a great place to connect with people all over the world and you're sure to find a bottomless pit of inspiration. But it is also a place where it is far too easy to compare your own life/company with that of someone else. If you first looked at a competitor once in a while, 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 feeling of freedom and creativity!
So, how do you stay healthy and happy as a busy entrepreneur?
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Source: Shopify blog