As an entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly heard the buzzwords: “self-care” and “’me’ time.” And during these uncertain times, as you diligently work to evolve your current business or generate another revenue stream, you probably need to hear these words and apply them to your life now more than ever.
So how can you create this type of personal freedom during all of the chaos that goes with operating a business under pressure? You may be wondering how to get everything done and fit in self-care and ‘me’ time.
Well, it may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
And, I have good news: focused 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 current goals… and learn valuable insights 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 usually stressed to begin with. And most especially now.
Let’s take a quick look at some baseline numbers:
A 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’ll have a hard time inspiring 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—even now.
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 sustain a business you care deeply for, and make time for self-care, all while working remotely. It’s about structure.
Structure gives you the ability to be successful in these tough times and allows you to take care of yourself—something so important for your current, everyday life. As much so as your business.
As your days are probably already full—and you may not be doing much self-care now—the idea of adding something to your schedule may feel daunting. Even downright impossible.
It’s okay to start small—you might just have to with all that’s going on.
Maybe you set aside 30 minutes of self-care each day, right when you wake up or just before you sign-off and go to bed. Or, you may opt for an hour of ‘me’ time every weekend. Start small, and see what works for you. But the key is to start because, ultimately, habits can’t form if they never begin.
And, if you’re uncertain of what self-care may actually look like for you? Keep reading…
SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES FOR REMOTE WORKING
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. It can also do a number on your immune system, so be sure to make this a priority for the sake of your mental, emotional, and physical health.
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.
Shopping might be tricky right now but when possible buy the proper foods to get your engine running cleanly. Order in, if you need to, but control your diet as best you can and ensure you’re consuming the good stuff.
Exercise. Innumerable studies have shown exercise reduces stress, clears your mind, and keeps you fit and healthy. While you’re probably stuck inside, try and go for walks, practice yoga, maybe jog… find something that feels good, and do it safely.
Treat yourself. Whether you love movies, a good book, or a nice glass of wine, you should treat yourself regularly. Being able to decompress in some form or another is crucial to remaining at the top of your game.
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.
Connect with others. Phone call, text threads, email chains, or video calls—whatever it takes to stay in touch with your community and loved ones, do it! Human interaction has never been more important (and necessary) so make an effort to reach out to people virtually as we collectively work through this.
In the end, it comes down to making your own rules. 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!
In my new book, Meant For More (available now at your favorite book retailer), we outline the Meant for More Formula, designed to help you upgrade your mindset, discover your Unique Value, craft your Irresistible Offer and take action towards creating your Meant For More Life. Step one of the formula is “Reframe the Game and Make Peace with Sales.” There it is! Mindset as the first step.