If you’re a person who organizes and operates a business, it takes on greater than normal stressors in doing so. Entrepreneurs wear many hats and need to be able to multitask in order to be successful — and having a list of self-care ideas to draw from can help.
Responsibilities aside, there are internal aspects to being an entrepreneur. There are stresses and challenges that arise that can make being successful even more taxing.
*Please note, the following are merely ideas to consider and are not intended to be medical advice.
Self-care ideas for entrepreneurs
In order to be a success in business, you need to make sure you're taking care of yourself, too — not just spending every waking moment focusing on the business end of things. This article will talk about 15 things you should consider when venturing out into the world of business.
1. Disconnect from work when work is over to avoid burnout
There are only so many hours in the day and so much to get done. However, you can't drive yourself into the ground trying to constantly do it all. You need to take time away from work when the workday is done.
One thing to always remember to do is to shut off work when work is over.
This helps you to focus on other things, like family, friends, and life in general. Yep, there's more to life than just work. If you are constantly plugged into work, you will definitely burn out — sooner rather than later. Disconnect from the work matrix and enjoy what life has to offer.
2. Take breaks using the Pomodoro technique
"What on earth is the Pomodoro technique," you might be asking? The Pomodoro technique is a method of time management that focuses on up to 25-minute bouts of work, separated by 5-minute breaks in between. After approximately four work intervals, you would take a 15- to 30-minute break. There are five steps in the Pomodoro technique:
- Identify the things you want to complete
- Create a timer set to 25 minutes
- Work with as little or no distractions as possible
- As soon as the alarm signals, take a 5-minute break and repeat this three more times
- After the fourth stint, take a 15- to 30-minute break
Lather, rinse, repeat, till the end of your workday. You will find that this practice will help you to stay focused and keep your mind clear.
3. Don't be too hard on yourself
Learn to deal with things like mistakes or concepts you didn't know — don't beat yourself up over them. You're only human. You can only do so much, and mistakes will inevitably happen. Reassure yourself that the said mistake is just minor and move on from it.
Even if it's a big mistake, you just need to learn from it and let it go. Dwelling on mistakes can lead to self-doubt and even self-loathing. No one needs that in their life. Of course, the things you didn't learn at first, you learn by doing twice. But that's ok. You're allowed to be human.
4. Look to your spirituality
If you use spirituality as a support system to get through the day-to-day, you can use that as a go-to. If that belief structure gives you strength or power, don't be afraid to turn to your beliefs. Like they say, every little bit helps.
5. Talk to a mental health professional
Sometimes you may feel stuck in a rut and don't possess the necessary tools to get out of it. That's OK. There are mental health professionals out there that are specifically trained to deliver the tools to you that will help guide you along your path and be better adept at tackling issues that arise.
For instance, you might be dealing with anger. There are many tools that can be taught to you to better deal with that powerful emotion. They can also help with depression, anxiety, and more. Don't forget that there is no reason to doubt yourself in seeking out a mental health professional.
6. Consider medication
Just as is the case with seeking out a mental health professional, it’s often wise to consider getting assistance via medication. Just be sure to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist for the proper medication for your needs.
7. Read books and listen to podcasts
There are many self-help books and podcasts out there that you can check out. Read books and listen to podcasts in your down time. These can really go a long way, if applied, towards better mental health and greater success.
Just a few good books to read are:
- Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- At Your Best
- Think Big
- Never Finished
- Four Thousand Weeks
Some good podcasts to listen to are:
- The Positive Psychology Podcast
- Meditation Minis
- The Happiness Lab
- Inside Mental Health
- The Courageous Life
8. Take weekly breaks from social media completely
Social media can be problematic at times. Ever feel the need to get into an argument online? Just post your opinion on something on social media and wait... In no time, an argument will ensue.
Social media will be around for a long time. It's going to be there when you get back from a brief, albeit necessary hiatus. Just disconnect completely from all social media, at least one day a week. You'll be glad you did.
Also, be sure to turn off your notifications, or at very least ignore them — else, this experiment won't work. After a day or even more, go ahead and tune back into social media. You'll see that it's still there and people are still engaging in it.
9. Get into any physical activity outside
Every doctor will tell you being physically active is an amazing way to help both body and mind. Walking, running, biking, skiing, hiking, rollerblading, etc... Get out and enjoy the views and take a jog or a brisk walk. Hit the local biking trail or if it's winter, go to the mountains for a weekend and ski. Go hiking on a new trail and take in nature.
If you can't go outdoors, that's cool. Do some light exercises indoors. But getting away from the computer screen and stepping outside to receive some rays of sun, in and of itself, is beneficial. While outside, take in the smells, sights, and sounds. Physical activity will also help you sleep better at night.
10. Connect with loved ones, family members, and friends
Success is nothing without people in your life to share it with. Don't lose touch with those around you, in the pursuit of being successful. Make sure you remember to reach out to loved ones — be it a partner or spouse, members of your family, and/or friends.
Whether you reach out to these folks for some wonderful time together or for assistance, these people are in your life for a reason. They are here to be supportive of you and your venture. It helps keep you from feeling like you're all alone in your goals, hopes, and dreams. Who knows, someone in your inner circle might make a great partner in achieving your goals.
11. Establish morning and evening self-care routines
Designing and maintaining routines in your day is a good habit to get into. You don't have to be obsessive about your routines. Just be consistent. Morning routines like making breakfast, grabbing that hot cup of coffee, or doing some early morning calisthenics help to establish the start of the day to come.
I personally have a routine that I stick to each day, and it helps me to stay on task. If I veer too far from my own routine, I always feel like I'm missing something. (Which reminds me, did I leave the coffee pot on?)
In the evening, practicing nighttime routines, or sleep hygiene, is an effective way to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Taking a shower, setting out your clothes for the next day, and catching up on some good self-help reading (as mentioned above), is a good way to tell your mind it's time to start slowing down for the day and time to get some much-needed rest.
12. Eat healthy and hydrate for physical self-care
If you don't put the right fuel in your body, you are not going to have the best results. Physical fitness experts tend to agree that you can work out all day long, but if you aren't drinking plenty of water and eating healthily (at least to a degree) you aren't going to see the best results from said workout.
Now, don't get me wrong, it isn't expected that you live at a health food store.
The best approach to anything is moderation. You can certainly eat wheat germ till it's coming out your ears and drink a quart of wheat grass as a chaser. But that isn't moderation now, is it? Healthy eating can mean simply eating a fair portion of fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats, like chicken, and drinking plenty of water each day.
Also, cutting out processed white sugar and eating up to five smaller meals a day is another good practice. This will keep your metabolism going strong and it will also aid in weight management.
Take time to eat, too. Actually sit down at the table or island and take your time eating. Also, try turning to good ol’ water as your drink of choice, rather than soda or processed fruit juice. Drink water till you feel hydrated.
13. Meditate on or visualize goals
Meditation has been around for an exceptionally long time. It is and has been utilized by many to achieve peace of mind and relaxation. It can also be used for better health, both physical and mental.
Another amazing practice that should become a habit is visualization. This is where you picture yourself achieving or completing a goal. Wayne Gretzky, in his book Gretzky, An Autobiography, talks about how he would visualize winning a hockey game and how he was going to achieve said win.
When visualizing a goal, take yourself through a mental journey and lay out every step you can think of to achieve your goal. The more accurate your visualization, the better chance you have of accomplishing your goal.
As a hockey goalie, back in the day, I would practice the same visualization techniques and it worked! I finished my hockey career with a 1.10 G.A.A. (Goals Against Average), in my final few years. I owe part of that success to visualization.
14. Don’t be afraid to indulge once in a while
It's ok to veer from your daily routine and indulge once in a while, such as going to a nice restaurant or buying something for yourself. You work hard for a living and need to sort of pay yourself back for all that diligence.
Again, moderation is the key to many things, but still have fun. You've earned it.
Even in terms of working out or eating healthily; you should understand that it's ok to have a cheat day now and then. Eat a burger or a candy bar. Skip a workout day. Sometimes, that's fine.
15. Sometimes you just need a good cry
For those of you who are not trained thespians, crying on demand may not be all that possible. But if you need to experience "the feels," flip on a good tear-jerker movie and have yourself a good cry.
There is no harm in that at all. Throw on the PJs, pop on the television, grab a box of tissue, and dive into a good cry. You might just let out a bunch of pent-up emotions that you needed to get out.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
As we mentioned earlier, these ideas aren’t intended to be medical advice but rather inspiration to nudge you into the self-care mindset. If none of these seemed appealing, it’s no reason to worry. Just go out and explore with the aim of nurturing your own mind and body.