Are you like me in my other businesses – spending so much time making, marketing and shipping products for others to pamper themselves with that you often neglect your own self care? Many think, “Oh, I don’t have time for that!” and choose not to do anything rather than a few quick things that can be nourishing and rejuvenating to their mind and soul. Here are some tips for self care for the busy entrepreneur:
1. Get up earlier. Starting the day off with a focused practice of self care can make the difference between a rushed, stressful day and one that is able to roll with the punches much easier. Get up 15 minutes earlier to make a cup of coffee or tea, pray, meditate, journal or simply to practice deep breathing.
2. Get more sleep. This is the opposite of tip #1, but sometimes what our bodies need is extra rest. Last night I was stressed, cranky and overwhelmed with a business decision that was weighing heavily on my mind. My exhaustion was taking a toll not just on me, but my family, so I listened to my body. I went to bed almost two hours earlier than normal and prayed on my decision. I slept soundly and woke refreshed with a much better attitude and clarity on the decision I need to make.
3. Incorporate exercise. Taking breaks throughout the day to move and stretch can release stress and help you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. You don’t have to complete intense exercise to make a difference, either. Take a break from shipping orders and take a quick walk around the block. In 10 minutes, you’ve done something healthy for your body and relieved some stress too. You’ll likely find that you’re able to work more efficiently after a quick burst of exercise.
This tip can be especially helpful during the afternoon slump when you may be likely to reach for a candy bar or pop for a jolt of energy. Substitute exercise instead and see how much better you feel. Using an exercise tracking device like a Fitbit can unleash a competitive side and you’ll look for opportunities to move more throughout the day, busting your stress even more.
4. Use aromatherapy to affect your mood and thoughts. You’re likely surrounded by a variety of essential oils while making your products, so use them for their aromatherapy benefits: orange essential oil to lift your spirits, lavender or chamomile to calm, or peppermint to energize and focus. Diffuse essential oils in your work area or create a solid perfume that you can apply and take a whiff of whenever you need a little boost.
5. Put down your phone (and turn it off!) Many of us fall into the trap of being connected to our smartphones 24/7 when in reality, we don’t need to be. After business hours, turn off your phone or put it in a drawer instead of in your pocket. If you absolutely need to, set a timer and check it once in the evening to ensure there aren’t any urgent issues to tend to. This will help you avoid scrolling through Facebook for hours, catching up on gossip.
Studies have also shown that those who read their phones in the dark in bed just before falling asleep have much less restful/productive sleep. Try this experiment for a week and see how much better you feel – you’ll discover ‘extra’ time for family, friends and self-care – and disconnecting from your phone may become a regular habit in your life!
6. Unleash your silly side. Learn to let loose – whether it’s breaking for a dance party in the middle of production and busting out the moves, to competing with your staff to tell the funniest joke while packaging orders, find ways to bring humor into your day. Laughter is an amazing stress reliever and the simple act of smiling can change the chemicals in your brain to ease tension and worry.
Not all self care must be expensive nor take a full day at the spa. I hope these tips help you find some ways to take care of yourself throughout the week. Your life and business will thank you!
What’s your favorite quick and inexpensive method of self care? Share in the comments below!