You don’t have to sacrifice self-care for a successful business/career, but you do need to take responsibility for your own and the example you set others.
Wellbeing and self-care has always been important in our family – we have been and are affected by complex mental health, cancer, other medical conditions, sports obsessions, eating well and running our own businesses and knowing the importance of having a healthy old age.
I have to be healthy to run my own business and look after my clients’. I also have to look after myself because I want to be there for my family and as importantly, I want to enjoy the journey, not wreck myself by waiting until retirement to enjoy my life! Plus it’s likely by the time I’m old enough there won’t be retirement as we’ve known it.
Now, I’m human, I don’t always self-care 100% but I know the signs of when I need to get back on track (2018 was a really hard year for health and family and I knew I couldn’t do everything but so far 2019 is amazing!).
I will discuss more in further blogs but right now, today, what simple steps could you start working on that will improve your own self-care?
Get to know your own body clock - When are your sweet spots in terms of productivity, sleep, exercise etc.
I learned that using screens after 10pm makes my eyes feel gritty the next day; I’m an early riser (sometimes 4am around the days with longest hours of daylight); I have my bedtime sweet spot that if I stay up beyond that it takes me longer to fall asleep and the sleep isn’t as refreshing but I’m still going to wake early!
Don’t you love that feeling of bouncing out of bed in the morning?! If you can’t remember the last time you bounced out of bed this is really important to improve as your work, business and working relationships are likely to be suffering. Sleep affects your brain function including cognition, productivity, performance, empathy and ability to respond to others.
Find a release - This is especially important if your hobby or passion has become your business or career! If you haven’t got one, check out my blog “Soak in the green” get into nature for more info.
As well as spending time with those I love and getting outdoors, my releases include cooking, gardening, travel, going to comedy gigs, listening to audiobooks, dramas and comedies on Audible and Iplayer (not Sounds), talking nonsense with my best friends etc
Thinking Space - Give yourself some time to think instead of constantly “do”. We are thinking creatures, you need to exercise your mind differently to how you use it for work to keep it healthy (you don’t want your brain to look like those people in the gym who only work their upper body!).
I mentioned some of my releases above – these stimulate my mind differently to when I’m thinking about work and how next I can grow my business etc I get outdoors every day going to different locations depending on what I feel I need (my dog always needs a walk!)
Recharge your batteries and look after your energy – I hate to remind you, but you are only human and your supplies are limited! Sometimes your release is what recharges you, other times it’s total rest.
If you are your brand (like I am) and you don’t have the energy to present your best self at a networking event, then don’t go. We’ve all spotted the ones who show up because they feel they have to and it’s obvious they don’t want to be there – did you enjoy their company and want to do business with them?!
Relaxation – your release and thinking space may not relax you so find something that does.
I love using apps like Calm or Headspace – they allow me to quieten my mind and it’s such a good feeling. Those apps have free trials so give them a go.
Action! Get to know yourself, if you don’t already. (Oh and make sure you get Matthew McConaghy to read you a bedtime story on the Calm app!)
None of the rest matters if you don’t have your health (plus you’re probably a cause of stress to your family/employees/colleagues/potentially your clients etc if you’re not looking after yourself….)
Lead by example, show self-care matters
Check out my podcasts and blogs for more advice and do get in touch if you would like help to navigate the people landscape in your business firstname.lastname@example.org