Self-Care is More Than Remebering to Shower
Happy Saturday everyone! We have officially survived the Thanksgiving holiday and most of us successfully avoided the pitfall that is Black Friday. This is probable the busiest weekend in all of the United States. Between the Thanksgiving dinners and the post-holiday shopping, it’s easy to over-eat and over-spend.
Some of us, however, have the opposite problem. We work through the whole weekend, never really taking care of ourselves and we don’t get to spend quality time with our loved ones. We have deadlines to meet and we have obligations to fulfill before we can call it a day.
Consider this blog post a 2-topic observation.
Observation number 1 – With entrepreneurs, it has been my observation that self-care is put on the back burner, if not thrown out entirely.
Observation number 2 – Like self-care, we tend to put our ability to spend quality time with our families on the back burner in order to maximize our effectiveness with our work.
Let’s talk about self-care first. We, as entrepreneurs, try to maximize our output in order to build and grown our businesses. This is to be expected, but part of having a healthy and prosperous business is being able to maintain our own health as well. If we work ourselves to the limit, and we don’t take time to care for ourselves, we can have a negative impact on our growth both personally and professionally.
Self-care can encompass many different aspects of overall care. It is not limited to physical well-being, but from my experience, it more often than not means mental and emotional well-being. We remember, most of the time, things like bathing and brushing our teeth, but we tend to forget about caring for our emotional and mental state as well.
It is important to schedule self-care into your life. Take time to read a book, newspaper, play a game with your family, walk away from the hustle of being a business owner to recover mentally. You started this business of yours because you knew you could succeed and that it meant you could write your own hours and work at your leisure. You have to maintain those ideas. These are the driving factors behind why we do what we do.
Think back to life before things got crazy. Before you started grinding from 6 in the morning until 10 at night. What did you like to do in your off time? Did you have a hobby? Did you spend time playing with your kids? Date night with your significant other? Calling your parents and siblings to stay in the loop? All of these things play a massive part in your overall mental and emotional health.
Self-care is about more than taking care of the body. You probably do a reasonable job on that front as it is. You have to take time each day to stay in shape inside as well as outside. When you run yourself without stopping to do the things that matter to you it hits you like a ton of bricks. Maybe not today, but it will. Avoid the crash and take time to self-care today.
Once you put your foot down and make self-care a priority, you’ll notice a difference and you’ll see that it benefits your business as well.
In all of our eagerness and self-inflicted long hours, we not only punish our mental and physical well-being, but we also end up punishing our families as well. I’m sorry if that hurt your feelings, but chances are that your feelings are hurt because it’s true. We work early in the morning and continue on until way past time to put our young ones to bed. Our significant others often get worn down with us on our journey to success. They love us through the work and for many of us, they too are working alongside us. We lose track of our time and we don’t realize it.
My wife recently described the way that she structures her day to me, and I was amazed. It was so simple that I still don’t understand why I didn’t think of it or why others don’t make this a priority as well. Are you ready for this revelation?
Draw a stick person on a piece of paper, then draw a half-circle around them. Make it pretty big so you have room to write. That half circle represents a two-prong approach to work. Inside the circle, you have to write down the things you want to include in your work. Outside are things that you won’t do. Example: Will you answer your work phone after 6 pm? No? Outside the circle write it down. No calls after 6. Will you work on weekends? Yes or no and write it in the corresponding area. Willing to take business calls on days off? Which area does it go in? Are you starting to get the idea? Once you have your thoughts written down, you need to stick to them.
It is ok to work on a set schedule. It is ok to ignore your work phone after hours. It is ok to build a structure that works for you and your needs. That was the whole point in this. You started your business to run it the way you wanted. To succeed without the grueling hours and effort that other companies put their employees through.
If you stick to your structure, you will have time for self-care. You’ll have time for your family. You’ll enjoy the time you have for those hobbies you forgot about. Your business will continue to grow, and you’ll be grateful you remembered that you did this. Go on your date night. You need to love and be loved.
You’re an entrepreneur and no part of that means you need to run yourself or your loved ones into the ground. Enjoy this holiday season and set yourself up for success.