When we think of entrepreneurs, we often list attributes like ingenuity, ambition, hard work and character uniqueness. And while these are the traits of a true innovator, the less-known and little-mentioned side is relatively simple: All successful entrepreneurs have understood the importance of self-care and practice it daily.
Strategies That Make Self-Care Easier
Self-care is a must if you want to run a successful enterprise. Although (for some) it sounds like the type of thing you do when you have some free time, it is one of the fundamental aspects of being successful. When you are overworked and exhausted, you can’t make healthy and intelligent business decisions, and that’s why it is imperative to implement self-care into your daily routine to boost your mental and physical health.
Make Sleep a Priority
You need to sleep — period. There are numerous studies on the importance of sleep — it helps with pretty much everything in our body to allow us to function correctly. The well-known debate in the entrepreneurial space about “hustling” and not resting is downright unhealthy and does more harm than good. Sleeping for only two to three hours a night is an abuse to your body, so make sure you consider your long-term mental and physical health and get the necessary amount of sleep. This way, you’ll be able to make better decisions and maintain an excellent work-life balance.
Check Your Thoughts
It is rather easy to fall into the trap of negativity as an entrepreneur, especially toward yourself. It is very easy to blame yourself, but beware that this is a perilous route to follow, so make sure you acknowledge these thoughts the next time they appear. Stop them by focusing on self-care and kindness toward yourself. What you are doing is difficult, but you are doing your best, so feel great about that.
Manage Your Time Properly
Having business hours is a must, as well as setting up a schedule and a daily, weekly and monthly to-do list. The longer and harder you work, the less you’re producing — leading to more mistakes and unhealthier decisions. To lighten your workload, recalibrate your work-life balance, increase productivity and create “hard stops” around your working and non-working time.
Alternatively, choose a better business structure — for instance, an LLC — to relieve unnecessary stress as it offers numerous benefits, including tax advantages, more flexibility, less paperwork and limited liability. To avoid high costs, work with a formation service instead of a lawyer or fill out the forms yourself. Still, before moving ahead, ensure you do your research, as states have different regulations around forming an LLC.
Exercise for a Healthier Life
Movement has numerous physical and mental benefits, including improved moods, a strengthened heart, good circulation, lower risk of cholesterol, heart conditions, dementia, blood pressure, etc. Find a form of movement you like — such as yoga, swimming, running, walking, hiking or any combination thereof — and stick with it. The healthier you are, the less prone you are to be sick in the future, which means not getting behind on work.
Try Meditation to Soothe Your Mind
Get used to practicing meditation and using relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation and muscle relaxation methods are quick ways to decrease stress. Even five minutes per day will help you control rough feelings and resolve conflict. A study found that only four days of meditation training enhances one’s ability to maintain focus — on top of boosting mood, increasing mindfulness and decreasing anxiety, depression and fatigue.
Mindfulness has also been associated with a significant reduction in job burnout. Workplace mindfulness trainings have been found to reduce stress and enhance productivity and personal performance.
Self-Care Means Better Decisions
As entrepreneurs, we are known for working long hours, not taking care of ourselves, and prioritizing business needs rather than our own. Still, we actually get to do less in business and life if we don’t implement self-care into our daily routines. Remember that taking care of yourself doesn’t need to take many hours — it can be as simple as giving yourself some time away, meditating for a few minutes, and keeping your thoughts in check.
Leaving college and entering the “real world,” Christopher Haymon learned a valuable lesson in the perils of not budgeting or saving. He writes about finances in his spare time in an effort to help others. He created Adulting Digest to help others who need help navigating the world of adult finances.