In my blog ‘Is Your Self Care Taking A Back Seat?‘, I discussed the importance of self-care for both your physical and mental health and explored the impact that not taking time for self-care could have on you and your business.
Self-care, as with most things, takes practise but once you establish a routine, it will be much easier to keep it up. Remember, a healthy, calm and relaxed business owner is always going to be more productive, effective and happier than a stressed-out one!
In this blog, I will be sharing with you my top 8 tips for practising self-care, specially designed with busy business owners in mind.
1. Plan to have some time for YOU daily
Each day starts by scheduling in 30-60 minutes for yourself. Then work in everything else around that. By prioritising and putting it into your plan, you will be much more likely to do it. Get yourself a planner or scheduler and get serious about what is on your to-do list and what you can realistically achieve. Plan in something each day and then one significant self-care activity a week. Focus on quality over quantity of time.
2. Make good use of your time
When you sit down to work, turn off any distractions (electronics) disable notifications and work in short focused chunks of time. If you add up all the time you spend going off task, checking your phone or emails and procrastinating, you’d be amazed at just how much time you waste. This is precious time much better spent on yourself, so get focussed!
3. Focus on your physical fitness
Physical self-care is how you care for your body. Are you sleeping enough, are you eating well and are you moving your body? Physical and mental health go hand in hand, so start to look at how you can make small and easy improvements to manage your physical health. It could be as simple as going for a 15-minute walk before you start work or at lunchtime. Little changes can make a big difference here.
4. Learn to say no
We all do it. We over-commit ourselves and fill up every minute of our day doing things for other people or activities that are unproductive. You must learn to say no, especially if you are a people pleaser! I know it can be difficult, but saying no and prioritising yourself once in a while can be incredibly liberating. Give yourself the time to reach your full potential and flourish; this will have a far more positive impact on your life in every single way.
5. Nourish Your Body
We all know that we should eat a healthy and varied diet. Eating healthy, nourishing foods is not only good for your physical health but will help your brain health, maintain your energy, boost your mood and help you stay more focused and productive. Why not prepare your lunch in advance, so you are less likely to go for something convenient and potentially less nourishing?
6. Be mindful
It is common for business owners to be extremely critical of themselves, their business and their performance. Constantly comparing themselves, scrutinising themselves and their decisions and worrying they aren’t good enough. This can result in feeling isolated, cynical, lonely and overwhelmed.
Mindfulness is a helpful tool to combat this and is a process based on learning to be present and in the moment. A definition of mindfulness “is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
7. Consider your environment
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘messy house equals a messy mind?’ For many people, working in a cluttered, messy environment can have a dramatic impact on their ability to focus and feel calm. If you look around and see the mess, it is going to trigger a stress response and set you off on a tangent thinking about all the things you have to do!
It isn’t good for your mindset if you are trying to work in this environment. You deserve to work in a clean, tidy and clutter-free space. Take time to arrange and declutter your workspace and see how much impact this has on your ability to focus!
8. Create a list of your favourite short activities
I know that when running a business, it can be difficult to make time for your favourite activities. We’ve already established how you can find an hour to spend on yourself, but that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t scatter moments of self-care throughout your day as well.
Make a list of some of your favourite self-care activities. Then, if you find yourself with 15 minutes between meetings, you can practise one of them instead of scrolling through your emails. Ideas could be making a cup of tea, doing some stretches or a short breathing or mindfulness exercise.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my eight tips and that you will begin to incorporate some of these into your day. I’d love to know how you get on, please hop over to my Facebook Group’ High Performing Entrepreneurs Hub’ and let me know! Here you’ll also find loads more tips and advice on running a successful business.