Self Care for a Business Owner
Every once in a while, it’s important to put everything aside and recharge your system. Self care is important for everyone, and business owners are no exception.
Let’s do a little visualisation exercise.
Imagine yourself as a device, let’s say a phone…
When your battery is at 100%, you are able to function fully. The brightness is up, and all the apps perform at their best! The people around you are happy with you, and you feel the love.
Then, as your battery goes low, you start feeling worn out. Suddenly you can’t do everything that you would at level 100. The people around you start to get frustrated by your slowness, and if they don’t plug you in to charge in good time, you’ll simply shut down.
If you are only charged in small increments and don’t fully recharge, your battery becomes damaged, sometimes permanently.
Our bodies aren’t that much different…
And three months into the year, we can all admit that we have started to feel pretty exhausted, and like our cups, are becoming empty.
We start craving a holiday, and the break can’t come soon enough.
Can you relate?
Just like a cup cannot pour water if there is no water in it, a human being cannot produce quality work when there is not enough energy in them. When you are running low on these reserves, then you cannot possibly give to others, or to your work.
Taking Time to Recharge and Break Away from Work is Vital.
We can’t underplay the importance of a good breather. In fact, it’s just as important as working hard at your job in the first place. If we work ourselves to exhaustion, it only hurts us in the long run.
While most business owners go into business for a “quality of life” lots of us will admit that we end up working harder, and the “flexible” hours we work means that we go back to work after the kids are in bed…
Well deserved ‘me’ time is vital for our productivity. Nothing good comes from burning out. You’ll soon realise that it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. So remember to take a little time and do something special for yourself.
How To Practise Self Care As A Small Business Owner
You might think that recharging means having to take a week away in the sun. The reality is that sometimes when people start dreaming of week-long holidays in the distant future, it can have a negative effect. How can they ever find the time to do that? How long have I got to wait….
Though taking a holiday is necessary and fun, recharging your batteries can happen much more quickly and simply than that.
Here are 5 ways to refill your cup:
1. The First Self Care Tip For a Business Owner- Exercise
Have you ever been too tired to go to the gym, or for a walk, and when you finally pull yourself to do it, you have sudden bursts of energy?
You feel refreshed, like you’re ready to take over the world…It’s ironic, isn’t it? I’m no scientist, but from my understanding, exercise sends blood and nutrients to the body which helps the heart pump blood easier, giving you more energy.
Consider taking walks, bike rides, or even swims. Whatever it is, make sure to get up and move around. Get that blood pumping!
Here are some two tips on how to use exercise:
Find your Movement
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that we don’t all have the same ‘movement.’
There are people who can consistently go to the gym seven days a week, and enjoy it while at it. There are people who can’t.
There are people who can hike 25+ kilometres in one day, and at the end of it book onto the next one. While others can’t stand hiking.
That’s just how the world works. There are swimmers, joggers, cycling, and walkers.
Whatever it is, you need to find your movement. Something that you enjoy doing and can keep at consistently.
Consistency is really the name of the game. It’s the number 1 recipe for almost any form of success.
And self-care is no exception.
If you can get yourself to exercise even when all odds seem to be against you, you’ll slowly start to see the benefits. Your mood will improve drastically and you’ll feel less stressed.
Staying consistent means that you respect yourself and your promises to yourself.
2. The Second Self Care Tip for Business Owners – Quality Time
Our entire business is built around the premise of spending more time with our son, family and loved ones.
It’s so important to us to get that work-life balance, and as part of filling our cup, quality time is vital!
This will help you to spend uninterrupted time with your family members. By doing so, you’ll find that you have more psyche to tackle the work that you’ve been dreading.
Here are two tips to help you with that:
Set Aside Specific Time
The way the world is set up, we’ve become very fast-paced people. There is always something that needs to be done and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up missing out on the actual important things.
So as you schedule time for meetings and other ‘important projects’ don’t forget to also schedule quality time with your loved ones.
If quality time is going to actually be quality time, you’re going to need to set rules for it.
It’s really easy for us to dilute quality time with constant distractions like our phones and other tasks.
So, you need to set rules. How often do you want to have it? And what needs to be done to make sure that you stay present?
3. The Third Self Care Tip for Business Owners – Technology
There’s just something about social media…It can keep you scrolling for hours! Before you know it, you’ve consumed endless amounts of content, some unhealthy.
Social media can make you lose yourself. You can lose sight of your opinions, faith, and belief system.
So whenever you feel like your cup is full, delete those apps for a few days. Challenge yourself. Do your brain a favour and give it a break from the endless input.
How do you stay off technology?
Use an App or Phone Setting
There are several apps or even settings that can able you to stay on track. They monitor your screen time and lock you out once you reach your limit. Some of the apps I would recommend are Social Fever, Screen Time, and Stay Free – Stay Focused.
I promise, you won’t really miss out on much, if anything.
Flex your Resilient Muscle
Scrolling is the addiction that no one is talking about. We’re living in a state of excessive consumption. Mindless activity that gives us temporary pleasure. In the long run, it fries our dopamine receptors by bombarding our mind and nervous system with way too much. Then we become unable to focus, sleep, and stay motivated.
How do you flex that muscle? Intentionally leave your phone in a different room every once in a while. With time, you’ll get used to it and won’t have a constant need to pick up your phone to fill every second.
4. The Fourth Self Care Tip for Business Owners – Solitude
I can’t emphasise enough just how important alone time is.
The way our world is set up nowadays, it’s a miracle to ever spend time alone with our thoughts. One way or the other, we are constantly consuming.
Since you can’t pour from an empty cup, you also have to refill your own cup by yourself.
How can you change this? Spend time in nature, maybe under the sun or in a forest. Walk around, and pay attention to the tiny things which we never notice. Like the sound of the birds or the shape of the sun. Or, just go and get a massage.
Like with everything else, the only way to become a pro at it is to start small. You can’t expect to just wake up one day and be 100% comfortable with yourself, especially if you were previously the complete opposite.
Starting small could mean just taking a walk by yourself daily, or even going to a cafe for a few hours.
It’s going to feel weird at first, but when you finally get the hang of it, there’s no going back.
No matter how strange it feels, keep at it. Once a month or every two weeks. Or, if you’re comfortable enough, twice a week. It will help you to understand yourself better and in turn your relationship with others will also improve drastically.
Whatever it is, remember that you can only pour into other people’s cups if yours is full in the first place. So, as you schedule your meetings and other ‘important’ activities, remember to schedule time for you.
5. The Fifth Self Care Tip For Business Owners – Sleep
How many hours do you sleep on a daily basis?
Notice your sleep patterns. Do you just wing it, or do you have set times when you have to go to bed and wake up?
Getting adequate sleep helps lower stress levels, can alleviate depression and anxiety and keep your immune system strong. This makes you work better.
Remember Maslow’s hierarchy? Physiological needs are placed at the bottom, and most important. Meaning, the simple act of sleeping adequately is a biological component for human survival. To advance higher-level needs in Maslow’s hierarchy, physiological needs such as sleep must be met first.
Here’s how to improve your sleeping habits:
Be Strict with Yourself
If you’re a parent, you’re probably really strict about when your kids go to bed. But do you put that same pressure on yourself? Because you need to. That extra episode is never worth it the next morning when you’re struggling to get out of bed.
Set an alarm on your phone and when it goes off, put everything aside and go to sleep. Which brings me to my next point,
Ditch your Phone before Bed
How do you settle down for bed? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably scroll your time away or even watch a movie to make you fall asleep.
And the reason why many of us do this is because we’re scared of our thoughts. We want to stay distracted. But The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you should stop using electronic devices, like your cellphone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Doomscrolling can distract you, which keeps you awake, stimulates your brain and delays REM sleep.
Additionally, The blue light from your phone is an artificial color that mimics daylight, which keeps you alert and delays your sleep.
Self Care Tips for Small Business Owners – Our Conclusion
Over the last few weeks, I’ve brought myself back from the brink with the help of some daily rituals that I’ve brought in for me. As much it’s important to prioritise, we have to also set aside time to refill our cup.
They include a daily dose of affirmations, exercise and a bit of yoga. Typically it takes me about an hour but it doesn’t even have to be that strenuous… All it takes is to put work away for a bit and make a little time for you.
Outside ideas is built on the foundation of a work-life balance. We believe that to perform your best at work, you also have to take time to care for yourself. We’ve worked with fellow entrepreneurs and helped to bring them to this realisation, and we hope that you do, too.
It’s no doubt that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so here are 5 ways that you can ‘refill your cup’:
- Quality time
If you need support with finding more time for you, I’d be happy to have a chat, get in touch.