As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Most days, you don’t know what’s coming or going. And self-care is not usually something you take the time to do. But, taking care of yourself helps reduce stress and improve the balance in your life. That way, you can face the day’s stressors better and stay healthy while running your business.
Try these simple self-care options to get started:
Get more sleep. Staying up late working may help you get things done today, but it can negatively affect your productivity tomorrow. Step away from work at a time where you can get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. And stop using anything electronic at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. If you’re waking up multiple times during the night, talk to your doctor for help — or maybe it’s time for a new mattress.
Watch what you eat. We’ve all done it: get busy in the day, forget to eat and then pick up some fatty food when we can. That’s not a great way to perform at your best. Instead, plan your meals and pack healthy options if you work outside of your home. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, including more fruits and vegetables.
Find time to work out daily. When you exercise regularly, you’ll increase your energy, improve your focus, reduce your stress and boost your creativity. Commit to working out either in the morning or evening — whatever works best for your schedule. And in addition to your workout, take breaks throughout the day to get up and move.
Focus on your environment. Your workspace has an enormous impact on your productivity and wellness. Create a space that’s free of distractions and clutter. Find ways to bring in beauty or other things you enjoy or bring you peace. Don’t ignore how important it is to have a working environment that’s comfortable and safe.
Indulge in a massage or other therapeutic activity. Make time monthly to enjoy a good massage, pedicure, manicure, or another way to relieve stress. You may even consider trading services with a local therapist to keep your costs down and enjoy indulging in this activity without guilt.
Engage in activities you enjoy. One of the best ways to manage stress is to participate in activities you enjoy. Maybe you love watching your kids play sports, or you love to fish early in the morning. Whatever it is, commit to taking time to unplug and engage in things other than your work.
Commit to managing your time. Some days you may feel like you don’t get anything done. But that should not be the norm. Your goal should be to plan your day and stick to that plan the best you can. Set aside time to answer email or take phone calls. Block out time to complete a project or finish a task from the day before. Contrary to popular opinion, multitasking is not an effective way to manage your day. So find a time management system that works for you, and you’ll find you’ll get more done doing one thing at a time.
Just remember, at the end of the day, work will always be there. It’s never easy to slow down and care for yourself. But following these simple self-care strategies now will help you succeed in the long-run.