When going out to start a business most of your head space is taken up with how much epic you can give the world and how much you love what you do. It’s common to forget about what your business is giving to you in return and why you started in the first place.
Many entrepreneurs dream of living the life, when, in reality, they are often busy, overworked and consumed by their business and they forget about how important taking care of themselves really is.
I am often asked the question, “if you love what you do, is work life balance necessary?”
The answer is yes – self-care is not only necessary, it’s mandatory.
I know all too well, the tendency of entrepreneurs, and particularly women, to take care of themselves last. I believe it’s crucial to implement self-care as part of your daily routine, I like to set the habit of “self-care Sundays” and have made this key to my business operations.
What is self-care? People often associate self-care with grandiose retreats. Super put that Olivia Newton-John, phone-down-vegan getaway on the wish list but there are small, daily or weekly self-care measures that you can implement to help you get through the unpredictable rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.
Why is this crucially important on so many levels?
Burn out – We are all human and need time to re-fill our tank. Being in business, we want to serve our clients to the best of our ability. Saying yes to everything, over delivering and being on-call 24/7 plays havoc with your adrenal glands, often leading to adrenal fatigue and burn out. How can we expect to give the best of ourselves to others when we are running on empty? Believe me when I say some of the worst decisions can be made during periods of burn out.
Less the stress – Create strict boundaries around your work day to carve out space for spending time doing the things you love. It will not only make you happy but you will feel so much better on and physical, mental and emotional level. Self-care reduces the negative effects stress can have on the body. It keeps you healthier, burns off energy and reduces cortisol levels. Make time for exercise, whatever the tempo! Go to your favourite beach, spend time with loved ones or treat yourself to a nice meal to balance your workload with pleasure.
Eye on the prize – Giving your mind and body a break helps you refocus and will help you to maintain better productivity once you strap yourself back into your desk. Giving yourself a break is not the reward, it’s part of the process of being a good entrepreneur and having a steady balance.
When you give your mind, body and spirit the best chance to flourish, you in turn help your business to flourish. It’s a win-win situation.
This article was contributed by Jemimah - the Creative Director of Tangs Design and one half of The Business Experiment podcast. Jemimah is passionate about breaking through myths and misconceptions about being an entrepreneur and thrives on helping other business orders success.