When you choose to become an entrepreneur you choose to put your heart and soul into making your business a success. This means that you will often find yourself not taking any time for you.
You may think that this is for the best, after all, focusing on your business will really drive you forward to success.
The truth is, that your self-care is just as important as any other part of running a business or maintaining family life. But, it is still something that plenty of entrepreneurs seem to forget about.
We are here to encourage you to take a little bit of time for yourself, away from the hustle of running a business, and the strain of taking care of your family. All by telling you why self-care is the best thing for an entrepreneur to do!
The benefits of self-care
It is normal for us all to feel stressed out at times, especially if we are faced by an overwhelming situation. However, as an entrepreneur, chances are that you are going to find yourself in these situations on a regular basis. Taking time for yourself can really help to reduce those stress levels and make sure that when things really do go wrong, then you will be able to take it on the chin!
As people, we are only designed to be able to focus on something for a maximum of 45 minutes at a time. No matter the task. So, if you feel that you are lacking in focus, then the time has come to take a break. Just 10 minutes away from the computer can work wonders, and this just shows that self-care can be a quick fix when you are busy.
How to work it into your daily life
If you are busy, then it can be hard to let yourself have some me-time. Mainly for fear of not getting other important tasks done. But, the idea behind self-care is that it doesn’t have to be huge chunks of time.
One great way to ensure that you take care of yourself is to actually schedule it into your day. That way, you won’t have any excuse not to do it. Have a 15-minute break pencilled in during the morning and afternoon, and that way you will be having at least 30 minutes to yourself every day.
Don’t forget when you go to bed, that is the best time to indulge yourself a little bit. Rather than checking emails or replying to texts, make sure that you grab a book, or watch 20 minutes of TV. Whatever you love to do to unwind and get ready for some much-needed sleep.
Self-care is important for us all, but it becomes all the more vital for those that are spreading themselves thinly between career and family. The truth is, you can never have or do it all, so make sure that you look after yourself, and everything else should fall into place.
We all get ill from time to time, when you are an employee of a business you will be able to call up sick and take a few days to recover. But what happens when you are self-employed?
Self-employment and running your own business means that you only rely on yourself, and this can be tricky to manage when you are under the weather.
Never ignore it
One of the worst things that you can do is to power through it and ignore that you feel ill. In time, you will feel even worse and may end up having to take even more time to recover. It is a pain to think that you will need to stop working (and stop earning) for a few days, but in the long term, it could be even more of a problem if you don’t take the chance to get better.
Be honest with your customers
Once you have accepted that you need to rest, then you need to let your customers know that this is what will be happening. They may be annoyed that there will be a delay, but chances are that they will appreciate your honesty, then, if they are really desperate for the work to be completed, they can find someone else to do it.
Find a substitute
Depending on your type of business, you may be able to offer your customers a substitute to do the work on your behalf. Whilst you may not earn the money for the work, your reputation will be intact, and you should be able to retain that customer for the future. Just make sure that it is someone that you can trust, and that you will know will deliver.
Plan for a catch-up
If you rest, then it won’t be long until you are back up on your feet and ready to go again. This means that you should plan for the things that are most important to do once you feel better. Look at the things that are most important to get done, and put them at the top of the list. Reschedule meetings or unimportant tasks, as these are not quite as time critical and can be done at another time.
It may not feel great when you are self-employed and ill, but it really isn’t the end of the world. We all get ill from time to time, however, it is how much space we give ourselves to recover that makes the difference.
Don’t feel guilty about having to stop working for a few days, instead focus on getting yourself better. Not only will your business benefit from it, but your family will too.
Listen to Running a business and suffering from an illness, episode covers suffering from an illness and running a business and looking after your family.
Working for yourself and running your own business is fantastic, it has a whole host of benefits that will make all the hard work worthwhile. Whilst there are plenty of benefits, there are also some negative points that you need to think about too.
One of the biggest drawbacks to working alone is just that, you are working alone. Entrepreneurial loneliness is a real problem for those that work alone. But rather than simply living with the loneliness, there are things that you can do to help.
Have some background noise
Sometimes the worst thing about working from home is the fact that it is silent. There is nothing like silence to make you feel lonely, which means if you want to beat those lonely feelings, but you still need to work at home, then why not pop the radio or TV on for a bit of background noise? The TV can be a bit of a distraction, so it may be a good idea to find something that you won’t be tempted to watch.
Hold a meeting with other entrepreneurs
As more and more people are choosing to work from home or run their own business, chances are that you will have other friends that are in the same position as you. Why not plan bi-weekly meetings whereby you all get together and catch up on how things are going. This could be held at a house or perhaps somewhere public, and just gives you the chance to speak to some real people for a change.
Make the most of social media
One of the best things about social media is that it allows you to interact and communicate with the real world, even when you are hidden away. When you are feeling a little lonely, why not reach out on social media. Not only will it give you a bit of a boost, but it also means that you are taking a break from your work, which can really help too. You could even join a business network group, as you may find that there are those out there who have a similar problem.
Work somewhere else for a few hours
By this we don’t mean get another job, we mean that you pick up the laptop and head outside. A coffee shop is an ideal place to plonk yourself for the day, as it means that you can listen to all the background noise and extract yourself from your four walls, if only for a few hours.
Being lonely is never fun, and it isn’t something that you should ignore, as those feelings will only worsen. Instead face them head on, and do something about it. In no time at all, you will be feeling much more like yourself rather than a lonely hermit who never leaves the house!
It can be hard when you run your own business, every turn you take, work just seems to follow you. Sometimes it can seem like an impossible task to take care of yourself, especially for parents who run a business.
Looking after yourself is beneficial not only for you and your family but also for your business because being healthy means you are more productive and happier.
Don’t believe us? Here are 7 top tips for a happier, healthier life.
1, Keep hydrated
Water makes up two thirds of our bodies and performs many functions including acting as a solvent, carrying nutrients, regulating temperature and detoxification. Maintaining a good level of hydration can also influence vitality, energy levels and mental alertness.
It’s vital that you have a healthy diet that contains lots of fruit and vegetables; you can eat healthily but still enjoy your favourite foods. Replace an afternoon sugary snack with something healthy such as fruits or nuts. For example, if you have pizza, consider a smaller one and add some salad on the side.
Get plenty of sunlight, vitamin D is produced in the skin and is associated with many benefits to the body such as improved immune function and studies have shown it reduces the risk of depression.
Shutting down the computer, turning off your mobile phone and TV early in the evening around the same time mentally prepares your mind and body for sleep. A good night’s sleep enhances your overall health. Professionals recommend 7-8 hours as the ideal requirement in order to stay healthy.
5, Take a Walk
It’s important to take some time out for exercise even with a busy schedule, it’s important to keep your body active, healthy and your mind sharp. In an interview we did with Sophie from Attentive Art she discusses how she implemented exercise into her busy routine you can listen to it here.
Another way to implement walking into your lifestyle may be that instead of doing the school run by car, take a walk there and back. Walking the dog is also an excellent way of implementing more exercise, instead of a slow walk; consider taking a brisk one as it will act as a mini workout.
When carrying out random acts of kindness make sure it’s coming from a genuine place, it could be a quick call or a text to someone you care about that you haven’t connected with for a while.
Just like smiling it changes our brain so that we feel happier. Aim for one or more random acts of kindness a day.
Showing appreciation, even for the small things gives you a good feeling. By showing gratitude daily you gain a new perspective on life, keep a journal where you can list things that you are thankful for. We recommend the Dailygreatness Journal: A Practical Guide for Consciously Creating Your Days. By listing things you’ll be surprised at how effective it is at creating a happy mindset.
One of the biggest issues, when running your own business and managing a family, is making sure that you have the right balance between working and resting.
It can often seem that you want to spend the daylight hours making sure your business is a success, and the rest of the time focused on your family. But does this leave enough time to actually rest in between?
Many people are likely to say no. With such demands on their time already coming from work, and life, there is no time left for anything else.
We are here to say it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, you can achieve the perfect balance between working and resting, all it takes is some careful thought and planning.
Don’t believe us? Here are top tips for finding the perfect work/rest balance.
Know what you want out of all the aspects of your life
People really seem to underestimate goal setting, especially when it comes to their life goals. It makes sense to think about what you want to achieve in your career plans or business, but when did you last think about your family, your home, your personal life? You should treat these just like you would your job, and dedicate time and attention to making sure that you know exactly where you see your family heading in the future.
In doing this, you can plan in some me time. Perhaps to enjoy a spa day, or simply a nice long relaxing walk on a summers evening.
Try to minimise your stress
If you own your own business, then chances are that you are going to feel pretty stressed at times. It is important that this stress doesn’t filter too much over into the time you have to relax and unwind at the end of the day. Of course, stress is unavoidable, what is important is how you deal with it.
Try to tackle any problems head on, and never take them home with you. After all, your family don’t need to bear the brunt of your stress, and once the time has come to unwind, that should always be your priority.
Take a break
One of the things that people who are self-employed are guilty of is not taking holiday when they need to. This can be a huge mistake. You need to take a break away from working, just like you would if you were employed. Otherwise, your brain simply won’t turn off and relax when you need it to, and this won’t be a good idea.
It is possible to achieve a work/rest balance and balance working with your family. All it takes is some careful thought and some time to yourself, and you will have exactly what you need to make a success of both worlds.
Whilst working at home can be packed full of benefits, one of the biggest drawbacks is the feeling of loneliness that sometimes occur. Thankfully like many problems, being lonely is fixable.
So, if you are feeling a little alone, here are 5 ways that you can wave those feelings goodbye.
Pop the radio on
Sometimes all you need is a bit of background noise to help you to feel a little less lonely. The TV can be a bit too much of a distraction, but the radio, on the other hand, can help to curb those feelings of being completely alone.
Give someone a call or Skype
One of the biggest drawbacks to working at home is not having anyone to talk to. If this is definitely true for you, then why not make the effort to take to someone? You may not be able to get outside and meet someone face to face, but you can pick up your phone. You could even Skype or video call if you are really feeling lonely.
Go for a walk outside
Being cooped up in the house can be tricky, so, if you need to escape for a moment then consider getting outside and having a walk. Not only is it a change of scenery, but it will make sure that you feel instantly rejuvenated and ready to get back to the laptop and carry on working.
Sit somewhere that has plenty of light
The amount of light that is in a room can be a huge factor in how you feel. So, if you can, try to sit in a room that has plenty of natural light. You don’t want it to be too bright, otherwise, you could spend far too long squinting. But just enough to make sure that you absorb some vitamin D, as well as be able to see the outside world.
Work in a different environment
Changing up where you work from time to time can have a huge impact on your mood. Some people spend some of their time working from home, as well as working in a shared office space. Others may take their laptops and head to a local coffee shop. The trick is to find a way that you can still concentrate on the things that you need to do. But still, have the background noise of other people going about their lives.
Being lonely doesn’t feel great, especially if you are stuck at home working. The thing that is important to remember, is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things that you can do to minimise those feelings of loneliness and have yourself back in the real world in no time.
Confidence is important when running a business, after all, it will be all down to you to make sure that it is a success. Not sure that you have the right confidence that you need to give it a go? Well, then let us help you.
We have put together some of the best ways that you can improve your own levels of self-confidence, best of all, they are quite simple to do on a daily basis.
Wear a bright colour
Colour can really help you to feel great about yourself. Especially yellow, which is linked to calming energy and brightening up your mood. If you are heading to an important meeting or need to secure a new client, perhaps add a touch of this sunshine hue to your outfit and you will soon be feeling ready to face the world.
The way that you walk and hold yourself can really project your levels of confidence. Try not to slump, and instead walk tall. This means that you will feel an instant lift to your mood, and people will see that you mean business.
Learn something new
By this we don’t mean take a home learning course, but instead just task yourself to learning something every day. There are a number of trivia apps out there that you can use to add into your knowledge. They deliver great facts in bite size portions, which means that you won’t have to take too much time out of your day to broaden your knowledge.
Look at all the things that you have achieved
Sometimes it can seem like you are no closer to your goal, especially in those earlier days of business. If you are starting to feel that you may not ever get there, then why not take a look at the things that you have ticked off your list. This will not only show how far you have come, but also give you the motivation to keep carrying on towards your other goals.
Ask for some help
If you are feeling the pressure and have had a confidence knock. Maybe it is time to ask someone for their help. It may come from a friend or a family member, no matter who it is, all you may need is someone who will be able to give you a bit of a boost and get you back on the right path.
Even if you are feeling unsure of yourself, confidence is a great way to make sure that you feel ready to face the world. It doesn’t matter how you find it, believing in what you can achieve is going to bring you ever close to your goal.
This episode covers the importance of self-care some of us parents need to make self-care more of a priority. Like just think for a moment when did you last do something for you!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Download 30 Self-Care Ideas Below!
Listening in to this episode to know how to recognise and avoid burnout, most people experience burnout at least once in their life, some of us experience it more than once recognising the signs of burnout is important, so we know when to slow down and take timeout.
Managing your own business is stressful, there are no two ways about it. Add into this the stress of having a family to take care of, and you could be left feeling a little frazzled.
Feeling overwhelmed is incredibly common, especially for those that are trying to balance the needs of these two separate worlds. Unfortunately, there is very little chance that you are going to be able to see any let up on the stress of your business (or your family, for that matter).
That said, there are better ways that you can cope with the stress that comes with being overwhelmed.
We take a look at how you can handle those feelings, and make sure that you are coping perfectly well with both your business and personal stress.
Work set hours as much as you can
The joy of running your own business means that you can work around your life. But the negative to this can also be that you find yourself slaving away when you should be hitting the sack.
Doing this can lead to burn out, so if you are feeling exhausted, try to make yourself work some normal hours, if only for a couple of weeks. You never know, you may find that you simply don’t have to work until midnight.
Separate the two worlds
One issue with running a business and taking care of a family is that the two worlds can sometimes blur. This is inevitable at times, but there are also ways that you can keep it separate.
When you are having family time, make sure you are focusing on them as best you can make working time when you knuckle down and crack on.
Take a bit of time for yourself
We are all guilty of spreading ourselves a bit thinly, but this can get even worse when you run your own business. One of the first things to go out of the window is taking time for yourself.
If there is something that you enjoy, even if it is as simple as having a long bath, then plan that in. Even taking one hour for yourself a week, you will soon see those feelings of being overwhelmed disappear.
Know what is a priority and what can wait
There is a good chance that you will be juggling lots of plates in your life. A good way to stop yourself from burning out is to try and figure out what things you have to do there and then.
Focus on those priority tasks, and then when they are done, you can move onto those lesser important things.
Don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed by everything going on in your life. Take on board some of these tips and see what you can achieve. You may just surprise yourself.
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