Healthy Working: Finding Self-Care as a Busy Entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, much of your time is going to be spent running sales, developing products, and pitching for investment. Unfortunately, this can mean self-care gets pushed to the side but, if you want to avoid burnout, it’s important to take time for yourself — here are a few strategies from Meditation Informs Healing Facilitation to get you started.
Given the breakneck pace of modern business, it’s crucial that we find ways to slow down and focus on a single task. Reading is not only a great way to calm our mind, but it’s also an opportunity to learn and expand our skill sets. If you want to improve your knowledge about a certain field of study, start with non-fiction books, and if you need a way to slow the world down, opt for a good novel. Introducing this practice before bed will help you to take your eyes off screens and soothe a restless mind in time for sleep.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of exercise in shaping a positive work/life balance. According to ISSA, if you can find the time to get moving, you’ll experience improved levels of energy, a more positive mindset via the release of endorphins, and improved concentration when on the job. It can be hard to find the time for cardiovascular health when your schedule is already full, so try to integrate this into your commute or work breaks. If you live or work in a walkable area, choose to walk to pick up your coffee or a few groceries instead of driving.
To free up time for exercise during other parts of the day, see if there are work tasks you can accomplish during your commute. For example, use your iPhone to save files or emails as PDFs so you can read through your messages even if you don’t have internet access. This is a useful strategy for freeing up time later in your day. By getting work done en route, you’ll have time available at the office.
Please keep in mind there are many different ways to move toward health and well-being. Meditation can be one of them. However, if we have really big emotions, high anxiety, or a tendency to have big fear or even paranoia, then seated meditation will just bring those up more. If you have tried seated (or static) meditation and it has been difficult for you, you might want to consider yoga, walking meditation, hiking, Chi Kung or Tai Chi. You might want to experiment with a Nia or Zumba class (dance / aerobics type of movement). With that said, if you are able to do seated meditation with relative ease, then that is a great way to calm the mind and body.
The benefits of meditation are multifaceted and far-reaching, according to Netdoctor. Depending on which form you adopt, you’re bound to experience a number of different outcomes that can improve your work performance and mental state. Vipassana (or ‘insight’ meditation) aims to liberate you from suffering caused by false perceptions. Mettā (or ‘loving-kindness’ meditation) helps you to cultivate self-compassion and repeated positive phrases.
With the right tools and shortcuts, you can save time, money, and stress. If you’re working with designers or other visual-based team members, a free online PDF editor could help you to condense PDFs, adding text, sticky notes, highlights, and other images to the document. You may also find time tracking apps prevent you from wasting hours unnecessarily or over-committing to a task.
Look for online resources that can help grow your knowledge, too. If you’re interested in SEO, for instance, you can learn more here. Brushing up on your SEO skills will help grow your business’s web influence and reach.
You may find that being an entrepreneur isn’t for you. If you want to rejoin the workforce in a different field, you may want to consider going back to school for a degree. If HR interests you, for example, consider this option. Pursuing a degree online has never been easier. And with flexible scheduling you can find a way to fit your coursework into your busy life.
Sometimes, when stress and anxiety become overwhelming, it’s important that we seek help. Online therapy is secure and private and can represent less of a time commitment than in-person options. With the right provider, you’ll have a wide variety of licensed professionals to choose from at reasonable rates. Before committing to any practice, carry out some research looking at the cost of a therapist and ask whether they offer a free consultation so you can ensure that you’re a good match.
Balance Work and Self-Care
Entrepreneurship is hard work, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental health. However busy you are and however many commitments you have in your schedule, be sure to free up a few hours in the week for that all-important self-care. Use apps to make your time more productive and to remind yourself when to take a break. And truly take a break by going for a walk, reading a book, or engaging in some other form of self-care. You are more important than your job, so find a way to balance your well-being alongside your career.
Thank you again to Camille Johnson who wrote the majority of this article. Slight edits done by Kirby Moore.