As an Entrepreneur or Business Owner, it can be incredibly hard to switch off from your business. Every minute not spent on your business almost seems unproductive. But it is equally important to take care of yourself and adopt some easy self-care practices.
Self Care for the Entrepreneur
I’ll admit, I’ve fallen into the trap of constantly working and feeling guilty if I’m not working. But as I reach total burn out, I realize that if I don’t take care of myself then I can’t take care of my client’s needs.
Another issue is the financial cost of investing in self-care. I’m still in start-up mode and every penny counts. Like everyone else, my priority is to keep a roof over my head and eat. I still worry about spending money on self-care even though I completely understand how valuable it is. After speaking to other entrepreneurs about this, I decided to list a few budget-friendly ways to ensure self-care is part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle!
I LOVE keeping fit and am a big fan of the various Barre workouts available. Heading to a barre class is a fun yet challenging experience, but it can be quite costly. Luckily they do have online classes for $19USD per month and you can find some barre classes listed on sites such as Class Pass.
There are also lots of free work out videos online. The current favourite is The Betty Rocker 30-Day challenge! It’s only 15 minutes per day of either an HIIT workout, strength building or yoga and it’s free! You can also sign up for the 30-day meal plan for $37USD (price may vary depending on when you are reading this). You have access to a well laid out meal plan with grocery lists, easy recipes, and a day-by-day menu.
As a former yoga teacher, I can usually pull my own little yoga routine together but I love being guided by another teacher and there are so many free yoga videos online. One of my recent favourites is Yoga with Adriene. Adriene has many videos from beginners to flow to yoga for anxiety and stress. She even has videos that go into detail on one particular pose.The videos vary in time so you can choose according to how much time you have. Perfect for the busy entrepreneur!
If you are lucky enough to live in a city that’s a stones through from a rainforest (like I am), then take a hike! Hiking in the great outdoors is ideal but if you can’t go that far then just go for a walk around your neighbourhood. Walking keeps you fit, clears your mind, and gets you away from your computer! And it’s free!
There is nothing better than going for a massage! Seriously! I do believe that finding a good Registered Massage Therapist who aligns well with your needs is of utmost importance, however, as an entrepreneur with no extended health benefits, it’s a price that can be a wee bit above the budget. Until you are making enough money, you can always check out Groupon for some massage deals or go to the closest school or college that offers massage training and sign up with one of the students!
I do my best to take 10 – 20 minutes per day for meditation. Despite my yoga background, I still suck at meditation. As I sit there, 1000 thoughts run through my mind at what feels like light speed but I still try and when I do, my head feels clearer, I feel more relaxed and focused. It serves me and my clients because I do better work. Meditation can be done in silence or using some sort of guide. There are lots of free guided meditations online or you can use an app such as Calm. This is my favourite new meditation tool as it has lots of different guided meditations for various issues (focus, sleep, anxiety, etc.) You can get the basic app for free or upgrade to premium for as little as $4.99USD per month.
Take a Virtual Retreat
Schedule at least one day per month for a virtual retreat. A virtual retreat means no computer, phone or tablet for the full day. Take yourself completely offline. Perhaps stay at home and read a book or meditate and relax. Or head off on a hike with a friend through the park or rainforest (if you are in Vancouver) and enjoy nature. No Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. No email or Messenger. You can of course take phone calls, or not – but make sure to let friends and family know so that they don’t worry about you!
Take Time Off!
If you don’t take time away from your work, you will burn out, your work will suffer and your clients will notice! Give them as much notice as possible when you are taking time off. I generally let clients know at the beginning of each month what my days off that month will be, and then send another reminder one week prior. I also set strong boundaries to ensure that it’s clear that I won’t be responding to text messages or emails while I’m off and that I’ll get back to them when I return. Clients who are also entrepreneurs completely understand and it’s rare that they will violate those boundaries.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
You might be at the point where you can’t do it all yourself. Well, perhaps you could but you wouldn’t have time to sleep. Hiring a contractor such as a Virtual Assistant to help out is the logical first step. You can hire a VA for the hours that you need them. As a contractor, you only need to use them as and when you need them. During busy months you can ramp up their hours, and during slow months, reduce the time you need to fit your budget. They can take on those smaller tasks at the beginning such as social media scheduling, email management, scheduling appointments, uploading blog posts, etc. But as you continue to build a relationship with them, you can give them more responsibility. It’s really up to you. Then when you take time off, you have someone to hold the fort while you are away.
What about you?
Do you have any self-care tips that you would love to share with us and the entrepreneur community? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Business is important, especially when it keeps a roof over your head and pays your bills but you can’t do that while suffering from exhaustion. Make sure to take time off to rest and look after yourself and spend time with family and friends. And when the time comes to hire a Virtual Assistant (so that you have cover when you go on vacation), contact us at Roche Online Business Services and schedule a complimentary consultation session. We’d love to help you find that work-life-balance.