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Making Time for Self-Care As a Business Owner
  • 21 February 2018
  • Eric Michaels

Making Time for Self-Care As a Business Owner

When you’re a business owner, the last thing you’re likely thinking of doing is setting aside time to take care of yourself or making it to a yoga class. But what if stress and a heavy workload are slowing you down?

It’s no secret that professionals who focus too much on work without taking the time to restore their energy risk burning out. To increase your productivity, consider focusing on simple things you can incorporate into your weekly schedule that can help you maintain focus, relieve stress, and reset your mind.

When you’re attentive to yourself, you in turn, can be a better leader. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

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Manage your stress

As a small business owner, stress is inevitable. You’ve got a lot riding on the success of your business. Keep stress in check by prioritizing tasks. When there’s too much on your plate, learn to delegate certain tasks. You might offload a specific function to a third-party expert that can help you with efficiency. Or perhaps you have an associate that can help take over recurring tasks that eat up your time, while at the same time, offer that person an opportunity to hone a new skill.

Take time to reflect on what’s going well with your business. It’s easy to get caught up thinking about the long list of “need to dos” or “didn’t go as planned” items. While taking note of lessons learned is important, it’s just as important to keep moving forward. Take note of what is working well, recent accomplishments or wins.

Breaks and rest

Sometimes you just need to step away for ten minutes to break away from the grind. Take a short walk, step outside and practice some slow, deep breaths. Grab a drink of water, make time for light conversation with a colleague or someone that just happens to be in your same area at the time.

The other big component of rest is a good night’s sleep. Sleep is so important in maintaining health. Sleep allows our brains to recharge and our bodies to repair and restore – from muscles to memory. When you’re deprived of less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, you are more likely to feel stressed, tired, and sluggish.

Get physical

Ask any health or fitness coach and they’ll likely talk about how the human body runs on energy, not food. The human body can generate energy in many ways—but working 16 hours straight is not one of them. Whether you are hunched over a computer, staring at spreadsheets or constantly answering calls, the negative physical and emotional effects on your body can be severe. Combat this with regular exercise.

Easier said than done, it can be hard to make time for working out when you’re busy running a small business. Look for ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Instead of letting the dog out in the yard, put the leash on them and take Fido for a brisk walk – early in the morning or later in the evening, whatever works for you. Rather than mindlessly zoning out to your phone in the evening, look for a short 20- to 30-minute exercise video you can stream for free – many don’t even require any additional equipment and you can do them from the convenience of your home, hotel room, or office.

Regular exercise often produces tangible physical benefits, as well as improving your focus and reducing stress.

Self-care benefits

When you engage in mindful practices, you get a chance to step away from your devices and business management duties for a short period of time. Taking a break from the daily grind for just a few minutes can be liberating. In fact, you’ll be better prepared to deal with the toughest parts of your business when you feel grounded.

Take the time to schedule that yoga class and work quick mindfulness breaks into your day to refocus and boost your energy levels. You’ll feel better prepared to tackle any new task that comes your way, and your company will be better for it.

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