When you’re a busy entrepreneur and a mom, there never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish everything. By the time you get the kids out of bed, fed, dressed and out the door, the morning is already half over, leaving you only a few hours to finish your next blog post or answer customer emails before you take on the afternoon chauffeuring shift.
And if you have a baby or toddler at home all day, time flies by in a crazy blur. Before you know it, it’s time to prepare dinner and put the little one to bed, leaving you to finish your work at night, when you should be resting.
You’re nothing less than a rock star, so you manage to finish everything and meet everyone’s needs every day.
Well, maybe not everyone’s… What about you? All that running around is bound to take its toll, and if you don’t make time for self-care, you’ll eventually crash and burn.
If you think you don’t have time to “waste” on your own needs, think again. Self-care can actually affect your business’s bottom line for the better. After all, when you’re refreshed and recharged, you’ll perform much better on the job.
Here’s how you can incorporate self-care into your business routines to make sure you stay healthy.
1. Take a Dedicated Lunch Break
If you’re in the habit of multitasking to the point of checking email while you eat lunch, try taking a break. Studies show that eating more slowly is better for your health overall and can help you lose weight if that’s your goal. Step away from your desk to eat lunch in a different room, and concentrate on chewing and enjoying your food. This bit of mindfulness will help you recharge for the afternoon’s work.
2. Eat Fresh, Healthful Food
Speaking of lunch, a major part of self-care is making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs to run at peak capacity. Fast food and prepackaged cookies are not brain food, and they’ll lead you straight into a sugar crash that leaves you unable to focus for a portion of your workday. Keep your energy up and your mind clear by stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on throughout the day.
3. Avoid Alcohol During the Workday
When you’re having a stressful day at work — and you work from home — it might be tempting to crack open a bottle of wine to take the edge off. This is never a good idea! Working Mad Men-style will emphatically not lead to your best ideas, and it could cause you to make costly errors. One in eight women report binge drinking at least three times a month, and many moms of young children binge drink as a replacement for proper self-care. You should choose a healthier alternative to cope.
4. Take a Walk
Your body needs exercise. No matter how busy you are, there’s always 15 minutes to spare for a quick walk outside. The fresh air will improve your mood, and cardiovascular exercise is always a good thing. Take your walk in a beautiful park and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. If walking at a park isn’t an option, take a walk outside and put on your headphones. Not only will your body thank you, you’ll also be more productive for the rest of the day.
5. Take a Day Off
The beauty of running your own business is that you can control your schedule, so take advantage! Schedule at least one day a week where you don’t open work emails or take calls (you know, like a normal person). If you have employees, designate a go-to person to take charge. If you’re a freelancer, make sure you have a day without deadlines each week.
6. Try Adding Yoga to Your Life
Exercise is great for your health and overall wellbeing, but yoga is extra special for self-care because it teaches you to focus on your spirit as well as your body. You’ll learn to focus on your breath and meditate, and many yoga poses relieve stress. What more could you ask for from a workout routine?
7. Keep Regular Office Hours
After putting in an eight-hour day, it’s time to take a break and spend time with your family. They know when you’re not fully in the moment with them, and if you’re constantly distracted, your relationships will suffer. Closing the laptop at dinner time and keeping it that way gives you time to reconnect and feel fully present — a gift to yourself and your loved ones.
When you take a little bit of time to invest back into your own wellbeing, you’ll come back to your work recharged and energized, and this will allow you to be much more productive. If you’re facing each day exhausted and running on empty, your work will suffer. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking care of yourself is actually great for business, so don’t delay: Practice these self-care tips and reap the benefits today.
What self-care tips do you have? Share in the comments.