When you think of the stuff you're getting done for your business this week, you probably think of a never-ending mix of To-Dos you need to check off so you can succeed. But most of us don't include one thing that also leads to success: self-care.
You might think self- care's less important when you have a team relying on you and customers to please. You want to succeed at being your own boss, like, yesterday and that means hustling as much as possible. Sure, you'd feel better if you took care of yourself but that doesn't relate to business, right?
But when your weekly nights out become monthly and your lunches become snacks at your desk, it can --- and eventually does --- hurt your dream even as that extra effort seems to help.
And yes, we do need to be flexible about all the things as an entrepreneur. But the bottom line is skimping on self-care isn't good for business. Here are the reasons why
Why Your Business Needs YOU To Practice Self Care
You need self-care to make good decisions.
When you don't take the time to recharge, you're in a stressful state all the time. Science says this is your brain's "fight or flight" mode when you're all about action and full of adrenaline.
It might sound like you'll get lots of things done in this mode, but when you're on too long, your brain can't think as clearly as when you're rested. In fact, scientists tell us we start to make "spontaneous and irrational decisions" when we're burnt out. And we all know that's bad news as someone who strategizes for your business's growth.
You need self-care to focus.
You've sometimes felt slow on the uptake on the job. You just can't seem to concentrate on what you need to do. And that unfocused state of mind means you're distracted from doing your best work.
When you add self-care to your routine, you can hone your focus and lessen these unproductive episodes. The proof is in the numbers: employees taking regular breaks have 28% more focus than those who don't.
You need self-care to cut down stress.
Stress and your business don't play well together. It leads to health problems and less productivity. It drains you so you're too tired to think, and not able to show up at work. Literally even, some people get stress-related sicknesses that keep them from coming to work.
In fact, a recent study found stress costs US companies up to $190 billion every year! That's a lot of money that could be used to help businesses succeed.
Stress, though natural when putting yourself and your dream out there, is definitely not your friend as an entrepreneur. And dealing with it means you have to take care of yourself.
We've talked about how self-care is a key to your business's success. So how do we do it, especially as busy bosses?
It's easy, actually. And it only takes a short time to do it.
10 Quick Self-Care Tips
1. Take a nap.
The next time you feel unfocused at work, catch a short nap. You're not as productive when you lack sleep, and a refreshing power nap can help you be more alert.
20 minutes is the optimal nap time, by the way. Snooze longer than that, and you might be more groggy than alert.
Stand up and stretch for a few minutes. It can make your muscles less tense and help you relax.
3. Snuggle with a pet.
Cuddling up to a slobbering furry friend after a long day is a powerful way to relax. Spending just 5 minutes with an animal lowers stress and increases our happy hormones. By the way, this also works with an animal that's not your pet!
4. Dance to a song.
When you feel tired, dancing to music is a fun way to stop feeling anxious. Whether you prefer the latest tunes or the classics, you can still get some stress relief from bopping along to one song.
5. Catch up with a friend.
You know how you feel better after sharing problems with a friend? Studies tell us talking with others --- whether meaningful conversations or fun chats --- seem to make people happier and reduce negative feelings. So when you need a break, have a quick conversation or vent to a good friend over the phone.
6. Close your eyes.
The next time you're in the middle of a stressful situation, close your eyes for a few minutes. It can calm you down and bring back your focus.
7. Have a cup of tea (or some chocolate!).
8. Look out a window.
Have no time to relax? Look out a window at the trees outside. Doctors tell us this is more relaxing than looking at a TV or computer screen. Even a short 5-minute break can make a difference.
9. Let the (day)light in.
Daylight and productivity go hand in hand. Science says having more daylight in your office can make you happier, less stressed, and more focused. So open your blinds and add some light to your workspace.
10. Take a walk.
Walk outside the next time you feel overwhelmed, even if it's a cold or cloudy day. The added daylight, alone time, and brief exercise will help you re-center yourself before getting back to work.
You've read all the evidence on how self-care relates to business and you've learned a few ways to start.
But if you don't do anything about what you've just read, you'll miss the chance to do better at business.
So today, pick one idea for self-care in this post and schedule it in this week. When that time rolls around, treat it like an appointment that can't be missed and just do it.
Your business will get a zing from your renewed focus and energy, and you'll feel awesome too.
I've got a list of 7 self-care ideas that take a bit more time but also have a bigger positive effect on you and your business. Grab the report below
Hey, I'm Daisy Uy.
(My last name sounds like “Oi!” with a long o, if you’re curious.) I spend half the year traveling around the world and the other half calling the Philippines home. I started Fistfuls of Life to help women build lives that light them up from within, just as I did. Take a look if you're interested in doing good work you love, intentional living, and a scoop of clutter-busting. You might also be interested in joining my free course Busy Without The Crazy!