The entrepreneurial journey is a fun and whirlwind one, where we are both excited and afraid of what’s in store. We become so engrossed in the world, discovering new information, new strategies, tools, and especially other entrepreneurs on their very own journeys. It becomes our obsession & although it’s somewhat a great thing for our business growth, it can also become our poison. Which leads to self-neglect.
My own journey began with many late nights as I set the foundation of my business. Branding development, service package development, marketing & one key for ultimate growth, business education. I became obsessed with the journey trying my best to gain momentum. I didn’t realize that whilst I was giving my all to my new business, I was giving a minimal 1% to myself. I lacked sleep, I lacked exercise, and food became somewhat of a luxury “eat when possible”. Sadly, this led to burnout. Overwhelmed and the feeling of “failure”; and at this point, I knew that I had to do something about it. If I wanted true lasting change and to create the massive impact I wanted to create I had to start taking care of myself.
Unfortunately, this is not a situation only I face during the entrepreneurial journey. In fact, quite a few budding business babes find themselves in this predicament for the sake of growth and success. I see it all the time in the Facebook communities I am part of. Women starting with a bang & always seem to be active by what seems like 24/7 in the groups as a result of the burst of excitement. But it’s important to find the balance between the two, and I’m going to share two effective tips on how to ensure this can be implemented.
Create a self-care routine that begins upon first waking. One of my key action tools to ensure that I take the time out for myself is my morning routine. Creating a non-negotiable morning routine has not only inspired my sanity, but also my overall health. During this time, I ensure that I do not absorb any external content relating to “business development” but “personal development”. No matter how much we want the physical manifestation of our goals, the internal energy must also be in sync with this. If you’re stressed out, you are unable to focus fully on your action steps. There is a limit on the productivity level you expel, it becomes forceful “because you know that you MUST” do this, as opposed to willingly embracing it.
Now you may ask how to begin this? I think it’s important to first get your thoughts on paper or “journal out whatever thoughts, whatever feeling you may have woken up with. If it’s good, write it out, if it’s bad, write it out. Take time out to dump out your brain of the clutter as well as the uplifting thoughts you can look back on. There are times when I literally dream about work or have to force myself to not think about work before bedtime. Another thing you can incorporate into that morning routine can be setting out positive affirmations on paper, not just thinking about them, but literally writing out what you’re grateful for. If you do decide to incorporate external content, be sure that it’s spiritually inspiring, meaning “relating to self-development or instilling feel-good energy”.
Of course, the emotional aspect needs to be covered but equally important is the physical aspect. And by physical, I mean taking the time out to engage in FUN ACTIVITIES. My initial weakness, but I have managed to create a strategy for this. I literally used to have to force myself to get out of the house. Sad I know right, but it actually balances out the emotional well-being aspect of your self-care practice when starting a business. Make going to the spa a regular thing, even though it’s once a month, go grab a drink with your best buddies “who won’t talk about business-related subjects” once a month, or make grab lunch a weekly activity.
And then there’s the internal care aspect, which covers eating right, sleeping right, and definitely exercising right. I try my best to pack in at least 6 hours a night, sometimes if I’m lucky more. Now don’t get me wrong, there will still be nights when will feel the need to “pull an all-nighter”, but try your best to not make it a habitual thing because it can be easy to get sucked back into the old habits.
Now I may not be the best at exercising “guilty confession”, but I definitely try my best to make it as regular as possible. Sitting at a desk, consuming information regularly, creating strategies, attending workshops can drain the living daylights out of you; so, you definitely need to replenish not only your strength but clarify your mind; and exercising is one of the best ways to rejuvenate. If you’re new at it, start slow. Try some yoga, or a short walk or jog in the evenings “outside”, and as you continue on your business journey build upon it.
What self-care tips do you practice since beginning your entrepreneurial journey? Do you struggle to maintain it? And if you don’t have a self-care routine in place, did this post inspire you to begin one? I would love to read your feedback.