Business owners are busy people, and busy people tend to add on a lot of activities that can eat away at precious self-care time. Having spent many years understanding the value of self-care as a strategy to achieve success, I’ve learned taking a break and investing time in self-care has a lot to do with how productive, focused and energetic a business owner can be to lead a balanced and fulfilling life. Business owners should consider embracing self-care within their company culture, and it should start with the boss.
Entrepreneurism was already tough before COVID-19, and now the pandemic is adding extra pressures, which push the limits of our mental and physical health.
Unfortunately, there are negative ideas surrounding entrepreneurism where it comes to mental and physical health. You can read all about this with a quick Google search for articles about executives burning out and memes containing over-glamorized tech founders on social media promoting the idea that health comes second to business success. This may work for those overly glamorized entrepreneurs, but for the everyday business owner, self-care should be prioritized to live a healthy, fulfilled and balanced lifestyle, particularly during a pandemic.
What good does it do to you and your business if you are always tired, cranky, sickly and stressed?
Are you doing everything it takes to live a healthy lifestyle as a business owner?
Running a business is tough, which is why the boss needs to take care of his- or herself first. Lack of self-care can lead to avoidable health issues caused by stress and estranged relationships caused by avoidance of priorities. Kicking off a healthy lifestyle has many benefits, like increased energy to get more done, better concentration to analyze important decisions, and improved discipline to complete tasks.
Here are four tips to consider for a healthy lifestyle as a busy business owner:
- Meditate to let go of the daily negativity. Start with your mental health. Mediation is a great way to focus your thoughts on positive things like gratitude, creativity and solutions. There are many guided meditation videos and audios online you can find. Try meditating at least five minutes in the morning to set your day straight. Avoid checking your messages first thing when you wake up; instead, roll out of bed and sit quietly for five minutes to make a mental list of the things you are grateful for. Before bed, repeat the same process.
- Sleep well and take breaks so you can think better. Working long hours and burning the midnight oil is a thing of the past. There are times when you may want to extend your workday to accomplish urgent deadlines, however, you can limit your work time by setting a strict sleep schedule. A sleep schedule may sound to you like nails on a chalk board or like angels singing from heaven. Whatever you hear, stick to your sleep schedule. This routine allows your brain to catch up on mental processes that help you think better the next day. Have you tried to go to work with little to no sleep the night before? There is not enough coffee in the world that can replace the energy you get from a good sleep.
- Exercise to strengthen your emotional, mental, and physical health. Get your body moving — in the morning or whenever you have time. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to some form of physical activity. If you work at a sedentary job, this is even more important to do. Exercise releases a lot of healthy hormones, which allow your physical system to perform at an optimum level for your body type. Take a walk around the block, follow an online exercise program, invest in a home gym space, or find a beautiful trail to explore. Do not worry about appearance goals or what the number on the scale says. The point is to dedicate time in your day for physical activity to feel good while you work. Long-term exercise will have many benefits to your body that will pleasantly surprise you down the road.
- Eat well to feel well and keep hydrated. It is no secret that eating well and staying hydrated are the pillars of good health. Daily food choices make a big difference in the way you feel, not just in your looks. Try eating more fruits and vegetables and less chips or unhealthy snacks. Drinking water helps you avoid headaches and keeps your brain operating at its best. Avoid eating late and drink as much water as you can throughout the day.
Getting a healthy lifestyle started does not need to be difficult, you just need to find yourself a good enough reason to stick to it. In my case, I never want to feel the stress I felt many years ago when I did not take self-care seriously. Try writing some daily affirmations to remind yourself about your self-care goals and get accountability from someone you trust.
The rewards for sticking to your healthy lifestyle routine will go far beyond your business success. It is the way to live successfully every day.
EDGAR RAFAEL OLIVO is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.
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