When you start your own business, one of the most challenging aspects is making time for yourself. Being your own boss means you are always on – working on the website, networking, marketing, generating leads and closing sales. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day to day running of the business that we have little time for anything else. But in order to remain at our best, we need to prioritise ourselves.
Starting your own business can also be a lonely game with no one to chat to, bounce ideas off or just share a coffee with. The combination of loneliness and busy-ness can lead to a situation of illness or even burnout. It’s crucially important to put ourselves first in our business. Below I have listed some specific actions you can take to make sure you are putting yourself first.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup”
Top tips for self-care:
- Having a routine really helps – getting up at the same time every day, having a fixed time for lunch, fixed days for specific tasks such as meeting clients, doing your books, doing marketing or blogging
- Some days we just can’t get everything done, whether there’s not enough hours in the day, or we’re just not feeling it for whatever reason. Rather than being hard on yourself, show some guilt-free self-compassion
- It’s easy for friends and family to think you sit around doing nothing or are available any time of day because you are home-based. Set and communicate clear boundaries, especially regarding your working hours and availability
- Taking some time out to meditate or practice mindfulness every day can make a huge difference to your clarity and prioritisation. Start small, with 3-5 mins per day, and build up gradually as you start to notice the positive effects
- When we’re busy, it’s easy to forget to eat, or take shortcuts by eating unhealthy foods, which ultimately has a detrimental effect on our bodies. Prepare yourself to make better choices to eat healthily by batch cooking, and preparing healthy snacks in advance
- Scientists say we should spend time walking in nature every day. I live near a park and the coast, so I try to take time every day to get out of the house for a walk, even if it’s just for 15 mins.
- Just getting out of the house is good for you. Meet a friend for lunch or coffee, bring your laptop to the local library or coffee shop for a change of scene once a week, it’s amazing the impact it will have
- My Fitbit app reminds me every evening at precisely 10.04 that it’s time to get ready for bed. While I don’t always stick to the exact time, it’s a nice reminder that I should be getting ready for bed when it’s tempting to watch another episode of Offspring
- Ask for help if you need it; reach out to friends or family if you’re feeling down, seek professional help of a therapist to look after your mental health, or elicit the help of a coach for getting clarity on how to move forward in your goals
- Laughter is the best medicine. As clinical as it sounds, I made myself a laughter playlist on YouTube, with clips from some of my favourite comedies like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Peep Show, Arrested Development, and The Office
- Treat yourself to a nice bubble bath (I am definitely not a bath person), your favourite meal, or a nice slice of cake
- In the gruel of running your day to day business, it’s easy to forget just how far you have come. Celebrate achievements (no matter how small), acknowledge how far you’ve come, and practice gratitude for where you are and what you have right now