Self-care means catering to your personal needs. Many of us know that self-care is a critical aspect of maintaining good health and personal wellness. We understand that by maintaining our well-being we can more effectively and efficiently fulfill our purpose to those who rely on us in our families, our businesses, and our communities. Despite this knowledge, putting our care first is hard. Many of us have been taught to push through, to put ourselves last, to disconnect from our bodies and feelings to do what has to be done. This behavior can cost us our health.
The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. Let this article serve as a friendly reminder that your health matters. In this article, we will explore these three areas of self-care and share some tips to keep in mind.
Physical wellness is essentially the well-being of the body and the quality at which our organs function. Below are a few great ways to keep your physical wellness in check:-
Tip 1: Stay active
Staying active is important to leading a healthy life. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Being active helps to improve brain function, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, manage your weight, and improve your overall quality of life. In fact, studies have shown that exercising just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. Not enough time to exercise? Some great ways to stay active even with a busy schedule, include: taking the stairs instead of the elevator when you visit the mall, walking around in the office while on a phone call, or parking your car a few extra yards away when you go shopping so you can get some extra steps in. It also helps to create a weekly exercise routine to cycle, visit the gym, do yoga, or take morning walks/runs along with some stretches.
Tip 2: Get adequate sleep
This is a sore spot for most entrepreneurs, as the urge to burn the candle at both ends is ever looming. After all, we only get 24 hours in each day and fewer hours spent sleeping could mean more time to be productive, right? While this is understandable, the National Sleep Foundation actually recommends that as adults, we should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. This is because the human body releases hormones during sleep that are essential in replenishing dead or damaged cells, and sleeping also helps the body to regulate energy for homeostasis. Lack of sleep creates an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, but also has the more immediate effect of difficulty focusing and impaired your judgment.
Tip 3: Maintain a healthy diet
Health is wealth, as it is often said, and our diet is one of the most significant determinants of a healthy life. We are what we eat, and eating healthy goes a long way in giving you the energy needed to stay alert and productive at work. A good diet also boosts immunity, making you less prone to common illnesses such as the flu, or more chronic ones like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, which could significantly hinder your productivity and compromise not only your business but also your overall quality of life and that of those around you. Our Dailygreatness® Wellness Journal is a great tool to help you plan your meals and create daily habits to maintain good health.
Tip 4: Reduce Screen Time
Prolonged screen time causes a strain on the eyes, and can cause mental fatigue which reduces your focus and reduces productivity in the long run. The light from your computer and phone screens may also interfere with your circadian rhythm, making it difficult to fall asleep at night. What we recommend is to set aside your phone and other electronic devices at least half an hour before you go to bed and at least half an hour after waking up in the morning. If you spend most of your day working on a computer, you can use a rule like the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent looking at your screen, look away at another object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Mental & Emotional Wellness
Tip 5: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness speaks to being present and aware of what’s going on around you and how you experience and interpret those things. A great way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. When you wake up in the morning, try to spend 10-15 minutes in silence, breathing freely, while occasionally taking a few deep breaths; try to control nothing, but rather, gently pay attention to the natural sensation of your breath as you inhale and exhale; pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest, and the subtle sounds around you—and just be present. Give yourself daily affirmations as a reminder of your goals, your value, and your purpose for doing what you do.
Tip 6: Get help if/when you need it
When you feel overwhelmed, it is okay to seek help. This stands true for different forms of help and may take whatever form best aligns with your need. The most common means of seeking help as a business owner may come in the form of hiring someone or a team to delegate some of your work to. However, sometimes the help that is needed is not around the delegation or sharing of responsibility, but rather, psychological support. It is equally important to seek out psychological support from your community or a professional when needed, as it is to know when to hire help.
Tip 7: Slow Down
When you start to feel stressed and overwhelmed, take time to relax, refocus, and look at the big picture. You can use your Dailygreatness Business Journal to record and keep track of your feelings, your goals, and your progress. As a business owner, most days you will have a lot of moving pieces to attend to, but trying to do everything all at once often leads to burnout and overwhelm, so it’s important to slow down occasionally and take stock of where you are mentally and emotionally. It also helps to understand and distinguish between the things you can control and the things you can’t control and approach each accordingly.
Your social wellness is measured by the quality of your relationships and interaction with others. Here are some ways you can enhance your social well-being and help protect against overwhelm.
Tip 8: Maintain healthy, constructive relationships.
It is often said that we are a reflection of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Having a healthy network of people around you can help you get through some of your most challenging days. It’s great to surround yourself with persons who are able to understand and relate to your experiences to some extent, or by the least, be able to empathize with your entrepreneurial journey.
Tip 9: Set Healthy Boundaries
As a business owner, your time and energy are limited. You must carefully manage whom and what you give your time, energy, and attention to. If you’re not careful, there are those who will take everything you have to spare, while feeding nothing back into you. In managing your mental and emotional well-being, it’s important to create and enforce strict boundaries in your interaction with others, as well as within yourself. Failure to set healthy boundaries will stretch you thin and wear you down, further exacerbating your overwhelm.
Tip 10: Enjoy life!
As cliché as it might sound, you really do get only one life to live. No matter how much you enjoy your line of business, there is an entire world outside of what you do professionally, and the soul yearns for experiences that fall outside our usual day-to-day routine. Sometimes we lose sight of this, and that’s fine—we are only human, after all. However, as humans, we also need an occasional reset, which can be just about anything from taking a vacation to simply incorporating a fun, relaxing, or otherwise fulfilling activity in your schedule that you can do once weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Self-care is crucial in reducing overwhelm, and there’s no doubt about it. Yet, despite knowing this, we often fail to take the steps needed to practice it. Use this moment as your opportunity to start by developing a daily routine where you can express gratitude, stretch, take a walk, and have a couple of healthy meals. Take advantage of the morning hours to dedicate to yourself so that you can be alert and energized to seize the day.