Self-care is crucial for entrepreneurs in all stages of their business. Entrepreneurs can overwork and not realize it until too late. Self-care won’t solve burnout. We need to do self-care BEFORE burnout hits. Even if you are nowhere near burnout, you can prioritize caring for yourself.
The term self-care came about in the United States in the 50s. Doctors realized people have to take care of themselves. They can’t do everything for the patient. Then, in the 60s, The Black Panther Party used the term self-care to fight against systemic racism. Civil rights activists knew they couldn’t depend on the system to help them or care for their health.
Self-care activities include any hobby or action that brings your joy. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin, it’s essential to take some time. This could be taking a walk outdoors, reading your favorite book, cooking your favorite meal, or anything else that makes you happy.
Self-Care Reduces Stress Levels
It’s no secret that stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health. This is especially true for entrepreneurs, who often have to juggle multiple priorities and wear many hats.
Self-care should be practiced regularly to reduce stress. Taking a break from work to do something you enjoy – whether taking a walk, reading a book, or watching your favorite show – can help rejuvenate you mentally and emotionally, making you more productive when you return to work.
Here are self-care tips for entrepreneurs. All of these tips won’t work for everyone. But I hope you can find at least one thing from this list to do.
Nine self-care tips for entrepreneurs
When we’re busy, it’s easy to forget to take a breath. However, self-care is not just about eating healthy and getting exercise. It’s also about remembering to breathe deeply and mindfully. There are proven benefits to mindful breathing, which can help stave off stress and regulate blood pressure. A simple technique that can help busy entrepreneurs remember to breathe deeply is guided meditation or breathing exercises. Yoga and other guided meditation practices can also be helpful for this purpose. There are plenty of apps or podcasts that provide these types of activities like Headspace. The tips in this article are meant to help entrepreneurs focus better.
2. Minimize stress through exercise
Regular exercise has benefits beyond physical health. Regular aerobic exercise boosts memory and learning skills, which helps lower stress levels for busy entrepreneurs. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week but does not have a specific recommendation for how much time is spent in the gym or on the treadmill. Take the dog for a walk. Engage in some light desk yoga. Tackle some yard work on your breaks instead of emailing or talking on the phone all day long.
3. Get better sleep
There are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep, such as improved decision-making ability, creativity, and productivity. In addition, a good night’s sleep can help improve your physical health. The number of hours you nap is up for debate – some people need 10 minutes while others need an hour. Some people believe all napping is bad. I disagree because a nap helps my focus and memory if I have had a long day. Use a sleep app to monitor and fine-tune your sleeping habits. Everyone is different in terms of how much sleep they need, but it is essential to get enough rest to function correctly.
According to the CDC, the cost of not getting enough sleep should not be ignored – adults need at least 7 hours per night. In addition, sleep deprivation is a leading cause of death in the U.S., so it is essential to get enough shut-eye every day!
Per the sleep foundation, some indications you are not getting enough deep sleep include:
- Feeling unrefreshed and drowsy
- Reduced alertness and attention
- Trouble learning and forming new memories
- Cravings for high-calorie food
Self-care should be practiced regularly to reduce stress. Taking a break from work to do something you enjoy – whether it’s taking a walk, reading a book or watching your favorite show – can help rejuvenate you mentally and emotionally.
4. Fuel up to increase energy
When you’re feeling run down, it’s tempting to skip a meal or engage in unsustainable dieting and toxic cultural messages. Instead, however, you need to take care of your body and yourself to increase velocity.
Nutritional information is so overwhelming that it’s easy to opt for fast food rather than healthy options when you’re busy. However, it’s important to eat when you’re hungry and avoid junk food in favor of healthy meals. In addition, adding herbs to your diet can increase energy levels and moods; some great examples are ginger, turmeric, lavender, basil, and rosemary.
Entrepreneurs should be mindful of their health if they want to maintain effective use of their time over an extended period. Taking care of oneself is vital for running a business and maintaining mental stability during challenging times.
5. Seek Human Interaction
While entrepreneurs are often seen as lone wolves, working in isolation is not always the healthiest or most productive way to work. Seeking human interaction is necessary for entrepreneurs to maintain their mental well-being. This does not mean that you have to be surrounded by people all of the time – instead, it means taking some time out of each day to talk to your favorite people, whether that’s your family, friends, or colleagues. Often simply talking through your problems will help you find a solution.
6. Engage in activities and hobbies outside of work
Finding time for self-care can be a challenge if you’re a busy entrepreneur. Sign up for a class or join a group to keep hobbies fresh. Separate your work and relaxation time so as not to feel too stressed out all the time. Having fun outside of work is an excellent way to decompress and can help reduce stress levels overall. Working from home can be good for business and help you get more done in less time by spending more quality time with family/friends. However, it’s important to set boundaries to still get work done during the hours you want to work.
Spending time on a new hobby can help entrepreneurs reflect and be present-minded in their business ventures.
7. Create a workspace you love
When you’re working on your business, it’s important to have a space that inspires you. This could be anything from a designated office to a corner of your living room. When designing your workspace, think about how the space will affect your productivity. For example:
“No beds or couches, as comfy as that may seem,” she said. “You don’t want your relaxation areas to be associated with work. Keep your phone and laptop out of the bedroom when sleeping if possible so that you’re not constantly connected to work.”
Source: Eurofound and the International Labour Office (2017), Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, and the International Labour Office, Geneva
-Are there enough outlets for all of my devices?
-Is the lighting appropriate?
-Do I have plenty of storage for my supplies?
-How will this space make me feel?
In addition to considering the practical aspects of your workspace, don’t forget about creature comforts. A plant can also positively affect wellness and happiness, so consider adding one to your environment. It’s also important to do small acts of self-care every day to maintain your mental health and well-being. Taking breaks throughout the day, eating healthy foods, and getting regular exercise are essential components of self-care. And lastly, remember that it’s helpful to create a workspace that reflects your moods and creativity. As you spend time in your workspace, it’s important not to have too many distractions or clutter. This way, you’ll be able to focus on what’s important—your work!
8. Treat yourself—you deserve it.
Self-care is not always just about indulging in something you enjoy. There are many ways to treat yourself and reward yourself, whether by reading a book or taking a trip. Some people may need to be more creative with their self-care routine since they don’t have the time or money for extravagant gestures. However, being aware of your mental health and taking care of yourself should be a priority for everyone, regardless of how busy they are. So take some time every day for yourself, even if it’s just 10 minutes. And encourage everyone else to do the same!
9. Check in with your mental health.
Regular exercise and sleep will help reduce the risk of depression, mood swings, and loss of motivation in entrepreneurs. Mental health is a way to care for yourself, not just mentally but also physically. Mental wellness includes exercise and eating right, and checking in with yourself throughout the day. If you’re still struggling with self-care practices after establishing a support system, talk to a professional. Talkspace is excellent for people with busy schedules if you are looking for a therapist. Use the coupon SPACE to get $100 off.
I hope these self-care tips for entrepreneurs were helpful. Self-care starts with self-understanding – knowing your needs and doing something about it to make you feel better. Neglecting self-care leads to burnout and physical health problems.
Interested in more?
If this feels like a supportive next pathway for how you’d like to navigate self-care and stress, you can head here to learn more.
*There are affiliates link in this post. Use these links and it costs you nothing. I only recommend resources and products I love.