It’s an understatement to say that business owners have a lot on their plate. Sales and business growth, cash flow, human resources, operations, and everything else that lands in the lap of the business owner often means long days and some weekends, too. Factor in the time that is spent with the family, and it is easy to see that the time available for any sort of self-care is extremely limited.
Self-care is not frivolous and is fundamental to a business owner’s success both professionally and personally. While busy days and nights are the norm, here are some things that can be integrated into the life of even the busiest business owners:
I can almost hear the sighs! While everyone knows that exercise is important for health, many business owners will cite reasons “why” they can’t find the time to exercise. Of course, you have the time; it’s simply a matter of setting your priorities. The key is to do something that you enjoy. If going to the newly re-opened gym is a chore, then find a way to exercise outside or in your home. A brisk walk or run in the morning will motivate you for the day, having a set of free weights in your office means that when you find yourself with an extra 10 minutes, you can do some reps, and there are many exercises that you can do at your desk as well. The key is to set the plan to get it done. You don’t need to dedicate hours per day to exercise, 20 – 30 minutes will suffice, even if you have to spread out the time over the day.
“I can get by on three hours of sleep a night” and “I don’t need to sleep to be at my best” are all false. Scientific research shows that adults require an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and while one night of burning the midnight oil won’t sabotage your health, a steady diet of sleepless nights can undermine your mental acuity, stamina, and overall health. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by turning off your devices, settling down with a good book or articles to read, meditating, or engaging in something that will be relaxing.
If you find yourself having junk food for lunch or dinner, or skipping meals altogether, then you must make a lifestyle adjustment that enables you to eat nutritious meals. There is a vast diversity of meal plan services that can prepare and deliver well-balanced and delicious meals to your home with other options including a personal chef or doing a week’s worth of meal prep over the weekend. You can’t maintain your health and wellbeing without eating the types of foods that will enable you to do so.
Even the most disciplined and busy business owner needs to treat themselves every once in a while. Whether you buy something for yourself, take a trip (even a weekend away can be very hedonistic!), or set aside quality time with friends, family, or by yourself, small moments of self-indulgence can help to keep you going, even when going through the toughest times.
Most importantly, take a few moments each day to stop what you are doing, breathe deeply, and be grateful for what you have, what you’ve accomplished, and how much is going well. Being grateful might be the very best self-care of all.
Remember too that you aren’t any good for your family, friends, or business if you aren’t taking care of yourself so that you’re at the top of your game. Don’t forget that!