Have you ever thought you’d get to self care later after you finished one more project, blog post, book, launch, etc.? I know I have! But I learned the hard way self care needs to be incorporated along the way, not once you’re burnt out and exhausted.
As an entrepreneur, it’s vital you incorporate self care into your daily routine, whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours. You might be thinking, “That sounds great! But I really need to build my business right now. I’ll get to self care later!”
Today we’re chatting about how practicing self care for entrepreneurs can actually help you build your business, and avoid the dreaded entrepreneurial burnout.
What is Self Care for Entrepreneurs?
So what do I mean when I talk about self care for entrepreneurs? Self care isn’t always about lighting candles and practicing meditation.
The most important consideration for creating your entrepreneurial self care routine is finding what fills you up. What leaves you feeling better than when you started? What activities, experiences, places, people, or things give you more of the feelings you’re looking for in your life? What makes you feel most connected with your purpose, vision, and goals? What makes you feel most like you?
For me, self care is about practicing what makes me feel most like me. After spending 5 years absolutely miserable as a corporate attorney, I felt so out of touch with who I was. I spent so much time trying to conform, help others, and be something that felt so disconnected from my core that I’d ignored my true hopes and desires. So my self care practice focuses on connecting with who I am, who I want to be, and what kind of business I want to run.
6 Types of Self Care for Entrepreneurs
1. Motion Changes Your Emotions
You can change (or shift) your emotions through motion. Motion looks different for everyone, but it’s vital that we continue to move our bodies as we build our businesses.
Think of some type of movement that lights you up: walking, Barre class, yoga, running, etc. Prioritize that type of movement in your day, especially each time you feel emotions creeping up that you’d like to change.
2. Boost Your Creativity
Incorporating self care into your routine can actually boost your creativity and give you new ideas for service offerings, products, or projects.
If I stop having fun or doing anything for the pure purpose of cultivating joy, I have trouble coming up with new ideas. When I feel myself lacking creativity, I schedule in some playtime.
Step out of your head and away from your desk to boost creativity, create new experiences, and bring more joy into your life.
3. Social Connections
There are 2 big reasons focusing your self care on social connections can help you grow your business: clearing your mind and market research.
Talk to others who aren’t coaches, don’t have an online business, and don’t know what an email sequence is. It can be so refreshing to get away from this world and hear about what’s going on in others’ lives.
Focusing on making social connections through your self care can also help you build your business through market research. You don’t necessarily have to plan it this way — but pay attention to what your friends and family say about your area of expertise (food, exercise, etc.) Ask follow-up questions like “What challenges are you facing with fitness? How do you think you could overcome that challenge?”
Sometimes we’re so deep into what we’re doing, that we forget what people’s pain points really are. Something that’s easy for us (food prep) might be so foreign to the people we’re marketing to. Using your social interactions with others as market research is a great way to naturally and organically pick up on market trends.
4. Your Clients Can Relate
Sharing your motivation behind practicing self care can be really motivating and make you more relatable to your clients. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I take a walk. I usually share my experience with my followers, and I get so many “me, too!” responses.
You can also talk to your followers about your struggle to find balance and incorporate self care into your routine. Chances are they’re struggling to incorporate it, too. And although they may not be entrepreneurs, they can relate to learning how to balance, how to find “me time,” and how, somedays, it just doesn’t happen.
5. Be Your Fullest Self to Be Fully Present
By prioritizing self care, you’re coming to each coaching session, blog post, webinar, etc. as more present, full-version of you. And that’s what your clients want and deserve anyway, right?
I know people struggle with thinking of self care as selfish. But when you think about it, self care actually helps you, your clients, partner, kids, friends, colleagues, etc. It’s not selfish at all for you to be the best version of you.
6. Networking + Business Connections
As an attorney, I learned an awesome business tip about organic networking and client development. My old firm encouraged us to join teams, groups, boards/organizations, or volunteer places we felt truly and naturally passionate about.
You can easily incorporate self care and networking at the same time. Love animals and have been thinking about volunteering at a local shelter? That’s a perfect example of doing something that lights you up, while also making connections in the process.
And truly, there’s no better (and cheaper) way to advertise you and your business than that. All while doing good and prioritizing self care at the same time.
Self Care Tips for Entrepreneurs
When starting your business, we’re playing multiple roles in the business and self care just never gets to the top of your to do list. So, how can you fit self care into your busy schedule? Here are our self care tips for entrepreneurs.
Your Physical Health
We aren’t saying you have to absolutely find time in each day to exercise because, as entrepreneurs, we know that just isn’t always possible. Instead, smaller and more frequent bursts of exercise can actually be beneficial – even if you just break for a few minutes to do some jumping jacks or run around the block.
Your Mental and Emotional Health
Self care, as an entrepreneur, also means taking care of your mental and emotional health as well. Anxiety and higher levels of stress often plague entrepreneurs as they work to build their business and find success. However, if you fail to take your mental health into consideration, you will find that your business can suffer as a result.
Regular meditation can help improve your overall sense of well-being and can also help lower your blood pressure and improve your concentration and focus.
Focus on Nutrition
Our diet is one of the most overlooked aspects of our health and is something we need to consider when finding time to practice self care. As entrepreneurs, we tend to work long hours, and we are always on the go. For this reason, we need to find a diet that works best with our schedule, so we don’t eat unhealthily.
Financial wellness often requires a strong self care routine. You need to take a more holistic look at your current financial situation and then take the time to make your money work for you to achieve financial wellness in addition to physical and mental health and well-being.
Avoid Negative Self-Talk
It is also beneficial to remain positive even through adversity and challenges. Avoid negative self-talk that can bring you down. To do this, keep in mind that your thoughts and feelings aren’t always reality, contain your negativity, shift your perspective, and remember to breathe.
Self care is important for both your professional wellness as well as your personal health and well-being as a business owner. It is all about finding the right work-life balance and finding the self care strategies that work best for you and fit best into your hectic schedule.
This article is a guest post by Sam Vander Wielen, a corporate attorney-turned-entrepreneur and health coach. She helps women confidently create businesses and content they love by protecting themselves with DIY legal templates and resources.