• Susanne Birgersdotter

Health, wellness, and staying fit are important to me. Self-care is on top of my list. The biggest mistake an entrepreneur could commit is not taking care of himself/herself. And it is something that I vow not to make.

Self-care is totally under our control. Yet, not a few of us choose to forego of it. Of course, we can churn out hundreds and thousands of reasons to sidestep self-care. Busy schedules, urgent matters to take care of, can’t afford to waste time, will take a breather when things get easier. And, we don’t want to be accused of slacking. The list is endless.

Starting and running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. If you plan to stay longer in the race, you must pace yourself. To survive the long haul, one has to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.

The Importance of Self-Care

Even machines falter after long and incessant usage. And when they do, it’s either shut down for repairs or replaced. Either way, the productivity of the company suffers. As the frontrunner of your company, you cannot afford to go into ‘repairs’, much less be replaced. There will be no company to worry about if you’re not fit, able, and around.

Eliminate Burnouts – Burnout is a reality many of us choose to ignore. In fact, the last person to know about it is the one suffering. Irritability, fatigue, and impaired concentration are some of the early signs of burnout. Extremely burnout people often suffer from physical illness, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. We can easily avoid these symptoms with proper self-care.

Sustain your Creativity – The constant toll of running a business can be draining – physically, mentally, and even emotionally. Keeping up with the daily routine can create a monotony that will take away spontaneity, creativity, and fun in doing things. Stepping back to rejuvenate, relax, and refresh our mind and body will boost inventiveness and imagination, leading to inspired designs, smart solutions to daily problems, and brilliant business decisions.

Keeps you Healthy – Self-care will keep you cognizant of your body’s needs. You know what is good for you and aware of when your body needs a break. With self-care, you are being proactive with your health, taking the steps to ensure your wellness and maintain a balance that will eventually avoid serious health issues and problems in the future.

Boosts Motivation – Giving yourself time to enjoy life outside of the business will maintain your enthusiasm and drive to succeed. Self-care also curtails overexertion and extreme expectations with yourself. It gives you a more realistic view of goals, a better picture of what is achievable and what is not, what is impossible and what is doable. It makes you kinder with your shortcomings and faster with your congratulations. You will recognize your wins, despite everything, and thus, you keep the toil.

Keeps you Happy – Self-care will give you quality and memorable times with the family or indulge in a ‘me-time’, lets you enjoy hobbies and connect with friends. It tells you to maintain a good diet, stay active, and sleep adequately. The time you spend with the people you love and doing the things you enjoy are the time you should live for. This is where you cultivate relationships, love yourself a little bit more, and be happy.

Self-care is a lifestyle. Where you’re committed to it, it’ll happen. No busy schedule, no urgent matters, no all-important meeting will stop you from taking care of yourself. Self-care is not only about taking a break. It is also making sure that you’re physically able, emotionally well, and mentally fit. So, you take care not only of your physical wellbeing but also of your mental state. Here are some easy ways to do it;

*Talk to yourself, nicely too. Acknowledge the slip-ups, enjoy pep talks, and do not hesitate to shower yourself with praises. Self-talk is the most honest conversations you’ll get, enjoy!

*Do not compromise sleep. Your body needs rest, and so does your brain. The only way to do that is through a restful and adequate sleep.

*Establish a routine. Daily routines are pockets of enjoyment where you are on autopilot, no conscious decisions required yet every minute satisfying. Create morning routines, night routines or when commuting.

*Nurture a creative hobby. Creativity sparks joy and self-appreciation. Whether it is photography, gardening, or dance, the sense of creating and expressing is uplifting and self-fulfilling.

*Meditate. Meditation will help you calm your mind. It is very helpful during crucial moments, like when you’re about to make pivotal decisions and afraid of making a mistake. Meditation will help you focus on what’s important, eliminate the clutter, and recognize better paths and solutions.

*Get physical. An active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. Exercising keeps your weight down, your heart strong, and your mood up. Breaking a sweat releases dopamine, a happy hormone that also increases awareness and boosts concentration.

*Set downtimes. This is when you will disconnect from the business – an hour, a day, or a week without having to think about the company, just you, the people around you, the surroundings, or the activity you’re into.

*A positive close. Every night as you are going to sleep, think of at least three or five things that went well during the day. Some people will write down the highlights of their day on a journal.

*Reward yourself. It can be an hourlong play with your pet, an expensive bag, or a lazy night with a book, rewarding yourself for a goal achieved is important. The goal can be as big as opening your third branch or as trivial as surviving a tiresome day. Rewards give positive impact and this time, you get to choose your prize.