After years of being an entreprenuer, I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I have the privilege of following my passion, working with the clients I care about, and creating my own schedule.
But with that flexibility also comes great responsibility, for both my professional and personal life. As much as the term “self-care” has become a bit of a buzzword, it’s important to remember the concept behind it. I can’t take care of my clients if I’m not taking care of myself.
The Importance of Self-Care as an Entrepreneur
The importance of practicing good self-care as an entrepreneur is something many of us learn the hard way. Working from home makes it so easy to fall into the trap of just one more thing. Whenever I walk past the doors of my home office, it spurs thoughts of that one client I need to email, gives me an idea for a blog post for another, or reminds me to schedule the social posts for Emily Writes. Surely I can duck in here for just a second ….
Suddenly that one second turned into an hour and I still haven’t taken a break!
What I’ve learned over the years, and especially since becoming a mom, is that my time is valuable and I can’t show up for my family and my clients if I’m not showing up for myself first. Whether it’s a few minutes or an hour a day, I know I have to schedule some time to take a break and put myself first.
Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Entrepreneurs
One of my secrets to success is the consistent practice of self-care. When I skip taking care of myself, I can feel it! I feel more stressed, I have a hard time concentrating, my productivity and creativity are low, and I feel burnt out. Can you relate?
Here are my favorite ways to incorporate self-care into my schedule – whether I have 5 minutes or an hour of free time:
1. Get some fresh air!
All too often as an entrepreneur, an entire day can fly by without stepping foot outside. Fresh air and sun are important for both your body and mind. Whether you take a walk, enjoy your lunch outside, or your morning coffee outside – be sure to spend at least a little time outside every day! Having a dog and a toddler has made this easier for me since I’m not the only one who needs a change of scene
2. Create a workspace you love.
Be sure to create a dedicated workspace. If you don’t, it can be easy for work to follow you around the house. Your workspace should make you feel comfortable, inspired, and eager to work. While I am guilty of the occasional work-from-the-couch day, I spent 90% of my working time at my desk in my office.
3. Clock out!
As an entrepreneur, it can be easy to never clock out of work. Stop this from happening by setting – and sticking to! – boundaries and a set working schedule. Just because you can work outside of traditional 9 – 5 working hours, doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7! Again, having a toddler has made this easier for me, since I usually only work during her nap times.
4. It’s okay to say no.
Remember, it’s okay to say no. Whether it’s to a client, a project, family plans, or beyond – for your own peace of mind, it’s okay to say no. Here’s the gut check that I use: I picture myself saying “yes” and then saying “no” to the request. If I feel instant relief at the thought of saying “no” – there’s my answer.
5. Make sure to move.
Without a traditional commute, it can be easy to spend a day hardly moving your body. Being intentional with daily walks or workouts is important to incorporate into your day. I like to keep this simple by doing walks around my neighborhood with my daughter when it’s nice outside or running after her at the children’s museum when Wisconsin weather keeps us indoors.
6. Have a routine.
While working from home has its perks (like working in pajamas!) it’s important to set a routine. I use SquareSpace Scheduling for meetings, which makes it easy for people to reserve time on my calendar, but I’m setting the parameters for when those meetings can take place. That includes (shocker) – no meetings on Fridays! On a daily basis, my personal schedule is broken up throughout the day to account for my daughter’s naps and playtime – and that’s okay! It’s the routine that works for us, in this season of life.
7. Change up your environment.
Take your work with you! From time to time, take your work to a local coffee shop, dedicated workspace, or even your local community center. Changing up your work environment will help you feel more refreshed and inspired to take on new challenges. When it’s camping season, I love taking my laptop into our camper trailer for a change of pace.
8. Take breaks.
It’s okay to take breaks! Periodically take breaks throughout your work day in order to work more efficiently during working hours. This could be something as simple as a stretch break or something a little more time-consuming like a walk around the block.
9. Nourish yourself.
It sounds simple enough, but be sure to nourish yourself with home-cooked meals and plenty of water throughout the day. When creating your schedule, build in times to meal prep so that your lunches can be quick and easy on busy days.
10. Ask for help!
Whether you build a support system from friends and family, an entrepreneur community that provides services that can help lighten your workload, or add people to your team, remember that it’s okay to ask for help. No one can create a successful and sustainable business on their own!
Self-care looks different to each and every entrepreneur, just like our work does, so what works for me may not work for you. And that’s okay! Just be sure to find ways to incorporate self-care habits into your day. Whatever self-care looks like to you, be sure to keep in mind the positive impact it can have on both your work and personal life!
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