When you have your own business it is very easy to slip into working constantly and not taking the time for yourself to look after your health.
When I started my business I was working full time while studying and ended up with Adrenal Fatigue. This is when there is chronic stress over time and the adrenal glands which produce the chemicals involved in the 'fight and flight' response burnout. It results in being extremely tired and sleep issues among other things.
Having been a really health conscious person this was a wake up call for me to change and make my health and wellbeing a priority.
How do you have a business but also look after yourself?
1. Learn to say no and be ok with that:
The biggest thing I learnt is to say no and to feel bad about it. To say no to friends if I had too many social activities that week and needed to rest. To say no to some business opportunities if I didn't have the capacity to do them or they weren't completely aligned to my priorities and goals for the year.
Instead I made self care, health and rest a priority. You are your most important asset, if you don't look after yourself then you can't give to your friends, family and clients.
When there are a lot of things on your 'to do' list it can feel overwhelming. To reduce this overwhelm you need to prioritise.
Identify your top 3 priorities for the quarter, month, week and day. Reflect at the start of the week on a Sunday night or Monday morning what the priorities are for the week for business and your personal life. If the other things on your 'to do' list don't get done that's ok as long as the priorities do.
3. Have a relaxation practice:
Have a practice which allows you to relax like meditation, yoga, pilates,journaling or sitting in nature. A relaxation practice allows you be centred again through the business of life.
My relaxation practice is yoga. As well as a way to relax, I love the way yoga reflects life - my yoga teacher told me "don't force yourself into a pose just let it happen, much like life if you struggle and try and force something to happen it's less likely to. When you give your best but ease into it, go with the follow it happens when you least expect it".
4. Allow 'doing nothing' time:
When running as business it's tempting to always be doing. However, if you're constantly doing you don't allow your brain rest time to daydream and be in the optimal state for coming up with new ideas. Allow time to just sit and think and don't feel guilty about it. Allow time to daydream or to be spontaneous when a friend calls you to do something. It is at these times that often our best ideas come as we are not stressed from the busyness.
5. Business is a marathon not a sprint:
Realising that business is a marathon not a sprint. To be in it for the long haul you can't work at a pace that is unsustainable for months or years. Be ok that something may take longer than you expected. As long as you are taking steps forward inch by inch then that's ok. Learn to be patient and enjoy the process and journey as much as the destination!