Self-Care Lessons Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Being your own boss and running your own business is a dream for many people, but it also comes with a lot of hard work and long days. As an entrepreneur, you’re often wearing multiple hats and spreading yourself thin. Someone’s got to get the work done, and you will rely on yourself for the most important tasks. Not making the time to take care of yourself, however, will affect your energy levels and how you function throughout the day. Making sure you carve out personal self-care time will lead to better performance and support your mental health.

Entrepreneur working on her computer while on phoneKey Actions of Successful Entrepreneurs

Eat a Healthy Diet

When your time is money, we know how tempting it is to grab a quick bite to eat, like fast food, and get straight back to work. You may even push yourself so hard that, by the end of the day, you realize you’ve only eaten one little meal and some junk food. Eating complete, healthy meals is so important for your body to be able to create the energy it needs to function properly and give you the boost to conquer the day. And, while most people love their meat and carbs, be sure you’re also getting a fair share of vegetables and fruits to get the vitamins and nutrients your body craves. You may also want to take a multivitamin in case you have trouble meeting the daily recommended amounts. When you’re running short on time, eat healthy snacks to give you added energy, like nuts, yogurt, cheese, and dried fruits.

Unwind with Your Favorite Activities to Recharge

Book time, well in advance, to be away from everything,” advised Alfred DeCarolis, owner of the luxurious Casa Teresa in Costa Rica. “Without a plan to relax and decompress, I simply wouldn’t get around to the business of taking care of myself.”

So, set aside time at the end of the day to unwind with what you like doing best. That could be relaxing on your porch with a glass of wine, watching your favorite TV show, spending quality time with your family, or simply lying in bed with a good book or watching some videos on your phone.

However, choosing to relax before hitting the hay is an important step that can help you fall asleep faster and get a more restful night’s sleep. Otherwise, you might lay in bed for an hour or so thinking about the day or what you need to get done tomorrow. Decompress so you can rejuvenate for tomorrow’s activities. In fact, DeCarolis mentions, “I’ve found that I’m so refreshed by the time I return to my regular work activities, I’m actually ahead of the curve as a result of the time I took for myself.”

Related reading: “5 Simple Keys to a Healthier, Vibrant Life”

Entrepreneur de-stressing while riding his bikeMake Exercise a Habit

Depending on what your business is, and what specific roles you play in the daily operations, you may already get more steps or physical labor in a day than the average person. An easy way to check how many steps you’ve taken is to use a step counter app on your cell phone. iPhones and many Android phones come standard with health apps that will automatically record your daily steps taken and let you see a weekly graph report. But if you’re spending most of your time sitting in front of a computer, you will want to set aside time each day to get out and walk, run on a treadmill, go for a bike ride, or another cardio activity that will benefit your body and mental health. Exercising outside can be especially helpful for recharging your mental state, as you reconnect with nature.

Related reading: "Easy Yoga Stretches to Do Right at Your Desk"

Create an Effective Team to Support You

No one person can do it all. The mental stress from never getting a break would drive most people crazy. One of the most beneficial things you can do within your own company is to build a team of trusted individuals who can help take the load off. When hiring employees for this job, don’t look to create a team of mini-me’s. Hire people who are strong in areas where you are weak. Run background checks, check references, and hire people who have extra education and can take over for you in your times of need, like when you want to take a vacation or when you become ill. A reliable team will work with you to better the company and be able to help you brainstorm new ideas for improving operations and marketing strategies.

Set Aside Time for Yourself During the Day

“Stepping aside for a little ‘me-time’ is an essential part of my day that helps me collect my thoughts, reflect on where the day has led me, and prepares me for the tasks ahead,” said Katy Messersmith, founder of Katydid Wholesale, an online wholesaler of women’s boutique clothing. “When you run a business in the fashion industry, your days are fast-paced and can be hectic, so it’s important to take a little time to yourself for a mental break and refresher.”

When you set aside this time for yourself, do anything you want to that is unrelated to work. Instead of eating and working, take some time to enjoy your meals.

When almost everything to do with your business is dependent on you, it can be hard to relax and take time out of your day for self-care. But when you run yourself down to push the hours in the day, it can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Do yourself a favor and put yourself as a top priority alongside your business. A little me-time and self-care won’t kill your entrepreneurial dreams.

Check out Heartmanity for Business for support as an entrepreneur or business owner. Leadership training and executive coaching can give you the edge you need be successful with a healthy work-life balance.

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Guest Blogger: Katie TejadaGuest Blogger: Katie Tejada
Katie Tejada is a writer and former HR professional who covers business and entrepreneurship topics but also enjoys writing about travel and home decor.

Posted in Business and Leadership