Self-care seems to be the newest buzz word these days. It’s for sure trending out here in Los Angeles. I’ve had many conversations with people regarding self-care and it seems to me like people are still very much trying to figure out what self-care looks like for them in their particular walk of life.
What does self-care mean and how do I implement it into my life? Self-care by definition, according to Merriam Webster, is simply (or rather not so simply), “taking care of oneself”. It’s easier said than done, am I right?!
As a health and wellness professional, self-care is something I am passionate about educating others on and coming alongside individuals to teach them and inspire them to find their own value for this practice.
Here are my 5 tips for implementing and practicing self-care as an entrepreneur.
Set aside time for yourself
You make time for what matters to you. There will always be another email to respond to, another pitch to make, another networking event to go to, but it’s important to be wise with our time and set time aside for what matters most. And lady boss friend, your business is NOT what matters most. YOU are what matters most; your heart, your health, your emotions, your body.
It’s ok to put yourself first and to carve out time for you and only you!
When we allow ourselves this precious time, we can then pour more heart and soul into our business. I think we often believe that if we step away and take time off from the grind, that we are jeopardizing our business and success, but that simply isn’t true. If our businesses aren’t fueled with our truest love and passion, it will become something we despise. If we want to stay in love with our businesses and entrepreneurship, we need to take some time for ourselves to keep the love alive.
Find something you love and enjoy (that has nothing to do with your job as an entrepreneur)
It’s easy as an entrepreneur to have your business become your life. I am totally there myself. It’s so incredible to LOVE what you do and want to do it all the time, but I also think it’s vital to invest in other areas of yourself. Find a new hobby, take dance lessons, or learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to learn.
We aren’t defined by our businesses and we can’t let our entire identities become wrapped up in it.
I am giving you permission to explore those other hidden passions and ideas that you have deep inside of you. And when you allow yourself the space to engage in these other passions and desires, I think it adds so much more breadth and well-roundedness to your business ventures.
Re-connect with the great outdoors
There is just something about the fresh air and nature. Whenever I take time to go to the beach or even go for a walk around my neighborhood completely unplugged, I walk back into my home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. If you are feeling particularly run down from this crazy entrepreneur life we live, go for a long hike or go sit by a lake and simply be.
Give yourself permission to pause.
The world will never stop around us, but we have the opportunity to stop and pause, even if only for a few minutes and simply be and enjoy the present moment. I promise it will refresh your soul in a way you didn’t even realize you needed.
Eat, sleep, move
We must nourish to flourish.
The food we put into our bodies is meant to nourish us, give us energy, and sustain us for the day’s tasks. Unfortunately, most of us are not consuming a nutrient dense diet. We as entrepreneurs especially tend to struggle in this area due to fluctuating schedules, eating out or on the go, and grabbing whatever is easiest in the frig as we work from home. Food is our fuel, which leads me to my next point of how sleep comes into the equation and how sleep directly can impact our food choices.
We must get our beauty sleep ladies, and yes that is a real thing. Our bodies rejuvenate while we sleep. Our bodies need adequate sleep to complete necessary muscle repair, memory consolidation, and to release hormones that regulate our growth and appetite. If you aren’t getting enough sleep a night, one thing to consider may be the comfort of your mattress. If you think this is the case, you could look into a site like Leesa who can meet your requirements of choosing a mattress that will suit your needs for a good night sleep.
Have you ever gotten too little sleep and woken up the next day and found yourself craving all the carbs and sugar around you, like you couldn’t pass up that donut at work like you typically could or you just had to have that sugary frappachino? This happens when we don’t get adequate sleep. And no it isn’t just your imagination. It is a real thing that is happening in your brain.
Sleep deprivation is linked to hormone disruptions that regulate our appetite and in turn have us reaching for pizza, donuts, and junk food over healthy vegetables and whole grains. Check out this article to read more of the research of this sleep deprivation and junk food connection from UC Berkeley. As we can see, lack of sleep doesn’t only impact our ability to make rational decisions and think clearly, but it also can affect our weight and hormones.
And lastly, we need to move. We live in a computer age and the minutes turn into hours and before we know it, we’ve been sitting in the same chair staring at the screen for 5+ hours. I’m on a mission to start a #movementmovement. Here are 3 quick tips for adding more movement into your day that don’t require a gym, equipment, or even 30 minutes of your time.
- Set your alarm or a timer for every 30 minutes and when it goes off, do some sort of activity for 5 minutes; take a walk around the office hallway or outside, do stationary lunges in front of your desk, get on the ground and do come core exercises and planks.
- Work-out while you cook dinner. You can do squats while you wait for your water to boil, counter top push-ups as you wait for something to roast or cook in the oven, do jumping jacks as you wait for the microwave to buzz.
- Add movement into your daily morning routine. Start your morning with a few stretches right when you get out of bed, do calf raises as you brush your teeth, or take your dog on a brisk morning walk.
If you can’t get to the gym for a class or your 30 minute gym sesh, that’s ok! There are so many creative ways to incorporate movement into your day. But it’s crucial that we get up and move because it will prevent us from;
- Getting saggy butt syndrome… in all seriousness.
- Help our minds to stay fresh and alert throughout the day.
- Help to keep our bodies strong and agile.
Self-care can’t be a once and done thing. It’s a practice, which means we have to practice it just like a sport or an instrument. The old adage of practice makes perfect fit here with self-care too. While we may never get it “perfect”, we can continue making progress. So I’m going to change that to practice makes progress!
The more you practice self-care, the more comfortable it will become and the more you will see the value it adds to every aspect of your life. Maybe for the first several months you need to physically schedule this time on your calendar. If that’s what it takes for you to set this time aside and make time for you, that is ok!
Be consistent with what you decide though. There will be days you want to work past that hard stop time of 5 PM or whatever time you set for yourself, but I promise you, the work can wait – your health and mental sanity cannot.
Setting aside time for your self is not selfish.
In fact, I’d beg to argue that it is in fact self-LESS. By taking this much needed time to invest in you, you can refill your well and give from an overflowing one instead of a parched, tired, and empty well. Think of how much better you can be in your business and your personal life when you feel your best, wholly.
Take time to remember what you’ve accomplished. Reflect on how far you’ve come and the real difference you are making in this world.
- You are strong.
- You are powerful.
- You are worth it.
Meghan Meredith is the founder of HomeBodySoul, a lifestyle wellness brand for women. Meghan currently resides in sunny Los Angeles with her husband and pup. Meghan is a Certified Health/Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Group Exercise Instructor, and the creator of Whole Body Fitness: A Self-Guided Fitness Planner. Read her interview on LadyBossBlogger here.