If you run your own business, whether full-time or on the side of a day-job, you’ll know how easily it can consume you. This business, this idea you’ve had, it’s just that – yours. And it’s tightly packed full of hopes and dreams. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that you want to spend a lot of time on it.
But this time, is limited. In the beginning stages especially, chances are you’re running things solo and don’t have anyone to hand work over to when other priorities crop up. So you spend as much time as you can on it, building it up, brick by brick.
Hours spent working trickle into the night. The line between work and life blurs like your vision after too much screen time.
Your head hurts, your to-do list triggers panic and all you want to do is pull the duvet over your head and sleep… but you can’t because, hey – you’ve got a business to build.
Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone. And I know I’m not going to be the first person to tell you that self-care is important (cue eye rolling) but I hope by explaining the impact self-care has on your business, not just you, it’ll inspire you to make a change.
In all honesty, I didn’t fully understand the impact myself until 2017. After letting the stress of working a full-time job alongside running a blog and life coach training rumble on for too long, I ended up needing therapy for anxiety. I had to hit pause on building my business.
Since then, I seem even more sensitive to stress and anxiety flare ups, so self-care has become a non-negotiable, not only for my mental health, but for the health of my business. OK, let’s get into this and take a look at some of the ways self-care affects your work.
It makes you more productive
A reason many people will use for not prioritising self-care is that they’re too busy. But here’s the thing, without adequate rest, you’ll be tired and feel foggy. You’ll also be more likely to be distracted and make mistakes.
If you take time to rest and get enough sleep, you’ll be way more productive when you’re working. You’ll have the energy, focus and concentration you need to get shit done.
It fuels your creativity
Your creativity needs you to stop working now and then. It needs whitespace, moments of nothing so it can sprawl out and stretch its legs. It craves books, films, art, museums, nature, play – all the things you’ll have time for if you make space for self-care.
The time you spend not working is just as important as the time you spend working.
It allows you to be 100% there for your customers/clients
Whatever your area of business is, you most likely need to interact with other people and show up for them in some capacity. I know personally that I’m much calmer, clearer and on the ball when I’m well rested.
Self-care in this instance also means saying no sometimes. It means listening to your body, taking things off your plate and reserving some of the yes’s your handing out for yourself.
It makes your business sustainable
If you drive full steam ahead in your business non-stop, without rest – guess what? Your brakes will fail, you’ll lose control and end up in a pile by the road, unable to move forward. The only way to give your business longevity and your lifestyle sustainability is to factor in self-care.
Take breaks. Refill your tank. Enjoy the views. Give yourself regular MOTs (have I taken this car analogy too far?). You get the point.
I feel like this subject is one I talk about quite a lot (in fact, I go into more detail in this podcast episode of ‘On the Make’ with Josephine Brooks) but I realised that I hadn’t actually got these thoughts down on ‘paper’ before, so I hope doing so is helpful.
I know these articles can feel a little generic at times too, but my intention is always to prompt and gently nudge you to think about self-care a little differently. And if self-care is an area you’re keen to work on (and you want tailored support for your circumstances), take a look at my self-care strategy session and see if it could be right for you.
I’ll be back next week with some tips to help with night-time anxiety. Have a good week.
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