According to Inc. Magazine, entrepreneurs experience more stress than employees who work for a company. Even with the freedom to be your own boss, make key decisions, and do something you are passionate about, the pressures of entrepreneurship are often overwhelming. Financial strain, endless hours of unpaid work, and having to function as a one-person operation can feel crushing for even the most level-headed of individuals.
Although it may not seem like you have the time to do so, prioritizing your self-care is crucial when under constant stress. For those unfamiliar with the concept, self-care is the act of tending to all aspects of yourself. It is the intentional practice of caring for your body, mind, and emotions. When one (or more) of these areas is out of balance, it is next to impossible to function as a successful entrepreneur.
Need help getting your self-care routine off the ground? Explore four self-care tips that are essential for all entrepreneurs.
Adhere to a regular fitness routine
One of the best self-care activities to keep your stress levels in check is exercise. In fact, the American Heart Association states that exercise has been proven to release stress, lower your blood pressure, enhance your sleep, and reduce your risk of a number of chronic conditions.
In order to reap the maximum benefits from your fitness routine, experts recommend engaging in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day. Rather than choosing a style of exercise that you think you “should” do, make your workouts fun. If you like tennis, play tennis. If you love getting your body moving with an at-home fitness program, do that as your primary workout. For added benefits, make your diet part of your self-care routine as well. The combination of healthy eating and exercise will fuel your body with what it needs to take on the hectic schedule of an entrepreneur.
Practice stress-reducing techniques
Another important element of your self-care routine should be at-home stress reduction techniques. As the name suggests, a stress-reducing technique is any healthy activity that decreases your stress levels. The right techniques for you will depend on your individual interests and preferences. However, some proven at-home stress reduction activities include practicing self-massage, learning yoga and meditation, and taking up a hobby.
Make your home environment self-care ready
Never underestimate the role your home environment plays in your well-being. Whether you run your business from home, or from a physical location, creating calm and inviting spaces in your household is an underutilized self-care activity.
While it may sound like you’ll need a hefty budget and a team of experts to accomplish this goal, nothing could be further from the truth! To help relieve tension at home for both you and your family, infuse positivity into every room through simple acts, such as cleaning surfaces, adding plants and flowers, reducing clutter, and opening windows to let fresh air in.
Outsource specific, time-consuming tasks
Unique to entrepreneurs, one of the more helpful self-care activities is to delegate. This can include giving specific projects to your staff or outsourcing time-consuming tasks to pros.
The goal in outsourcing anything should be to add more time to your day. Consider not only how outsourcing can put more time into your workday, but also into your personal life. For an entrepreneur, this seemingly work-related task can be a personal and professional lifesaver.
As you begin your self-care practice, have patience with the process and with yourself. It is unrealistic to expect that you will become a self-care master overnight. You will forget to reduce stress during tense moments. You will skip exercises. That is ok! What matters is that you recognize your need for regular self-care, and show commitment to your well-being.
Written by Carla Lopez