Self-care within business isn’t talked about enough. You hear “experts’ talking about getting up early to be more productive, using time-blocking to get the most out of the time you have to work, stopping distractions so that you can fit more in, being willing to put in the work etc. But a lot of them neglect talking about making time to look after yourself. Getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking enough water, having regular breaks, exercising – these are just as essential, if not more important, than the previous tips.
The reason this has been at the forefront of my mind for the last few days is that I’ve not been taking care of myself and I’ve ended up with Shingles…..on my Face! I had them for almost a week before I gave in and went to see my GP. I didn’t feel 100%. I was very tired, had headaches, an itchy rash and felt generally unwell. But I pushed through and I kept going, even though at points through the days I was having to stop myself from putting my head on my desk and just going to sleep. But I thought I’m really busy, I’m not sleeping very well, that’s all it is. Just keeping pushing, you’ll be fine. But I wasn’t. I could have lost the sight in my left eye.
It’s made me think about taking action in your business. When do you need to push through normal demotivation and when do you need to actually listen to your body and slow down?
Because, if you’re the only person in your business that can serve your clients, you really have to take care of yourself. If you get sick and then can’t serve those clients, you don’t have a business, or maybe even an income.
There are going to be times where you’re going to feel that you can’t be bothered or when you’re a little bit tired, and those are the times you need to push through and do the work.
But there are also going to be times when you feel tired and unmotivated due to being unwell or burning yourself out. I think the only way you can tell between these is getting to know your own body.
Last week I should have listened to my body. I know that even when I don’t sleep very well, I can function quite well through the day and I start to get tired about 6/7pm. I’m used to functioning without sleep. So, I should have known something was wrong when I was falling asleep in the middle of the day. I should have noticed the signs and actually listened to my body. It was telling me that there was something wrong, and instead I just decided to power on through. Wrong call.
It’s really important to get to know your own limits. Notice how you normally function if you’re just a bit tired, and also if your unwell. Take notice if there’s something that’s a little bit off from how you normally feel and look for the reasons behind it. Start understanding your own body and knowing when you need to rest or when you’re just feeling a little demotivated.
Make sure you have some downtime every day. Something totally different to your business that helps you relax. I go for a short walk, read a non-fiction book, have a bath or watch a film. There are lots of things you can do to get you away from the computer for 10 minutes. Find something that works for you – my husband swears by killing things on his PlayStation!
Make sure that you time block self-care time in when you plan your week ahead. I always make sure I block my meal times (I take an hour for my lunch) and 20 minutes of Pilates a day. You can’t sit at a desk for 10 hours at a time, it’s not good for you. I set an alarm for my lunch break because I always used to be so enthralled in my work that I would work through it without realising. I’ve also set another reminder to make me drink enough water – another thing I forget to do when I’m busy. It’s so easy to forget to do these things, but they make a huge difference to your health but also your productivity.
There are 3 easy things you can do to help with your self-care on a daily basis.
- Listen to your body
- Learn techniques to help you relax when you start to feel overwhelmed or burnt out
- Time block some time for self-care every day
Do you make time for self-care or do you think it’s just another ‘thing’ to fit into your already busy schedule? Let me know in the comments below.