To me, summer seems to be a more appropriate time to start thinking more about self-care. We tend to be more active. People are taking vacations. Farm stands and grocery stores are loaded with fresh veggies and fruit. If ever there’s a time to be more health conscious, summer would seem to be it. Of course, we need to take care of ourselves year-round in body, mind, and spirit. How are you doing on those fronts? Are you finding time to balance work, family, and some “me” time? Read my blog from a few years back where I explore the importance of focusing on the health of your business and personal wellness. As you’ll see, they go hand-in-hand.
Do you focus more on the health of your business than you do your personal wellness?
If you are not rested, stress-free, and well-nourished, there’s no way you can maintain the high energy and focus required to build and maintain a successful business. Your business health requires you to be in tiptop form physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Don’t fill your days up with busy work that wears you down. Being busy and being productive are not the same. No client calls today? Indulge in some personal or professional development time, or even some down time. Don’t fill your days up with unnecessary administrative clutter that may make you feel better temporarily, but actually just wears you out, keeping you from getting to the important stuff.
- Just say “no” to all-nighters. Sure, you might have to work until the wee hours occasionally to get done what needs doing, but when it becomes a habit you’re actually losing ground, not gaining. You might think you’re being productive, but are you really? Chances are you’ll get more out of the time you put in when you do so with a rested mind and rested body. Get the sleep you need and get back at it bright and early.
- No time for exercise, or to eat a healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner you say? That’s a bunch of monkey BS. You can’t afford NOT to exercise or eat healthy. Try it. Give yourself permission for a midday break or early morning walk or jog or session in the gym. Take a few minutes to prepare and eat a balanced meal (just say “no thanks” to the convenience of fast food and microwave quickies). Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you. Your energy levels will thank you—and you’ll find you actually get more done. One way to ensure you always have the time for exercise and to eat well is to schedule that time into your regular day. For some ideas on healthy eating, check out Ground-Based Nutrition.
- Get physical. If you’re more into team sports than daily exercise, check out local sports leagues such as volleyball, bowling, softball, swimming. You name it, there are sure to be outlets for people just like you looking for some team activities and exercise. Check out your local Y or fitness clubs for info. For some ideas on how you might integrate the sports and business aspects of your life, check out San Diego Sport Innovators.
- Get an app to track your daily food intake/exercise activity. For little or nothing, you can download food diaries, calorie counters, exercise trackers, and even shopping apps to help you make healthier choices and stay fit. You’d be surprised how doing such a small thing can make a big difference in the way you shop, eat, and work out.
- Take vacation. Go away and get away. Disconnect if you have to. While we all like to think we are business tough guys and gals, the reality is everyone can benefit from a little time away from the grind. A constant focus on business can wear on the mind and our emotions and detract from time we should be spending on important relationships. And if you’re able, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to an occasional afternoon off. A few hours away from the office, especially if unexpected, can do wonders for the spirit. They don’t call it “attitude adjustment” for nothing.
- Don’t forget your spiritual well-being. Whether it’s organized religion or simply marveling at the wonders of Mother Nature, don’t give short shrift to the importance spirituality plays in your overall health. We all need to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. Such a sense of community and belonging can do wonders to lift us in those moments when we feel down.
- Breathe. Okay, I know our autonomic nervous system usually has us covered here, but what I really mean is to breathe deeply every now and then. Oxygen is good for the brain and the body, and deep, intentional, centering breaths can help reduce stress. Plus, you can do this anywhere, anytime. In fact, try it right now.
- Get out of that chair! Sitting for long periods has been linked to all sorts of health maladies—from blood clots and high blood pressure to abnormal cholesterol levels and musculoskeletal disorders. Stand up. Stretch. Take a walk. Look out the window . . . get a glass of water.
- Drink water. Sugary sodas and coffee can sometimes give us the boost we need, but water is the go-to for hydration, which can keep us more alert and productive. Add a slice of lemon or lime for a little taste boost!
- When you’re not feeling well, go to the doctor if the situation warrants (I’m not talking going to the doctor for every sniffle or hang nail here). Doctors don’t bite, really, so don’t try to tough it out. You’ll just get worn down and lose energy and focus, which are sure fire prescriptions for business setbacks.
- Set daily goals. Setting goals can keep you focused and energized. Make a list. Use a calendar. And don’t forget to check off each item you get done. You might be surprised how rewarding ticking those items off the to-do list can be!
How do you look after your personal well-being? Have there been times when your business has suffered because you haven’t looked after yourself?