When you own your own business, every single day you put your body, heart and soul into it. Over time, all that effort can make a person feel run down and listless. As important as your business is, self-care is just as important. If you don’t take a little time out of your day to recharge and truly care for yourself, you risk occupational burnout.
Occupational burnout is a state of persistent physical, mental or emotional exhaustion that is the direct result of long-term stress from work or other personal responsibilities. The costs of burnout far outweigh the costs of giving yourself a little break everyday. Burnout can lead to poorer performance, more illnesses, absenteeism and less productivity overall.
Mindfulness & Meditation
From Marc Benioff to Oprah Winfrey, some of the most successful people in the world credit daily meditation for helping them feel more centered and, in return, run their businesses in a more productive manner. Mindful meditation can improve a person’s memory, increase focus and provide a greater sense of emotional control. People who meditate also tend to have more powers of self-observation and introspection that improve their relationships overall.
Starting a daily meditation habit takes time and consistency. But if you stick with it day after day, meditating will become an easy thing to incorporate into your schedule and as essential as brushing your teeth or making a meal. Set up a designated meditation area in the home where you can commit to your practice free of distractions.
Pick an area of the home you love. It should have soft lighting and low traffic.
Bring in a few items that bring you serenity, but keep the space uncluttered.
Add a touch of nature such as a favorite plant, a jar of shells, or a small water feature.
If you have trouble concentrating, try adding white noise or soft music to help focus.
Create a deeper connection to the space by adding personal items that speak to you
Finish the space with candle, incense, or diffuser that creates a beautiful aroma.
Exercise and Movement
The body needs to move in order for the mind to be happy. Since the modern workplace doesn’t typically facilitate the amount of movement we need daily, we have to supplement our lifestyles with daily exercise. While we often conjure up images of “no pain, no gain” when we think of working out, it’s actually healthier to find a way to get your exercise in a way that you enjoy. When you like your workout, you will be more likely to actually do it when you want to. Make it a point to walk the dog everyday, make some time to swim laps at a nearby pool, or join an intramural sports league that gets you out and moving.
Rest and Sleep
You already know that you should be getting eight hours of sleep every night. However, it’s not just about the quantity of sleep — it’s also about the quality. If you notice you are waking up feeling achy and groggy, it may be time to get a new mattress. In fact, experts measure the lifespan of a mattress at around seven to 10 years, depending on its materials. If your bed is approaching the end of its lifespan, it’s definitely time to consider replacing and start researching. Bear in mind that it’s also a good idea to take into account how you treat your bedroom. Ideally, you want it dark and quite. Of course, we all know the blue light from phones plays tricks on our melatonin, which in turn affects our sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and leave electronics outside the bedroom to help promote better, more restful sleep.
What we eat reflects how we feel and vice versa. When you fuel up with healthy and whole foods, you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Start incorporating more healthy dishes into your weekly rotation and don’t skip meals. Keeping your blood sugar stable makes you more productive and helps prevent burnout in the long run.
Making time for self-care helps business owners prevent occupational burnout. By making the time to follow a daily meditation practice, exercise, pursue a more restful sleep and eating a healthy diet, entrepreneurs are able to manage both stress and time in a more productive manner. Furthermore, they are mentally and emotionally healthier overall for a happier work/life balance.