How to make time for self-care as a small business owner

By Jennifer Landis

Most small business owners know that sometimes, work has to come before everything else. It can feel daunting, especially when you’re the one running things. Don’t overlook the importance of self-care for your overall well-being. Making time for it is easier than you think. The New Year is a great time to begin developing new habits. Here are a few self-care tips you can take to make this your best year yet.

Get some sleep

You’ve probably found yourself working late into the night on more than one occasion. Research says adults should get anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Keep in mind how rest impacts our ability to focus and be productive. Create a rule to keep work out of the bedroom — come the late hours of the night, put phones and laptops away so you can catch some Zs.

Form new habits

Almost all of us have habits that need fixing. We snooze our alarms one too many times, have a drink to calm our nerves or indulge in a midnight snack. Whatever they are, poor habits negatively influence our lives. They deter us from our goals and hinder our chances of success. Something as small as snoozing your alarm one too many times can affect how your body and mind feel. Working on forming new, healthy habits is one of the purest forms of self-care.

Eat a healthier diet

What we put in our bodies can dictate how our minds operate. When we munch on fatty, carb-heavy snacks, our brains don’t function as well as they could. Forgetting to eat is even worse. To combat this, look into prepping breakfasts and lunches ahead of time. Buy healthy, convenient snacks so you can eat on the go. If you must run by a drive-thru, take a second to search the most nutritious options at that restaurant.

Block out a little time to unwind

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re always busy. By the end of the day, you’re almost always running on empty. Pencil in time to read a chapter of a book, meditate or take a walk. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking more breaks increases your productivity and pushes you to do more. Steering your attention to something other than work, even for 15 minutes, can give you the boost you need.

Go on a run

Exercise is a terrific way to give back to yourself. Aside from its numerous health benefits, it can help you perform better at work, which is an undeniable perk. Make the time to head to the gym or go on a run. You can do this in the morning or evening – you might also consider this to be your “me time.” Your workout sessions don’t have to take forever, either. Even 30 minutes of exercise a day can help. Your body, as well as your mind, will thank you.

Learn the power of “no”

Too often, we bite off more than we can chew. Some of us are afraid to say no at the risk of upsetting someone else. Doing so causes a sense of stress as we watch duties pile up before our very eyes. Start saying no to tedious requests that don’t benefit you. Doing so will give you more time to do the important things. Sometimes, it’s OK to be a little selfish, especially when the opposite can negatively impact our health.

Be kind to yourself

Starting a business is difficult — it takes hard work, dedication and an immense amount of effort. As much as you want to accomplish everything, it’s necessary to step back and take some time for yourself. Take note of these ideas so you can start to lead a better life — at work and at home — not just in the New Year, but for years to come.

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Jennifer Landis is a healthy living blogger, mother, wife, distance runner, yogi, and tea connoisseur. She writes about mindfulness and self-care on her blog, Mindfulness Mama. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

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