When I originally started this blog, I’d intended it to be a fairly equal mix of Pinterest marketing and self-care tips for entrepreneurs, but I’ve been focusing way more on the first and am making it a priority to start sharing more on the second- and that starts today! I wanted to share some self-care tips for female entrepreneurs because the entrepreneurial life is no joke, as I’m sure you know! And as great as it can be, it can also take a toll if you don’t actively take care of yourself along the way.
Wellness and self-care have always been true passions of mine, and when I became self-employed, I realized that I needed it more than ever. Through a lot of experimentation (and burnout), I have found the following steps to be real game changers for my physical and mental health, and my overall happiness.
I am by no means a pro at this, and I break these steps allll the time, but they are the ones I continue to come back to because they are so helpful both for my personal life and my work life.
I hope you enjoy! And let me know what your favourite self-care tips are in the comments below.
Take breaks throughout the day
While some people can sit down and focus on their work from 9 to 5, the majority of us need to take breaks throughout the day to stay focused and refreshed. The problem is, we often feel guilty about doing this or like we should be able to push through, but I think taking breaks (real breaks, not sitting outside and scrolling through our emails) is soo important for our health, happiness, and work performance.
We’re taught that work is meant to be a grind, especially when you’re running your own business, and I am totally guilty of being caught up in this mindset. But our workdays, and lives in general, can be so much more enjoyable when we allow ourselves breaks throughout the day. I love that the entrepreneurial zeitgeist seems to be shifting from glorifying the hustle to embracing balance, and taking breaks is all about that.
Other cultures are really good at this (think of the Spanish siesta or the Swedish Fika, aka mid-day coffee breaks), and I think we need to get better at it too! Try incorporating some breaks into your day, whether that’s meeting a friend for coffee, going for a walk, going to a Pilates class, reading your book, or watching a show- and enjoy it guilt-free.
Spend time outside
Spending time outside every day is one of my non-negotiables (even during our Canadian winters! Well..usually), and it is so important for helping me to feel relaxed, energized, and in a good head space. I always knew that I loved spending time outside, but it wasn’t until the COVID lockdowns that I really realized just how important it was for my mental health!
Going for a walk, eating a meal outside, sitting in a park, and gardening are just a few of the ways you can fit some outdoors time into your day. Soaking up some vitamin D and getting fresh air can do so much for your mood (and your health) and being out in nature is a great way to disconnect from work stressors.
Stay off email and social media after work hours
This one can be a real struggle for many of us, especially if you use your personal phone for business. It’s become a habit for us to be constantly going through our emails and apps and feeling like we need to be connected at all times, but this can really take a toll on us.
Our businesses are of course important, but they are just one area of our lives and too often, we let this one area bleed into all of the others. In the majority of cases, that email or notification can wait until the next workday and staying offline outside of work hours can be so freeing.
In the moment, going through my emails at night doesn’t feel all that stressful, but it’s later that I realize how drained this constant stimulation and inability to shut my brain off from work can make me feel. I feel so much calmer and balanced when I am strict with staying off work after hours.
Stay off your phone while you work
I don’t just advocate for staying off of your phone after work hours- I think it can do wonders for you to stay off of it during work hours as well. For so many of us these days, our phones are where we do a lot of our work, so I know this isn’t always possible, but as much as you can I recommend putting your phone down.
I used to have my phone right beside me while I work and waste half my day picking it up and aimlessly texting and scrolling. At the end of the day, I’d wonder where the day had gone, why I didn’t feel accomplished, and why I my head felt so cluttered and scattered. Putting my phone away and only bringing it out when I actually need it is has been an absolute game changer for me- it helps me to feel so much more focused, productive, and clear headed.
As entrepreneurs, and women in general, we often feel like we need to be everything for everyone at all times, and this is completely exhausting. Setting boundaries in your business isn’t always easy, but it’s key to taking care of yourself.
The boundaries you set will look different for everyone- for me, it has a lot to do with limiting my phone time and not checking work accounts on weekends and evenings. But for you, this may look completely different.
It could be that you need to set boundaries with your partner and kids on when you aren’t available to them because you need to work. Or maybe it’s setting boundaries with clients, or even setting boundaries on the amount of time you let yourself think or worry about work (easier said than done, I know! When work pops into my head outside of work hours, I try to actively tell myself that I will not be thinking about work until the next workday).
This is something I read about in the book Quench, and I’ve loved incorporating it into my days! We spend so much time rigidly hunched over our phones and computers, and as I’m sure you know, the result can be back pain, neck pain, headaches, and overall tension, just to name a few.
Micromovements are small movements you do throughout the day, such as gently moving your head from side to side, twisting your spine, circling your hips, rolling your ankles, wiggling out your jaw, rolling your shoulders- basically any small, gentler movement to loosen up your body and relieve tension.
Remember your Why
I find that it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of our work lives that we often forget why we started and forget to prioritize what’s really important to us. For me, one of the main reasons I wanted to be self-employed is that I craved flexibility and freedom in my daily schedule and didn’t want to be tied to a desk from 9-5. This flexibility is really important to me, so when I find myself feeling like I need to spend all day sitting at my desk, I remind myself that I started this business so that I wouldn’t have to do that every day if I didn’t want to.
Everyone’s Why is different, and it doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing- just knowing what’s important to you and what the entrepreneur life means to you can help you to recenter and prioritize what’s important for you.
I think the main take away I really want to share is that work is just one area of our lives. It’s so easy to let it take over and take priority over every other area, but it doesn’t need to have that kind of power over us! We have family, friends, hobbies, health, and so much more, and work is just one of the many important aspects of our lives. Important, yes, but no more so than anything else.
Ease up on yourself, don’t let work become too heavy or all encompassing, and enjoy your days now (not just when you’ve hit that magic 6-figure mark or whatever else we’re told we need to achieve to be successful, praise-worthy female entrepreneurs).
In the words of Kris Jenner, you’re doing amazing, sweetie! And don’t you forget it.
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