Entrepreneurs are often terrible at taking care of themselves. They pride themselves on working long hours and barely leaving their desks. If you have ever found yourself still hunched over the computer in the wee hours of the morning, and suddenly realized the only thing you ate that day was from a vending machine, then you know exactly what I mean.
What is self-care?
Self-care is a term that traditionally has been used to describe self-initiated actions to stay healthy, prevent disease, and manage long-term illnesses. It encompasses basic needs like sleep, food, water, and human contact.
Below are ways you can create time for yourself as an entrepreneur:
1. Create “me time” in your daily routine
Whether it’s meditating, journaling or even playing video games, successful entrepreneurs learn to bake some valuable “me time” into their daily schedule. This means finding moments where you can quiet your mind and check in with yourself. It’s about taking time to be self-aware, to gather your thoughts, reflect on the day and take stock of where you’re at and where you’re headed.
2. Exercise daily
Getting a good workout daily is a must for entrepreneurs. According to Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, staying active is part of what has made him successful because it forces him to apply himself both mentally and physically.
On his blog, Branson notes that he starts every day with exercise, whether it be tennis, bicycling, or kitesurfing. “I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness,” he writes. He claims that working out has helped him guide his ventures to incredible success by allowing him to double his daily productivity.
3. Break up your routine
Work and daily life can become monotonous especially when you’re working from home. We’re creatures of habit and routine, but it can revitalize us to break up the grind with short bursts of peaceful things. Take a walk on your break, and do some Meridian stretches to balance your energy channels.
4. Get a better sleep
Sleep deprivation contributes to reduced decision-making ability and stunts creativity. You might get more done by burning the midnight oil, but at what cost? Build a routine that includes better sleeping habits, and if you can’t seem to catch a solid eight hours, a good 10- to 30-minute power nap will pick up the slack.
Note: The true number of hours of sleep your body actually needs is up for debate, with the eight-hour rule undergoing some serious debunking. For you, it may be more or less than that. Try a sleep app to help you monitor and fine-tune your sleeping habits.
5. Don’t Sacrifice Your Routine
When you know you have a busy day ahead, it’s easy to skip journaling, working out, or even eating breakfast, and head to the computer first thing. It’s also easy to keep working after 5 pm because you’re determined to cross things off your to-do list before calling it a day. Having both a set morning and evening routine gives you a sense of control in stressful times. Doing so can set the tone for your entire day and can help you transition into an evening mode that allows you to be present for friends and family, and for yourself! Even if you’re not a “routine person,” try starting off your day without your phone and do something just for yourself.