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Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Your Business

Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Your Business

Starting and operating your own business is exciting and extremely rewarding, but it’s a lot of hard work too. As an entrepreneur, it likely won’t surprise you to hear that more than 40% of small business owners work at least 50 hours a week according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. That can mean little time left to unwind, relax and exercise – important things that keep us healthy, happy and putting our best foot forward.

Endless work days every day of the week? No time for vacations, or checking in constantly when you do manage to take some time off? Missing special occasions or outings with family and friends? If any of this sounds familiar, we’re here to help!

Here are five ways that you can take care of yourself while taking care of your business.

  1. Clock your zzzzz’s.

    This may seem impossible given the hours you’re putting into your business, but sleep needs to be a non-negotiable priority on your daily “to do” list. It plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life advises the National Institutes of Health.

    Being well rested will make you feel pretty unstoppable too. That’s because getting enough good-quality sleep at the right times helps protect your physical and mental health. You’ll feel more creative, more motivated and be able to make better decisions. Sleep will also keep you in a better, more positive frame of mind.

  2. Eat well.

    A bad diet can impact your mood and productivity. Skipping meals because you’re too busy is not a good idea either. Try to eat a good breakfast and schedule work-free lunches. They don’t have to be lengthy, just try to make them healthy.

    When you sit down to establish weekly goals for your business, take some time to plan your meals in advance too. Consider a meal-kit service like Chef’s Plate or Hello Fresh if you don’t have time to chop and prep your lunches and dinners in advance. You can also order so much more than pizza with services like Chowdy, Fuel Foods or Today’s Menu.

  3. Get moving.

    Saying there is no time to exercise just doesn’t cut it anymore. Booking a meeting? Forget the boardroom. Walking meetings are becoming all the rage. Have a conference call? Grab your headset and hit the treadmill while you talk. Meeting a client? Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk or park a few blocks away. Taking the stairs whenever you can is still a proven winner too even if it has become a bit of a cliché.

  4. Meditate.

    A few years ago, a Harvard study revealed that we spend almost half our waking hours thinking about something other than what we’re doing. In other words, we daydream. A lot. Knowing this, why not use some of that time to sit quietly and meditate instead? Just 10 to 20 minutes of meditation per day has proven benefits. There are hundreds of audio and video segments on YouTube – everything from guided meditation for specific issues to mantras, mindfulness and more. Or try Headspace, Calm, Buddhify or Smiling Mind – just four of dozens of meditation apps available for your smartphone.

  5. Get away from it all.

    Take a vacation. A real vacation, even if it’s just a long weekend. Go somewhere to totally disconnect from your business. Put your phone away (unless you are using it to meditate). Trust your team to run things while you are away. You hand-picked and carefully trained them. Trusting them will empower them and create better employees in the long run.

People go into business for themselves for many different reasons, but independence is often a main motivator. Ironically, once the doors are open, many entrepreneurs spend tons of time taking care of business and far too little time taking care of themselves. These tips will help you create balance so you are always at your best. Remember, our health is our first wealth!