Self-Care Tips for Busy Business Owners

In a survey conducted by Entrepreneur, 58% of business owners said that they experience “above average” stress, with 80% stating that money issues play a role in their mental wellbeing. When the weight of your business is on your shoulders, it’s nearly impossible not to get wrapped up in being everything for everyone. That’s why self-care is so important, especially for entrepreneurs.

You take care of customers, employees, and vendors. You take care of the bills, the budget, and the payroll. While all of these jobs are critical to helping your business run, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And when it comes to running a business, it’s easy to find your cup quickly dwindling. 

The good news is that self-care practices have a major positive effect on your ability to run your business and your profits. In 2019, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that for every $1 invested in workplace health, both physical and mental, owners got a $14.50 return in productivity. 

Taking downtime and investing in self-care to ensure that you are at your best is not a waste of time. It doesn’t require a beach vacation or even a trip to the spa. Small, daily habits make a big impact on your ability to give your business everything that it needs. 

Get Strict About Your Sleep Schedule

While staying up through the night can make you feel accomplished in the moment, you’re borrowing from tomorrow to pay for today. Your exhaustion is going to take a serious toll on your cognitive, social, and physical abilities, leaving you in quite a predicament. Everyday tasks like dealing with angry customers, creating shift schedules, or even unloading boxes can feel impossible. 

Instead of pushing yourself to your limits, set yourself a bedtime and stick with it. Every night, without fail, do yourself the favor of resting your body and your mind, so you can be well-rested and restored enough to tackle the challenges of running a business. 

Plan Your Day the Night Before

If you love that feeling of accomplishment you have after a particularly productive day, set yourself up to feel some of that everyday. Every night, write down a checklist of everything that you need to get done, then leave it somewhere that you can easily access it. As you finish off tasks, mark it off your list. 

When creating your plan, consider what time of day you’re best at the tasks you need to do. For example, if you struggle to focus in the morning, that might not be the time to create a complicated budget. Opt for something a little less involved, then save the hard stuff for the afternoon. If you know your mid-day slump happens at 11:30, schedule yourself a break. It’s your schedule, so set it up in a way that helps you get things done!

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

It’s hard enough to get up to put on sweatpants at the end of a long day, much less go for a jog. Research shows that even 10 minutes a day of physical activity can help you relax, feel more cheerful, and lessen anxiety. And, while it might not be possible to cook a nutritional well-rounded meal every, single night, you still need to give your body good fuel to get you through your day. If you’re a snacker, pre-pack healthy snack bags with air-popped popcorn, almonds, or cut-up veggies, so you can still grab-and-go. 

Do What You Can, Delegate What You Can’t

A big aspect of self-care is knowing when to say no. When you take on too many things, none of them are going to get done well. Sure, it might cost you a little extra money at first, but the rewards in your productivity, happiness, and stress-relief will be invaluable. Talk to your team about restructuring responsibilities, what costs and resources would be needed, and who has the skills to do the tasks. 

If you have an employee who gets cranky in the afternoon after a full day of working with customers, ask if they’d like to spend the last few hours of their day doing clerical work. If you have a college kid who is a whiz with technology, offer then the chance to create a scheduling system that is more efficient than writing it by hand. 

It’s really difficult, sometimes, to give up the reins when it’s your business that’s being affected, but biting off more than you can chew doesn’t exactly do your business any good either. Let yourself take a step back, give your employees the chance to shine, and reap the rewards!

Talk with People Like You

It feels good to unload with people who are experiencing the same concerns you are. Incorporate opportunities to sit with other business owners and share about what you’re dealing with. Articulating issues outloud can often lead to solutions that we hadn’t thought of, especially when you’re sharing with people who may have solved similar problems in the past.

A good place to start would be an executive roundtable session, where you can work through issues with your peers. The goal of the business owner roundtable is to bring together a small peer group and encourage an environment conducive to community. Once everyone is laser-focused on the goals, the focus shifts to the hot topics on every business owner’s plate, including demystifying financials, developing key performance indicators, and strategic planning. We’re here to help you achieve your business goals, maximize your leadership, and hold you to a standard of peer accountability.

Most importantly, find the self-care habits that fit into your lifestyle. Whatever you do to stay healthy, sharp, and focused is going to help your business. Make a habit of doing a “self-check,” where you ask yourself how you’re feeling, what you’re worried about, and what you need to do to get some relief from the stress. Now, get out there and relax!

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