It’s taking care of yourself first and foremost.
Think of it as a priority, not a luxury. Once you fall down, there isn’t much hope for your business. You aren’t good to anyone or anything unless you are good to yourself.
Chronic (yes chronic) health conditions can arise from utter exhaustion and stress, which can be prevented by a little me time (yes, that is really all it takes).
I constantly hear that you can’t have it all. That you have to choose three out of health, success, sleep or social. Well I say screw it! You CAN do it all, and keep healthy and sane whilst doing it. You just have to be smart about it, for example combine social times with exercise and do a powerwalk with your best friend in the mornings. Smart ‘me’ time.
And being the busy bee you are, it’s often exercise and healthy food that go out the window first. Why would you not want to treat your body with the respect it deserves and have the energy to actually work well.
Convenient food often has too many calories, salt, sugar and fat. Many of which are actually hidden, like that big smoothie you are being so healthy drinking? Well 700 calories later (and probably a lot of ice cream) you would have been better off getting the sushi, or even better yet packing a home-cooked lunch (saves heaps of money too).
You need to sleep for 6-9 hours, as no human can function properly on less than 6 hours sleep per night (maybe an x-men but you are not one of them #sorry).
Read that book for an hour and let your staff deal with customers for a bit. Treat yourself to that muffin (just the one) and cappuccino in a café before you open the doors or go for that sunrise bike ride (just go to bed that bit earlier the night before).
No one expects you to work 24/7. The most successful business owners take PLENTY of time to themselves, they are successful because they never experience burn out.
More examples of self-care:
Physical: exercise, nutritious food, water as first beverage choice, less alcohol and junk, treat yourself to a massage or facial
Emotional: exercise with your friend and treat them to breakfast afterwards, ring your mum, email your dad, text your sibling, learn to say no (politely)
Mental: read a book, cuddle your pet, buy a coffee for a stranger, take a micro-break and scroll through social media or do something that is not work related for ten minutes
I get it, owning a business is hard work and yes, it will take a few skipped workouts, McDonalds lunches and 6 hour sleeps, but and this is the big but, quality working is better than the quantity. Skip that workout, but make sure you do extra during the week, have that McDonalds dinner but eat fruit for breakfast the next morning and yes, deal with the 6 hour sleep but make up for it the next night. You are the boss here, and without you the business will not grow to it’s full potential. Ponder that for your ten minute micro-break.