Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in your day? Do you feel drained by days end? Is there so much on your plate that you’re not any longer able to enjoy the meal?
I understand and I’m sometimes guilty of this myself, but if you’re not taking the time for self-care, then you’re not going to be your best self for your clients or your family.
You owe it to the people in your life, as much as to yourself, to engage in self-care so you can be of service to them.
Discover 5 easy things you can do to stay focused, calm, and energized so you can handle anything that’s thrown your way.
Saying No to others is actually saying yes to yourself.
This might sound pretty simple, but it can actually be a very difficult thing to do. Practicing self-care, and saying no, means that you must learn to manage your feelings that arise when others are angry, hurt or disappointed. Its necessary to break the pattern of sacrificing your energy and start saying no, setting limits, and putting boundaries in place, to protect your time, energy and take care of your emotional needs. If you constantly say yes, you’ll eventually burn out and do both yourself and those to whom you’re saying yes, a disservice. When you’re growing your business, it can be particularly difficult to say no to requests to do things to give you ‘exposure’; which may or may not actually help your business. When you say no, you’re honouring yourself and it’s nothing to feel bad or guilty about. You need downtime too. You could say something like, “Mary, I’d love to help you, but could I get back to you when I feel like I can give you my full and undivided attention?” Telling someone that you’d love to help, but just that it would be overextending yourself, honours not only your time and energy, but also honours them. Saying no when you’re feeling depleted would be doing Mary a disservice.
Identify your needs.
We all have basic needs that must be fulfilled in order to be happy and feel our best. We all have different needs. Some people prefer to have time alone to recharge, while others feel re-energized by spending time surrounded by others. Being able to identify your individual needs is essential for proper self-care. We need to be able to recognize what we’re not getting enough of and take the time for whatever we need.
When you feel like you’ve got all the balls up in the air and you’re overwhelmed, take a deep breath and ask yourself what need isn’t being met? Maybe you need more sleep, more downtime or time with a friend. Whatever it is, make sure you take the time to meet that need.
Unplug after working hours.
As an entrepreneur, the feeling of needing to be constantly on-call or immersed in your business is necessary, right? I know the feeling because I’ve been there too. The truth of the matter is that it really doesn’t have to be this way. You need time to rest and have time off to be with your family and friends. Not giving yourself permission to unplug and disconnect after working hours can interfere with your personal life and lead to burn-out. It’s understandable that you might make yourself available a few nights a week to serve all of your clients, but set your boundaries around working hours and simply turn your cell phone (and computer) off and do some non-business things. Have a date night with your spouse, a movie night with the kids, or simply have a hot cup of tea and dive into a book you’ve been wanting to read.
Take time for breaks during your day.
Whether you’re a business owner who sits at a desk all day or has multiple meetings, conference calls or trainings to attend, this is a big one. To avoid burn-out you’ve got to take time for yourself during the work day. I like to tell people to focus on the transitions during the day, or the time between tasks as a way to give themselves a break while refocusing their intention on the next task at hand. After completing a task, take time to sit quietly, close your eyes and repeat; “let go” “let go”. Focus your inhale on “let” and your exhale on “go”. Then, shift your focus to the next task and ask yourself; “what do I want to accomplish?”, “How do I want to feel as I complete this next task?”. Doing this allows you to release the previous task, gives you time for some deep breathing, and allows you to refocus your mind on what you’re doing next.
Identify the clients with whom you love to work, and only work with them.
Nothing drains you more than chasing after clients who aren’t committed or drain your energy. When you’re first starting your business, you might think that you need to take on anyone who says they want to work with you. However, some people are overly needy and show a lack of commitment and respect for your time by constantly canceling or reschedule meetings. It may be scary, but by walking away and refusing to work with those people, you open yourself up to clients that really value your time and your service. Always have a clear picture of your ideal client in mind and make sure you’re constantly seeking out those people.
What do you do for self-care? Share it with me on Facebook!