The Western work culture is practically fueled by sleep deprivation, stress and a complete lack of a work-life balance. As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself increasingly tired, overworked and overwhelmed — all of which you may write off as “normal” given your circumstances. However, though society has normalized the go-go-go lifestyle, it’s far from healthy. If you want to be the best leader you can be, without working yourself to the bone, implement self-care techniques in your daily life.
The Importance of Self-Care for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurial burnout is a real phenomenon, claiming as much as 8% of the entrepreneurial population each year. According to Harvard Business Review, entrepreneurs are more at risk for burnout than other workers because they tend to be exceedingly passionate about their work, have few safety nets, are often socially isolated and frequently operate in a high degree of uncertainty.
Burnout can have several adverse effects on entrepreneurs. Studies show that burnout often leads to decreased job satisfaction, poor decision-making, high rates of absenteeism and high turnover rates. Burnout may also increase a person’s risk for health-related issues, including heart disease, depression and increased mortality rates.
Easy-to-Implement Self-Care Tips
Though the definition of self-care varies depending on who you ask, the term generally refers to the activities people engage in to establish and maintain good health, and to prevent illness and disease. It is a broad concept that encompasses everything from nutrition to lifestyle to socioeconomic factors. Though self-care looks different for everyone, here are a few ways you can show yourself some TLC.
Self-Care Tip #1: Hit the Gym
Exercise has several proven and outstanding benefits, including improved body image, improved sleep, increased energy and better mood. It also helps to combat disease. Each of these benefits is good for the mind and body, making it the ultimate form of self-care.
Self-Care Tip #2: Get Some Zzzs
Adequate sleep has many of the same benefits as exercise, including improved mood, better weight control and improved physical health. Sleep can also help to prevent disease and illness, sharpen cognitive functioning and increase productivity. According to experts, adults should get, at a minimum, seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
If you struggle to sleep at night, consider investing in a white noise machine or get speakers to broadcast music to sleep to. The brain naturally craves stimulation. Constant white noise or other soothing sounds on an otherwise quiet night prevents the brain from trying to pick up on random noises that startle the body awake.
Self-Care Tip #3: Breathe
Regardless of how you feel about breathing techniques and other relaxation exercises, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress throughout the day. By taking just five minutes to meditate, massage your shoulders with a Sazzus massager, eat some chocolate or zone out, you can increase your blood flow and boost your energy levels. You can also stave off the side effects of stress, which include increased blood pressure, increased tension, slowed digestion and impaired cognitive function, among other negative symptoms.
Self-Care Tip #4: Hire Help
Though you may be tempted to try to do it all on your own, don’t. Hiring help can help you disperse your workload and, in the process, relieve your stress. It can also help you grow your business more quickly, as you can focus on big picture items while your employees or freelancers focus on the mundane, everyday tasks.
Self-care is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur and your health. If anything, give one of the tips a try today.
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