21 Feb Self-Preservation for the Self-Employed Woman
Self-Preservation for the Self-Employed Woman
When you run a business you must have focus and drive to succeed. It’s a competitive world and to get ahead you must push the envelope.
All your study and training prepares you technically to get the job done. But none of it prepares you to look after your health while you do it.
Long hours. High stress. Bad sleep. Chasing business. Chasing debts. Managing cash flow. Managing staff. Staff problems. Food on the run. No breaks. 24 hour digital business. Constant worry. No time for exercise. No time for yourself.
You feel compelled to drink too much to try to relax and unwind.
Carrying to much weight because of eating too much ‘good food’ and no time (or energy) to exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, I am also a business owner and I know how rewarding it is when you succeed and finally achieve the goals you’ve been striving for.
But at what cost to your health?
Many of my patients are successful business owners or hold very senior corporate positions.
They present well, but inside they are a mess.
Insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, overweight, pain, digestive issues, period problems, hypertension, irritability, sad and low mood/depression all feature.
If you have any of these symptoms, they are early warning signs that you are starting to crash.
And more serious issues are likely to develop over time if you do nothing.
This is no way to live your life.
Your body is like a car. If you drive it hard enough for long enough, without looking after it, you’re going to have problems.
You need to look after your little car if it’s going to keep working and performing.
You must make self-care a priority.
Here’s my best tips for self-preservation:
- Do self-preservation first, every day. Do it first thing. The day gets crazy. If you’re exhausted when you get home you will simply not have the energy to do self-preservation. Get up earlier if you have to.
- Sleep consistency. Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Chinese medicine organ maintenance and Circadian Rhythms both refer to your body working on self-repair at night. Try to get to sleep by 10:30-11pm and then wake at the same time each day (6-6:30am) depending on how much sleep you need.
- Move regularly. So many people have sedentary jobs. Movement generates good blood flow and feel good hormones to relax you. Going to the gym to do a spin class three times a week is not enough after sitting down all day. You need to exercise every day. Do all the incidental exercise you can – take the stairs, walk to a meeting in another building, stand at your desk, walk up to the local shop… Also, ideally do some form of structured exercise every day – in the morning…first thing. Walking, yoga, bike ride, gym.. whatever.
- Get out into nature. The rejuvenating power of nature is significant. Get out into nature as often as you can.
- Epsom salts baths. A great way to relax and prepare you for a better night’s sleep.
- Drink water. Most people are chronically dehydrated. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Tip: buy a two litre bottle; fill it up; and make sure you get through it each day.
- Alone time. Find just 10 minutes a day to sit in quiet contemplation. Focus on your own breath. Focus on relaxing every muscle in your body.
- If you pay attention you will catch yourself holding your breath during the day at work. Train yourself to breathe deeply.
- Eat properly. Learn how to eat properly. Eating the right foods at the right times will reduce your inflammation, bloating and foggy head, and increase your energy, clarity and vitality to perform your best. It will also help you lose weight (if you need to) naturally.
- Combine everything. This is perhaps the best tip of all. Combine as many things as you can at once to make self-care more efficient. Get up early, go for a walk or run through nature (parks, bush, etc…), focus on your surroundings for ‘alone time’. You see what I mean.
Sometimes your little car is so far gone that you will need help to get it back in good shape. This is exactly what I do for busy professional women who need it.
Include self-preservation as a major part of your business planning, weekly calendar and daily activity.
Self-preservation IS a major part of your overall business strategy.
In fact, it really is your number one priority.
For without your health to enjoy your success, it’s all for naught.