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Making Time for Self-Care While Running a Business
By Christopher Haymon
Many writers dream of making a career out of their work, and, for many, this means running their own business. Although reaching this goal marks a significant personal and professional milestone, it can easily come at a cost, as many business owners wind up neglecting self-care at some point in their professional journey.
This may seem like a fairly benign issue at first, but it’s a sacrifice that will come back to haunt you. Put yourself on the backburner for too long, and you’re likely to wind up seriously stressed, exhausted, and possibly even physically sick. Here are some tips from Writing Corner for how you can fit self care into your schedule and make your well-being a priority again:
Reduce Your Workload
Some business owners make the mistake of taking on more and more work until they find their absolute limit. Although this might bring in more income, it’s not worth it if it comes at the cost of physical and mental health. If you’re working so much you don’t have time to exercise, eat healthy meals, or rest and recharge, then you need to reduce your workload.
One way to do this is to outsource tasks where possible. For example, you can hire freelancers to handle a variety of tasks, especially ones that aren’t in your wheelhouse. This can include anyone from a virtual assistant to a marketing expert to an accountant. You can also use a formation service to knock out the tedious work of registering your business. Although this comes with a cost, it’s often well worth it in time you get back. Moreover, formation services are usually far less expensive than hiring a lawyer, and you still know an expert is tackling formation on your behalf.
Develop Healthy Habits
When you’re scheduling your day, make sure you fit some healthy, wellness-boosting habits into your regular routine. For instance, you might start practicing yoga in the morning, or self-massage. One of the absolute best gifts you can give yourself for mental and physical wellness is a mindfulness practice. Meditating for as little as ten minutes a day can reduce stress, help manage depression and anxiety, and even improve blood pressure and other health indicators.
Whenever you’re trying to develop a new habit, remember to prioritize consistency over perfection. Avoid giving yourself big, insurmountable goals that will only serve to discourage you. Doing a little bit each day is just what you need, especially at the beginning, to make a new action feel like a natural part of your lifestyle.
Make Time for Fun
Running a business takes a lot of mental energy, and it’s easy to feel like you have to spend all your free time learning everything you can to keep your business going strong. In reality, however, taking some time to do something fun and completely non-productive can be the best thing for you. Time away – really away – from work is absolutely necessary, as it allows you to rest and recharge your creative batteries.
Gaming, for example, is a great hobby to pick up. Not only does it give you something fun and exciting to do, but it can even reduce your overall stress levels. Plus, if you have an internet connection built for gamers, you can use online games to get some socializing in as well. Figure out what kind of activities you can do in your downtime that will be truly enjoyable and satisfying.
Although you might be hesitant to add to an already busy schedule, making room for self-care is an investment that will pay off. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also have more energy for tackling work. You might even find that, though you spend less time working, you get more done: what could be better?
Want advice on how to turn your writing into a business? Check out the Writing Corner’s resources page.
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