I got a text message yesterday while I was getting a pedicure. The person asked me to call them and I said “I’m working.”
Let me be clear. I regret nothing. I was busy taking care of myself and for that I will not apologize.
In the entrepreneur community, I know that self-care has some serious negative connotations attached to it. I am here to say enough is enough. Did you know that in Australia, one in three people will suffer from a mental illness during their lifetimes, and at any time one in five people are struggling with a mental health disorder?
For a short time there, I was one of them. In 2015, I suffered my first ever panic attack and in short – I do not recommend it. There were multiple things that lead to my recovery, but the main thing that helped me was self-care. I did it poorly for a long time, and now it’s become a very important part of my life and something I advocate as necessary.
It can be hard to squeeze these things in during an 18-hour work day or my standard 90-hour work week, so here are my tips and tricks for fellow business owners feeling the self-care pinch.
Fruits, vegetables, and protein are everything in the entrepreneur’s life. Yes, it’s easier to reach for the donut than make an omelette… but here’s the thing. You are what you eat.
Move Your Body
Have a mid-morning dance party to some sweet 90s tunes, or walk a few extra blocks where you can (try getting off the tram or train a few stops early). Every little bit counts.
Rest Your Body
Try meditation, yoga, massages, bubble baths, stretching, or just at least getting more than seven hours of sleep each night. (Let’s be real — probably five). Your body needs time to rest and recuperate as does your immune system, and your brain needs time to get rid of stress hormones. I am also a huge fan of couch days where you’re allowed to stay in your PJs as long as you want.
Lean on Your Tribe
Talking things out can be really therapeutic. I crave human interaction, and I need to see my people a lot — coffees, lunch dates, a stroll in the park.
No Phone Zone
As an entrepreneur, I carry my phone around with me 24/7. I constantly get Facebook and Instagram notifications, phone calls, and texts, and it can be exhausting. So sometimes, I turn my phone on silent, put it in another room, and let the important people to me know that I am going to a ‘No Phone Zone’ for a few hours.
To recap, self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is mandatory, so make sure you do what you need to in order to take care of yourself.
About the Author
Jemimah Ashleigh is the Creative Director of Tangs Design, founder of Epic Social and one half of The Business Experiment podcast. Jemimah is passionate about breaking through myths and misconceptions about being an entrepreneur and thrives on helping other businesses succeed.