Starting your own business or making the decision to work freelance is often fraught with stress. The lack of safety net or backup plan can be both thrilling and terrifying, depending on the person.
Running your own business and being your own boss goes hand in hand with working long hours. You might push other parts of your life to the side to focus on business. Wellbeing, whether physical or mental, might get ignored in favour of buckling down and getting things done.
Here are a few tips to keep your body and mind in top shape because after all, a healthy entrepreneur is a successful one.
Tip #1: Healthy Eating Habits
Adopting healthy eating habits isn’t only beneficial for entrepreneurs – we can all benefit from eating well. It becomes a top priority when you think of the impact it has on your everyday work life. You may think that skipping a meal here and there in favour of working through a problem or scheduling one more meetings makes you a better worker but you’re missing out on a key chance to refuel. Whether you’re a 3 square meals a day kind of person, enjoy intermittent fasting, or like to graze throughout the day, make sure you’re getting enough nutrients to help you power through your work. Meal kit deliveries are a great way to save time. Depending on the service, you can have a choice between ready-made healthy meals or recipe kits you can assemble yourself
Tip #2: Book a Meeting with Yourself
Self care often gets dismissed because we’d rather focus on the tasks at hand. They take precedence over your own wants and needs. By flipping the script and treating yourself the same way you treat clients, you can ensure you won’t get left behind. Would you bail on a client at the last minute? Likely not. So why is it acceptable to do it to yourself? Put yourself on the books, the same way you would an important meeting, and use that time to exercise, meditate, take a walk around the block, eat a healthy meal, whatever you need to do to take a mental and physical break.
Tip #3: Start Sweating
Taking the time for even a short workout can help you take on the challenges of the day. Morning workouts ensure you start the day with an extra pep in your step, a mid-day sweat break can help you recharge your batteries to tackle the afternoon, and an evening session can help release the day’s tensions. No matter your preferred time of the day, the benefits are endless.
Tip #4: Take a Mental Break
What’s a few minutes in the span of your day? When you’re busy, it can feel like a hassle to concentrate on anything other than your never-ending to do list but spending just a couple of minutes a day changing your focus can have countless benefits. Just like our eyes get fatigued looking at screens all day, our brains can get sluggish. Stepping away and switching to a completely unrelated activity like listening to a podcast or audiobook, doing a word puzzle, or taking a moment to just breathe in silence, not only helps you catch your breath, it can also help you look at a problem from a different perspective.
Tip #5: Log in some Z’s
As an entrepreneur trying to get your business off the ground, you can easily find yourself working constantly. There never seems to be enough hours in the day and it can make sleep look like a mundane waste of valuable time. Despite what your entrepreneurial brain may tell you, pulling all-nighters just isn’t a good way of getting things done. Our brains and bodies still need some deep sleep in order to fully recharge. Skimping on some quality z’s puts your health at risk and makes it that much harder to run a business.
Tip #6: Delegate
It can be hard to let go of the reins and trust someone else with any aspect of your business but it’s often necessary. Virtual and remote assistants are low cost, don’t add to your overhead and can alleviate your workload, enabling you to concentrate on pressing matters. Task them with handling the pesky items that slow you down like booking travel and appointments, managing your schedule and making sure your paperwork gets signed and filed.
Tip #7: Human Contact
Freelance work can be isolating. If you work from home and live alone, you’ll essentially spend a majority of your time on your own. If you’re running your business solo, there’s no one around to bounce ideas off of or just chat with. Isolation can weigh heavy on the mind but moving your operation to your local cafe, library or coworking space can help solve that. Not only do you get to work in a social environment but you also get the chance to meet new people who may share your interests or introduce you to new ones.
Tip #8: A Healthy Dose of Vitamin D
Bust the doors open and get yourself outside. A fresh breeze, some sunlight and a couple laps around the block could be all you need to shake loose a couple new ideas from the recesses of your brain. Go the weekend warrior route and go for a solo or group hike, grab a picnic with some friends, read a book in the park or go for a long bike ride. We all benefit from spending time away from responsibilities and all the screens in our lives.
Tip #9: Get a Social Life
It’s easy to get tunnel vision when trying to accomplish all your business goals. Your successes and failures all depend on you and that can be all-consuming. It’s important to build a life outside of work and achieve some form of balance. It gives you the chance to not only have something else to focus on that’s not fraught with stress but it also gives you a support system. We all need that person or group of people we can vent to.
Tip #10: Establish a Routine
Once you’ve found all the wellbeing tools that work for you (that perfect 7am yoga class, the most relaxing knitting club, that true crime podcast that transports you somewhere else) it’s time to build your routine. A schedule is like a clear roadmap to daily successes and achievements. Make some of these self-care items unmoveable appointments with yourself and build your work day around them. You know you start fading around 3pm? Schedule a mental break at 2:30pm and switch your brain off so you can attack the rest of your afternoon with gusto.
Finding time for yourself in this fast paced and competitive world is often hard and can be seen as frivolous but the tools are there for all of us to use.
Anomaly supports entrepreneurs with beautiful and fresh coworking at the intersection of data and design in the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec.