When you first start a business – and potentially well into your entrepreneurial run – you’ll probably put as much time and effort into that business as possible. This makes sense; after all, you want it to be a success, and you need to do whatever it takes to push it forward, find new clients, get ahead of the competition, and produce a high-quality end result in whatever sector you are working in.
Although this is a good thing in general terms, if you are neglecting your own health in the process, continuing to work when you really need to rest, skipping meals and exercise, and potentially adding a great deal more stress to your life than you really ever need to, then this is certainly a negative.
What is the answer in that case? You need to work hard on your business to make it a success – particularly right at the start – but if you make yourself ill in the process, you won’t be able to do that anyway. Surely there is a solution? The answer is that you need to keep yourself as healthy as possible while you are running your company. This sounds simple, but that’s why it’s such a successful strategy; staying healthy is something we can all do, no matter how busy we are. Read on to find out how it can be done so you can stay in peak condition and your business can thrive.
Check in with Your Mental Health
When you start a business, and potentially for a long time after you have done, you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work and plenty of long hours. This can lead to burnout, a feeling of being entirely overwhelmed, isolation, and of course, stress. This is bad enough in itself, but when you are entirely focused on what you are doing, you may even find that you don’t notice this is happening, or it becomes such a big part of your life that you don’t even think of it as unusual anymore. After all, you’ve got a lot to do, so of course you feel tired and stressed out.
However, because of this, and to combat it, it’s wise to take stock of your mental health situation regularly. Stop what you are doing and check in with your mental health to see just how you are really feeling and what it’s doing to you. This is easier said than done, but one option to complete this task in the right way is to start a journal. At the end of every day, simply fill it with bullet points about how you feel. This will help you gain clarity over your mental health, especially when you look back and read a week or a month’s worth of entries. If you also use the journal to log how much sleep you’re getting, what you’re eating, and how much exercise you’re doing, you’ll instantly be able to see if things are turning negative and be able to do something about it sooner rather than later.
Find Ways to Laugh
There are sure to be times when you come across obstacles and have to deal with challenges – big and small – as a business owner. As it should be clear by now, this can become hugely problematic if you don’t take any time for yourself and if you don’t look after your own health. One way to do this is to find different ways to laugh.
It might sound strange, but the fact is that when you laugh, you release endorphins into your bloodstream. These hormones help to boost your mood, instantly relieving at least some of the pressure you are feeling and ensuring that less cortisol (the stress hormone) is produced. Therefore, laughing as much as you can and actively seeking ways to be happier will help you. Not only will you be healthier, but you will also be able to quickly de-stress when you need to, which can lead to much less time away from work in the long term.
There are numerous ways you can find something to laugh about. One might be by watching a comedy program on TV or YouTube; another could be talking to friends and enjoying fun memories. You can even pretend to laugh or simply smile – you’ll probably feel a little silly doing this, but you can trick your body into producing the same chemicals and hormones and thus feel better even if it is all fake.
Human beings are meant to connect with others; it’s in our nature – for the most part, at least – to be social creatures. Even those of us who are what might be termed introverted can still benefit from the occasional social event or even by connecting with people online and not face to face. The fact is that people will always be able to find some form of comfort when they are socializing more, whether that’s laughing with friends as mentioned above, or simply having a chance to relax more and stop thinking about work and its challenges for a little while.
Therefore, no matter how much you have to do, always try to make time for being social. This could be going out with friends once a week or once every other week, joining in with an online discussion, video calling relatives, and so on. If you live with others, this becomes even easier; they will want to spend time with you, and you will need to create a good work-life balance if you are going to stay healthy and be productive at work. Make sure you make time for the ones who rely on you and whom you love, and you’ll find your health becomes much better.
When you are stressed, your health is sure to suffer. Stress will bring with it many different ailments and leave you open to dozens more – your immune system will be much less capable than it would be if you were not so stressed, and therefore any bugs, colds, or flu that is going around would be a problem for you. When you become unwell, you will not be able to do so much work, and by pushing yourself to do as much as possible, you’ll only be making your illness last longer, as the body won’t be resting, which is what it needs to do to heal itself.
With this in mind, you need to be able to manage your stress if you want to stay healthy while you’re running your business. Of course, it’s easy to tell someone to manage their stress, but being a business owner is necessarily stressful; there is just so much to do. However, if you can look more closely at what it is that’s causing you the most stress and deal with that, and then work down the list so that eventually everything is dealt with, you’ll find that it can be done.
When it comes to overwork, delegating some of that work or outsourcing to a third party if that makes more sense and your business can afford it is the best thing to do. This means letting go, and this can be hard, but it’s vital when it comes to staying healthy. Another option is to take some time out every day to unwind. You could take a warm bubble bath, listen to music, make sure you read a chapter of a book before bed, play a game with your children, or anything else. As long as it means you’re not thinking about work, you’ll allow your mind and body to re-set a little, and you’ll feel better for it.
Everyone knows – or should know – that regular exercise is something that is crucial when it comes to getting fit and healthy and maintaining your health. Just thirty minutes of exercise a day (some even suggest you only need ten minutes, although it must be high-intensity exercise if this is the case) will help. In order to stay healthy when you’re running a business or doing anything else at all, you must ensure that you are exercising regularly.
Some people enjoy joining a gym and making stopping off there before or after work part of their routine. Others like being part of exercise classes. If your routine is not a set one and you can’t commit to a class or gym time, then you can simply go for a walk after work each day, or cycle rather than drive, or follow an online exercise video whenever you have the time. The kind of exercise you do is much less important than the fact that you’re doing it.
Build Your Mind
Your brain plays a huge part in ensuring you are healthy, which is why it’s so important for you to take good care of it. It really doesn’t matter if you have a good education already or if you didn’t do too well at school; it’s important to find a way to keep learning in whatever manner works best for you. Just like keeping your physical body fit with exercise, exercise will improve your brain too. Not only will this make your job much easier when you can understand more, but it will also make life more interesting and it will help you to de-stress as you won’t be thinking about work and will be concentrating on something else.
When it comes to learning, some will be content to read a book or watch a video or documentary about something they’re interested in, or even a new subject altogether. Others might take a class to learn something but not expect any certification or to gain specific qualifications. Still more might decide that, if they want to do well in business, they’ll need to take an MSN MBA dual degree so they know as much as possible and can truly position themselves as an expert. All of these are excellent ideas, and you’ll need to do whatever it is that suits you the best.
Everything you do, all your successes – and otherwise – will come from your thoughts. It stands to reason in that case that by strengthening your brain and helping to order your thoughts through education, you’ll get more done, and you’ll be healthier as a result. For one thing, you’ll be less stressed, and for another, your brain will be working, and you’ll be enjoying the process of learning too, all of which combine for better health.
Set a Routine
One of the best things you can do when you are a business owner and you want to feel healthier but always seem to be completely exhausted and close to burnout is to set yourself a good routine. When you have an intentional routine that you can stick to – although, of course, it should be flexible because things can quickly change in business and in life – you will always know what you are meant to be doing and what you will be doing next. You can slot any tasks that are required into the specific blocks of time throughout your day that relate to them. In this way, you’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed and much more able to cope with almost anything that comes your way.
Start with the time you wake up in the morning. Although it could be tempting to have a lie-in on days when you don’t have to start until later, if you get up at the same time each day, you can ensure you give yourself enough time to get everything done, including exercise and making a healthy breakfast, for example. Sleeping in means that these important elements of your day might be forgotten. You should also have a dedicated bedtime. In this way, you’ll make sure you get enough sleep, and you’ll know precisely how many hours in the day you have to get everything else done. This is much better for your peace of mind and, therefore, your mental – and to some extent your physical – health.