One the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur, or any type of working adult, is balance (whatever the heck that means, right?) Raise your hand if you've ever held back from making some sort of big change that could have been beneficial in the end(like quitting a job that is awful), because of a fear of letting other areas of your life move out of focus more for a while.
There are more pressures on women than ever before, too - to be good moms/wives/girlfriends, to be thin, to look a certain way or dress a certain way, or to act a certain way. I mean, how often do we suffer from serious body-comparisson hangover?
For whatever reason, we tend to let our self care go before anything else. When we're going through a major change we can let our health get outta whack. The physical effects of not sleeping/eating/exercising can come in all forms depending on the person. Here's some of what I experience when I'm not taking care of myself well. See anything you recognize?:
- Migraines (if you have never had one of these before, you don't want to.)
- Tight muscles + back probs + severe muscle aches
- Bloated + heavy feeling in my stomach
- Heart palpitations from being anxious + stressed
- Feel + look tired (sallow skin, paleness, under eye bags, feeling forgetful/fuzzy, lack of focus)
Nobody got time for that.
Taking care of your self has to be a priority. It's difficult to be good at what you want to be good at, to serve people well as a coach, to focus at work, and it's hard to be a great parent/spouse/family member.
Here are some ways that you can do that AND not lose sight of the big things you want to accomplish, and the people you would love to spend time with.
1. Understand that you're unique and enough just the way you ARE. What you want is possible for you, and You're Worth It. Someone else is doing exactly what you want to do, right? They're out there doing yoga or prancercising or whatever makes them feel great - which means it's DOABLE FOR YOU. Just understand that first before you put too much pressure on yourself to look/be/dress a certain way, ok? (If you don't know what prancercise is, it's kind of essential knowledge these days. Watch the video.)
2. Don't ever feel guilty for taking time to take care of yourself. James Altucher talks about this in his amazing book, Choose Yourself, how if he lets one part of his life slip, everything else in his life is affected. There are a ton of health + wellness coaches out there who say the same. Whatever effort you can make today to take care of yourself, it's worth it. You don't need anyone's permission, and you don't need anyone's judgement (especially your own!) You dig?
3. Be open to the possibility that your commitment to your own self care and well being may actually be a great example and source of inspiration for the people around you.
Many people put exercise and eating well on the back burner when things heat up at work, and I know I've gone through periods where I did - before and after husband and baby boy came along. We feel guilty, we think other people will judge us, we think it makes us selfish, we think... a lot of crazy things.
I used to feel guilty for taking time for myself. A lot of women feel like it means less time with your babies, less time cleaning, less time working. Sometimes it feels "selfish". I get it. Having my own business that is now taking off, I'll admit that it's really difficult some days to eat well or work out (mostly now because I'm so inspired and have a million and one ideas and have amazing clients to work with!) But I make effort to stay on track.
You've gotta take care of yourself, or you can't really take care of anyone else. How inspiring is the "always busy" and "always burnt out" woman? How inspiring is "resentful mom"?
If you need some inspiration, or permission (which you shouldn't have to ask for, btw), watch this video. It's so cool to see how we can impact people around us by taking care of ourselves.
[QUEUE: TEARS FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL.]
4. Pick ONE form of exercise every day that will make you feel good mentally, emotionally and physically. Everyone is different. You may love yoga, or jogging, or a mellow walk outside, or you may love super intense workouts like Insanity (which I LOVE!) or Spin class (also love).
I listen to my intuition and choose my workout based depending on how I'm feeling that day, but I always take my little guy for a walk for about an hour in addition. It's non-negotiable because it's good for him and me. When I don't do this, I'm anxious and don't focus the same way. So rain or shine, warm or cold, we go for a walk.
I also have some of my best ideas and often gain clarity during daily walks. What's that about?
5. Eat to fuel your self. That isn't a typo. The self encompasses your mind, body and soul. #preach What you put into your body affects the mind and soul (how you operate, think and feel). When we eat better, we feel better. Don't you?
It's hard to focus when you don't have energy because you had a bottle of red wine and a bucket of sweet potato fries last night. (If you tell me you haven't been there, LIES!)
6. Treat your body + mind as one entity. I used to suffer from migraines, and the neurologist I started seeing in Denver actually recommended I adopt this understanding of my body. A lot of people really think about their body as being different parts, so when I started getting migraines again for the first time in like five years I went to a neurologist. That's okay in many cases. There are specialists out there for a reason.
However, I had somehow overlooked something crucial; I wasn't looking at everything I was doing as a whole, as potential causes which is detrimental to a life-long migraine sufferer. My new neurologist in Colorado has a much more whole-picture look, and he asked all about my food/nutrition, sleep, allergies or stress at all as potential causes for my migraines.
He also recommended I play this game with myself: how many nutrient dense foods and ONLY nutrient dense foods, can you take in every day? This made me focus on eating more whole foods over processed things. I started cooking and stopped eating at restaurants so often. And I cut the drinking.
Believe me, I love craft beers and a glass of malbec, but I've cut down. Do I still go out to brunch or make (and eat) the occasional pan of brownies? You're damn right I do. Just not all the time.
P.S. Two of my all-time favorite recipes are perfect for Fall, and one of them is pretty healthy (as in uses mostly whole foods and spices). The other is a desert! Sign up below to get the recipe and some other extras.
7. Do something to relieve stress. Journal for a few minutes, meditate, read a book, obviously I love going for walks. Pick something and do it.
How are you going to get started? What activities or recipes really help you stay healthy and on course when you're super busy? Tell us in the comments!