Running your own business takes a lot of time and energy. It’s important to take care of yourself, to fill your own cup, in order to be energised and mentally resilient.
Taking care of yourself is a proactive way to contribute to your positive mental health, and leading to better resilience when dealing with the stressors and challenges of running your business. In general, self-care is activity undertaken with the intention of reducing stress, enhancing energy and ensuring health, both physical and mental is a priority. Self-care can also be about processing emotional reactions to life, and doing things that may seem difficult, such as asking for help.
Working long hours have been linked with poorer mental health, fatigue and burn out, as well as increasing the risk of injuries. Improving wellbeing to reduce these risks and poor outcomes is important to individuals, families, workplaces and communities. Practicing self-care adds to your positive mental health and wellbeing, providing you with greater capacity to manage stress, increased resilience, and reduced symptoms of ill-health.
Here are some suggested strategies on how you might choose to practice self-care:
1. Schedule personal time into your daily routine – whether it is before, after or during work hours, be sure to make it a routine activity.
2. Take meal breaks – don’t work through the whole day without a break for some nourishing food, and a moment of down time.
3. Get regular exercise – whether it’s walking or running, or team sports, or yoga. Doing physical activity is an act of self-care and improves your mental health.
4. Find ways to unwind every day – this may be exercise for you, or practicing mindfulness, meditation, or watching your favourite TV show.
5. Get the right sleep – quality and quantity. Prioritising sleep allows your body and mind to rejuvenate and start fresh and energised in the morning.
6. Spend time with or call family and friends – your social health is important to your overall. Taking time for social interactions is part of caring for yourself.
7. Schedule in your personal appointments, and attend them! – put the time into your physical, medical and mental health by using appropriate services, whether it be your GP, or your counsellor, or your physiotherapist.
Self-care can take many forms, and whatever self-care you practice, needs to work for you. The activities and timing of your activities must fit into your individual schedule and lifestyle, which will make it easier to do them more regularly.
For more information, resources and tools to support your mental health and wellbeing visit: www.aheadforbusiness.org.au
Ahead for Business is an initiative of Everymind and funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
If you are in need of support for your mental health, services are available 24/7: