3 Wellness Areas You Cannot Overlook As An Entrepreneur
You finally did it. You took the leap.
You are finally an entrepreneur. Feels good doesn't it? As a creative, it is easy to get swept away with our work. We are cursed with racing thoughts, millions of ideas, and the same 24-hours everyday. It would be great if we could add 5 or 10 more hours to our day, but what good would that do? We would only cram it full of more business related tasks.
Part of the reason most of us became entrepreneurs was because we wanted creative autonomy, freedom of expression, and to own our time. We grow accustomed to the “grind,” often to the detriment of our health and wellness. And this is something we cannot let fall to the wayside.
As entrepreneurs, our health is literally our wealth. Sure we could continue to grind it out, day in and out, without regard for our health and well-being, but we would eventually burn out. Sounds a lot like a corporate job now doesn't it? It doesn't have to be that way. We chose this journey because we wanted a different life. Freedom. Time with family and friends. And most of all to actually enjoy it.
Three particular areas of wellness are a few of the first areas that new (and seasoned entrepreneurs) overlook and neglect on our journey. Let's look at these three areas (you may be familiar and guilty of one or all three). And then let’s look at ways that we can remain aware and begin to keep our health and wellness as important as all other areas of our business.
Our physical health
Working around the clock, trying to beat deadlines for new launches, and meeting with tons of clients, can consume a great deal of both our waking and sleeping hours. We mull over documents, sometimes late into the evening sacrificing sleep to get the job done. As a result, we neglect the gym (because we are exhausted), we overeat (because we are exhausted), or we forget to eat and become a caffeine addict just to stay awake.
Our physical health allows us the space to be creative. It allows us the opportunity to continue serve others. When we neglect our health, we compromise our mission to fulfill our life’s purpose.
In order to continue to walk in our calling, we can make sure to prioritize these 3 simple things to ensure our physical health is tended to: sleep, walking, eating green vegetables.
When we prioritize sleep, we allow our brain the rest it requires to function optimally. We should focus on getting no less than 6 hours of sleep per night. At times, we will need to stay up later and get up earlier to focus on hitting deadlines and other time-sensitive tasks. To stay mentally sharp, we should be in bed no later then 10:30 p.m. Getting up early as opposed to going to bed late works with our biological internal clock and allows us to get the most mileage out of our days.
If you are an online entrepreneur, you may spend a great deal of your time working on a computer. Sitting all day, hunched over a computer, can have detrimental effects on our core muscles + back muscles, and several other muscles that affect the way we move (walking, bending, etc.,). We must schedule frequent breaks, even if only 10 minutes at a time, to move our bodies. Additionally, we can opt to use a standing desk to allow us to work and move and helps us keep our spines more aligned and stretched out. If we took 3 10-minute breaks daily, we would be getting 30 minutes of intentional physical activity. Take the time to schedule small breaks throughout your day to keep your muscles and spine healthy.
Remember the rule to eat your veggies before you left the table? That was with good reason too! Do not underestimate the power of green vegetables. Green vegetables are powerhouses of energy. They act as a detoxifier, source of clean energy, and work to keep our bodies less acidic (high acid=disease). When we neglect to consume green vegetables, we set ourselves up to be more sluggish, have less mental clarity, and to cause our bodies to become breeding grounds for disease.
Aim to get no less than 4 servings daily ( especially if you are currently not eating green vegetables), which is the equivalent of 4 cups of vegetables. If you find it is difficult to consume 4 cups of vegetables, make sure you take a quality green food supplement to get your greens in. These supplements often have nutritional value upwards of 8 or more serving of of fruits and vegetables! Think more bang for your buck! If you find that you are excessively tired even after a full night's rest, start your day with a bowl of greens. Having mental clarity and the energy to do the work in your business will allow you to perform at your best.
Our emotional health
Sometimes as creatives, we can be our own worst enemy. We often times are our biggest critics. We do not cut ourselves slack at all. Because we are working tirelessly to build our companies, to make an impact, and bootstrap everything in the process, we forget to prioritize down time. We get overwhelmed with tasks and begin to retreat, or become less emotionally resilient. Our brains, just like our bodies, need rest. We love the process of creating and being creative that we often don't realize the toll it takes on our emotions to be in constant go-mode. We must work to create space between our personal selves and our work. Sometimes, because we are in grind mode, we sometimes isolate ourselves. We feel like we have to in order to get things done or reach success. There are going to be times where we need to buckle down, focus our efforts, and get ish done.
But if isolation becomes normal and we are neglecting our friends and family in the process, we will find that we will not be able to sustain working in this manner without emotional backlash.
When we find ourselves feeling like a recluse more often than not, we need to take time away from our work and plug into people who care about us and who we care about as well. As social beings, we need connectivity. Our emotions are tied to our actions and when we are not regulated with our emotions, our work may suffer. We see memes and post on social media telling us to exclude any and everything that we were once affiliated with to get ahead. But we need emotional feedback to happen in a social context to make sure that we are doing okay. So stay connected to the people who are important to you. Plan a girls night. Make sure you have date night with your significant other. Go to family functions with your crazy uncle. Make sure you take time to unwind and indulge in self-care activities so that your work reflects that of an emotionally healthy person.
Our financial health
Many of us started our businesses with the money in our pockets. We didn't have a rich uncle to leave us an inheritance to fund our startups. Many of us started our businesses as side hustles and are bootstrapping our way up the SES ladder. The love and obsession and ambition we have to be business owners can sometimes come at the expense of rational thinking and faulty planning. We have to take the time to understand our business model as well as our daily, monthly and yearly living expenses.
Many entrepreneurs talk about “taking the leap” and going after our dreams. It sounds great to be able to just take the leap without any forethought and land on our feet. And for some this absolutely happens. But for most, it requires planning and downsizing. Entrepreneurs have the luxury of owning their time that must the maximized for the greatest amount of return. Because we do not often have the financial security of a steady paycheck, our financial health can mean either life or death for our business.
To get a good picture of our business and personal expenses, we need to prioritize a budget and a maintenance plan. We must schedule regular meetings with ourselves (or a financial advisor), to check in and review our financial health. If we neglect our finances, we lose the ability to troubleshoot frequently + proactively, and miss the opportunity to handle an issue that could turn out to be an extremely costly oversight or mistake. If you can, invest in a financial planner, software that allows you to track your expenses, or an accountant (if financially feasible).
Entrepreneurship is a beautiful struggle. The process of creating and seeing your creation coming to fruition is such an amazing process. If our goal is to stay sustainably in business for the long haul, our body, spirit and finances need to be a part of our business planning and take priority in our scheduling (daily + weekly). Remember we signed up for the long game. Let us not contradict our own selfless efforts by neglecting our health + wellness and become culprits in our own demise.
We have people to serve and lives to change!
written by chaquita renette
Chaquita Renette is a certified fitness nutritionist and psychologist that specializes in helping women working in mental health professions reduce stress, gain awareness of their mindset + relationship with their bodies, and work to properly fuel their bodies for optimal well-being and functioning.