I would like to start off by raising my steaming mug of coffee to us, boss babes making it happen. Cheers to your faith, your drive, and your courage to go against the grain. Cheers to knowing that you are worthy of it all, including all the time you require for some serious self-care!
For the women who are in transition, working an unfulfilling job while building your passion projects, this article is for you. This is my plea for you to slow down, take note of how you are truly feeling, and fully commit to making any changes necessary to keep your health a priority, right now. We get busy. There are a million things to get us sidetracked from our self-care routines. Please don’t feel guilty about it, just allow this to be a gentle reminder that you deserve your best care.
Can I also just say that while “side hustle” makes for a trendy Instagram hashtag, and albeit, a catchy article title, let’s all decide to remove the word “hustle” from our vocabularies. We can toss that out the door, along with sleazy sales tactics and aggressive advertising. Oh, and the belief that working harder will solve all our problems.
That’s the old lingo, created by a widely male-dominated business industry. We have the option to try and “keep up” with the old standards – working 12-hour days, skipping vacations, and ignoring our ever-present need for sleep. Or we decide to make a change.
This is a new era. It’s our time to rise up as female entrepreneurs and change the dialogue. We get to make our own rules, right?
As I write this article, I am with you in feeling the ever-present struggle of the mind while in this transitional phase. There are days when my full-time work seems to drag on for eternity, as my heart longs to be working on a new video course I am creating. I find myself wishing there were more hours each day, so I could manage to get everything done, quickly and perfectly.
This is part of the reality we face, especially when trying to do it all. So before we dive into self-care, I first want to encourage you to stop trying to do it all. You don’t have time for all of it and what’s more, you cannot expect to do it perfectly, any of it.
Time to change our mindset
To be the successful, badass, full-time business owners that we call long to be, we must show up for our clients, audiences, and customers in our best way. Do you think we can show up as our best when we are racing against the clock of our self-imposed timelines? Can we be fully present in each task when we are feeling completely overwhelmed? No, we can’t.
I’ve been learning this the hard way. While I’ve been doing all the right marketing, growing at a quick and consistent pace, I have not been making the sales needed to support my business. Why? I lost my voice.
In trying to do it all and chase after all the things that I “should be doing,” as a business owner, I stopped showing up as authentically to my audience. My passion was lost in the daily “hustle” of trying to run a business on limited sleep and a malnourished body.
This “work harder” mentality is stopping, right now. Instead, let’s focus on how we can take care of ourselves in the best way possible. That way, when we show up for our business, even for limited chunks of time, we are doing powerful, ground-breaking work.
THIS is what it means to be a boss babe in 2019, to know that self-care is heartbeat of your business.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and strung out, I encourage you this week to re-evaluate everything you are trying to accomplish. Are you being too hard on yourself with the timelines you’ve created? Where can you cut back? What busy work are you doing that is not serving your business?
Remember, often, less is more. I encourage you to reduce your workload if you are feeling overwhelmed or ask for help!
When I teach holistic self-care, I break it down into three major categories: physical, mental, and emotional. Each one embodies many subcategories that are extremely important. For example, within our emotional self-care, we want to focus in on our relationships, our self-talk, and perhaps, our spiritual connection.
I believe that in order to truly be thriving personally, we must have focus in all three categories. Too often, we get really good at one or two of these, thinking it will balance out the complete disregard of the other. I myself find it particularly easy to take care of myself physically, through exercise and healthy eating, and keep up with the mental by reading constantly. But emotionally? I often need to be strung out to my limits before I stop and remember to tune into this category.
Do you relate? Perhaps, you’re super connected spiritually, but always feel lethargic and get sick quite easily? You may want to focus in on the physical. Maybe you run every morning and have feel incredible about the relationships in your life, but it feels like you find yourself resistant to learning new things? Time to explore more of the mental self-care.
As I go through each category, I encourage you to take note on where you may be unbalanced. This is not a time to be self-critical, but just become of aware of areas that may require more of your focus. Be gentle and kind to yourself, always. This is a major component of self-love.
Physical Self Care for Side Hustlers
The physical element is probably the easiest form of self-care to understand. To take care of the body physically, we should participate in exercise and fill our bodies with nourishing food. This part makes sense, especially in an appearance-based culture, but this is just the tip of a much greater iceberg. However, it also means that we make time for rest and learn to appreciate our bodies.
To check in with your level of physical care, close your eyes and experience the physical sensations of the body.
Are you achy from remaining too sedentary or are you feeling strained from too much activity? Are you tired? Are you feeling heavy, hungry, shaky on too much caffeine? Feel it out.
When we can get into our physical body, it tells us exactly what we need. For many of us in this entrepreneurial space, we can feel an overload of fatigue. Makes sense, as the majority of us aren’t getting enough sleep and are overly addicted to caffeine. Are you getting eight hours of sleep at night? If not, where can you make space for more rest? For some, it might involve an afternoon power nap or 30-minutes of listening to binaural beats to recharge.
Depending on your lifestyle, you may be running yourself too hard trying to keep up with your gym routine and the amount of work you’re experiencing. Or maybe, you’re missing movement in your life, spending too many hours sitting in front of a computer. Is your body craving movement? Can you put reminders on your computer to get up and walk around every hour?
Ultimately, we practice physical self-care by embracing a love and appreciation for our bodies. When you love this vessel you’ve been given, you show up for it in different ways. You want to treat it right, give it the proper fuel it needs, and allows the perfect amount of movement and rest that feels good to you.
If you’re struggling to love the body, I encourage you to stand in front of the mirror for thirty days, each day finding a new thing you love about the body. You may think, “I love my arms, for they’ve lifted all my children.” Or “I love my hands and what they create.” Play with it.
Mental Self Care for Entrepreneurs
As a small business owner, you probably already have a lot happening in the mental realm of self-care, but let’s do a double check anyways. When we are taking care of our minds, we allow ourselves to be in a constant state of learning, allowing curiosity to run and play. We are trying new things, reading books, listening to podcasts, and exploring how to master our crafts.
I invite you to take a moment to explore this part of your self-care. Are you making enough time for learning? When you are running a business and working elsewhere, we drain a lot of our mental energy just keeping up. In our free time, we may focus heavily on mind-numbing activities, such as television and social media.
When it comes to the mind, we need both. We need the stimulation of conversations, books, and interview that challenge us to think beyond our norm. In addition, we also need time to quiet the mind, sometimes with simply allowing ourselves to watch a silly show.
We can also quiet the mind with meditations.
Ladies – if you haven’t gotten on the meditation bandwagon, please let me know why not. As women, our brains are actively firing neurons all over the place, much quicker than men’s. Our brains are like a browser that has too many tabs open, which can be useful sometimes, but it is always why we are more prone to anxiety.
When your mind is overstimulated, a guided meditation can help you bring it back to a calm state. Additionally, practicing controlled breathing is a great tool for focus.
Square breathing is easy to try out and practice anywhere without being noticeable. Simply breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts, hold for four counts. Repeat this for about ten rounds, choosing whatever count you’d like if four doesn’t work for you.
There’s also the importance of practicing self-love of the mind. When we are in alignment with loving the mind, we focus on our mental strengths, rather than our weaknesses. When we’re unhappy with our mind, it can show up as self-doubt around our abilities, wisdom, and creativity. In this case, we tend to undervalue our talents.
As someone who has let severe anxiety wreak havoc throughout most of my young life, checking in with the mind become extremely important, especially as a business owner. I had to reevaluate the attitude I had towards my mind and find a way to work with it, not against it. Instead of feeling frustrated with my limitations, I began to appreciate my creativity and my ability of organization. Small mental victories needed to be celebrated, even something as simple as praising a well written email.
Take a moment and do a quick inventory of how your treating your mind. Where could you bring in more learning? How can you practice more calming mindfulness? As a yoga teacher, I’m sure to tell you that balance is key here.
Emotional Self Care for Boss Babes
Wrapping it up with one of the most diverse categories, but one that can often be neglected when we become busy trying to build your passion project.
This is where we focus in on how we are feeling. Happy? Excited? Overwhelmed?
This is where we check in with how our relationships are doing. Are you enjoying enough connection with others who inspire you? Are you feelings supported? The answers to these questions may be good indicators to some of your emotional well-being.
Other things to pay attention to? Whether or not you are making time for fun. In order to produce our best work, we have to make time for play and inspiration. When was the last time you enjoyed your favorite hobby? If it’s been months since you danced around to your favorite song, step away from the laptop and get your groove on girl!
We often think that play time is wasteful. It is anything but a waste of time. When we enjoy play, laughter, and surrounding ourselves with love, our moods are lifted. We are more capable of creating inspiring work and creativity flows to us naturally.
Looking for more flow state? Make more time for silly fun.
It’s in this emotional realm that we want to dive into knowing ourselves in a more intimate way. In making time to connect with our inner dialogue. We can become our own best friends when we’re content with our own presence. This helps to reduce loneliness and dependency on other people.
Get to know yourself beyond the labels and roles you embody. What are your core values? What drives you? Who are you when everything else is stripped away? I challenge you to begin exploring this through journaling. There are many books and websites to helps you better understand your deep personality, whether that’s through a quiz or written exploration. Start digging deeper.
Additionally, getting in touch with your emotions might involve a spiritual or religious practice. When we can get in touch with our own definition of a higher power (or even purpose), we are taking care of our deep self. This can be done through prayer, study, meditation, or whatever practice feels most natural for you. For some, this might be as simple as sitting outdoors and enjoying nature.
Can you find moments of time in your day for spiritual practice? To me, this simply involves quick prayers throughout the day and affirmation reminders on my phone to check in.
Keep Up with the Entrepreneur Self Care
If you are feeling stuck in any way, take ten minutes today to evaluate where you can make some changes. How could you dedicate five minutes a day to something touched upon in this article? Start small and stay consistent.
When we are exploring self-care in all aspects of our life, we may see some miraculous shifts. We begin to form unapologetic boundaries with others, say no to the things that aren’t meant for us, and stop allowing mistreatment. Self-care becomes a priority, developing a deep belief that our own care is for the betterment of everyone around us and our businesses.
I challenge you to really form the belief that your business can only do as well as you are doing personally. We cannot shuffle our needs to the side while we make way for our passions to flourish. They won’t. They’ll just continue to sit there, stuck.
When we can bring awareness to our self-care, we can show up as our best selves each day. This will open our world to new opportunities, simply from a shift in perspective. We are more open to receive when we are feeling rested and alive. Our creativity will begin to flow and everything will feel less and less like stressful work.
I haven’t got it right just yet, but I commit to checking in with my self-care daily. Will you join me in that pursuit?
Comment below: Where do you struggle to make time for self care?
Keep being the badass that you are!