I’m writing this post at a point in my life where self care kind of feels like an afterthought. After being hit with a bit of an emotional sledgehammer last week whilst simultaneously trying to launch Get To KNOW, plan our launch event, freelancing to pay the bills AND renovating a house… Self care has almost taken a backseat, right when I need it the most. I say almost because I have started a little daily yoga / meditation thing, which I’m pretty pleased with myself about. Totally different from the way I would usually practice yoga, these are short flows or guided meditations that can be practiced in my PJ’s, or just whatever I’m wearing that day, no need to dig out the fit kit (though I’m usually wearing fit kit anyway)… They definitely couldn’t be called a workout but I’m fairly sure my mind is reaping the benefits. These little self care sessions aside I’m definitely recognising the need for extra care to be taken when you’re experiencing extreme levels of stress or feeling totally over-worked – which would be most female founders, am I right?
So, here are my top tips for self care;
01 | As mentioned above, daily yoga / meditation.
My little unofficial yoga challenge is something that me and my Mum have started up, we’d love you to join us (virtually, otherwise that would be weird). Head to YouTube, Yoga with Adriene has short and gentle videos for every kind of emotional or physical stress you could imagine. Need clarity and mental focus? She has you! Feeling hormonal as all hell? She has you. Seriously, there’s something for everyone and you won’t be struggling to tie yourself into some yoga knot, you will be focusing on calm breaths and getting some of that energy in line, leaving the sessions feeling balanced and calm. (Other favouites on YouTube are Cat Meffan and Steffy White.)
02 | Shower and get dressed like a normal human.
It’s so easy to grab coffee and dive straight into work, before you know it, it’s 3pm, you’re still in your PJ’s and you haven’t had anything to eat or drink except the pre 8am coffee. (Don’t like, you’ve all been there!) Figure out your morning routine, do you like to get up and savour making a coffee, grinding the beans, choosing your favourite mug etc? Great! Do that! Enjoy those moments sans tech, let your mind wander and breathe. Then, get ready for the day! Dress for success. This doesn’t have to be a power suit, it can be whatever makes you feel powerful, comfortable and creative. It could be dungarees with a swipe of red lippy. Whatever it is, get it on and then you’ll be ready to face the day and you’ll be better prepared for any last minute plans that might come up.
03 | Fresh air – get some.
You cannot physically sit, hunched and staring at a screen for 14 hours per day without reaching mental and physical burnout pretty soon. Get up and take regular short breaks outside, walk around the block, take your pups out for a little run, something – anything. Not only will your muscles and mind thank you due to increased blood flow (kinda important if you want to stay healthy and sharp!) but you will also be looking after your eyes. Nothing diminishes eye health like staring at a screen with no breaks. Try the 20/20/20 rule – Every 20 minutes, get up and stare at something 20ft away, for 20 seconds.
04 | Take some time for you.
Do something totally unrelated to your biz that makes you happy. If that’s an hour of TV, fine. If it’s reading a book, even better. It could be heading to meet your mates for a mid work coffee break, or nipping out to get your nails done – nothing makes you feel more boss than fresh nails. Whatever it is, indulge little and often. Don’t take the whole day but do do something everyday.
05 | Switch off at least 60 minutes before bed.
Turn off all electronics, dim the lights, supplement melatonin, whatever it is you have to do to make sure that the few hours of sleep you are getting, are quality ones. This is actually one self care routine that I’m pretty boss at, mainly because I know that I’m totally useless if I get sub par sleep. (Seriously, useless.) But I know a lot of my gal pals are most certainly running on 7 hours or less and it will have negative knock on effects down the line. If you have the luxury of a nice big bath tub, fill it, pour yourself a nice glass of wine and apply your favourite face mask. You’ll wake up not only feeling better, but looking better, too! 😉
06 | Try to keep your weekends work free.
I’m looking at myself here, I tend to view my weekends as my work power hours! No pesky work emails to deal with, I can just get on with writing or being creative. This, however, is unhealthy. For many reasons but especially if you have family or loved ones who also deserve attention and time. I managed to pick a guy who’s pretty much busy 24/7 so we can easily get sucked into working most days, on the one hand we’re trying to build businesses and be successful and what not but on the other hand, there is way more to success than numbers in a bank account. If you want to be happy long term, bar the the odd occasions when shit really has to get done, take your weekends and use them to make endless happy memories.
Any self care tips to add? I could have gone one for days but I think if you create and implement at least a few healthy routines to your days, they will make a world of difference to your overall health and happiness.
If you’re struggling with all of the above and more, I wrote this last week, that might help…