In last month’s Afri-love Connection Club lunches, we had a serious conversation about a serious issue facing entrepreneurs…burnout.
It kind of came as no surprise to me that in 2 rooms full of women, every single one of us has had some experience of burnout.
In retrospect, it makes sense. We are all so passionate and ambitious that it’s inevitable we may reach a point where we’re overwhelmed by all the things we have to do and all the things we want to do.
Self care often falls to the bottom of our to do lists. It becomes so easy for us to focus on all of those things and completely neglect the one person who holds it all together.
the importance of self care
Self care doesn’t need to be lavish. It doesn’t need to take up extraordinary amounts of time. And it doesn’t need to fit into anyone else’s definition but your own.
Self care is any activity you do to look after your mental, physical and / or emotional wellbeing. And looking after yourself isn’t selfish. The more grounded and less stressed you feel, the more those around you will benefit too.
If you don’t look after yourself, your business can truly suffer. At some point, your body can just give up on you and force you to take time out. Burnout can debilitate you, making it impossible to do anything but rest.
Trust me, you don’t want to wait until it’s too late!
how to make time for you
Running a business can take up a lot of time. It’s easy to overextend ourselves and say yes to any opportunity that comes our way. Deadlines loom. Social lives disappear. Sleep suffers. And often we don’t have anyone who can help us.
Taking even a day off can seem impossible. And so we just keep going.
I take a little time every day for me. Sometimes it’s just an hour. Other times it’s more.
And they way I manage it is by using just one calendar. It includes all of my work obligations, all of my personal commitments and all of the time that I need for me.
All of these things make up your life, so they deserve equal importance in your schedule.
define your non-negotiables
Self care doesn’t need to be about meditation, bubble baths and pedicures. It can be any activity that works for you to help you feel recharged and ready to take on the world.
Find what works for you and make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule.
I have three non-negotiables with my time and my budget.
- Working out: It makes me happy and it makes me feel better. 3 times a week I have a scheduled training session at the gym. I write these sessions into my calendar and schedule everything else around them. 2-3 other times I will fit in my workouts around the rest of my schedule.
- Manicures: Those of you who have seen me in person know that I have reallllllly long nails. I take pride in how they look and having them done is super satisfying for me. A trip to the nail salon takes at least 2 hours out of my day, every 2.5 weeks. I schedule this visit in, just as I would schedule any other meeting.
- Socialising with friends: At least one evening a week, I’ll be around other people who are important to me. I don’t overextend myself socially, but I ensure I have some time available to replenish my soul and laugh. Whenever I have a set date and time, I will add it to my calendar and schedule other things around that. Otherwise, I’ll schedule in socialising around my other commitments.
go easy on yourself
There are a lot of highs and lows on this journey. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do things right, keep pushing and make shit work. We face rejection, guilt, uncertainty, fear… the list goes on.
So self care is also about looking after yourself emotionally and not being so hard on yourself.
Instead of focusing your thoughts on the things that aren’t going quite right, place some thoughts on the things that are. What has worked well? What positive things have been said? What successes have you realised?
And don’t forget about all of the things that you’ve had to overcome to be where you are right now. Sometimes it helps to remind yourself that you are stronger than you think and braver than you know.
over to you
Yes, we’re all busy. But I truly believe that we make time available for the things that are actually important to us, whether it be 5 minutes or 5 hours.
So let’s put YOU on that list of important things! What are your non-negotiables and when are you scheduling them in? Let us know in the comments below.