Want to combat overwhelm, anxiety and burnout? Try these 5 self-care strategies for entrepreneurs.
As women of today, we are in a unique place. We can literally have it all. But as women and entrepreneurs, the demands on our time, energy and attention are greater than ever before. Throw in a family, a team of employees, an attempt at a social life and it’s no wonder each day feels like a marathon with overwhelm, anxiety and a never ending ‘to do’ list taking the lead. We, women, juggle a whole heck of a lot and often, one of the first things we let slip is our self-care.
But here’s the deal--to be truly successful in life and business (and to create the type of impact you desire in the world), you must thrive too. You, my dear, are your greatest asset.
So how do we prioritize self-care amid the hustle and bustle of life in a way that supports our ambition and fuels our drive without burning out along the way?
Here are 5 great ways to make self-care an effortless part of your daily routine:
1. Examine your time and energy leaks.
The possibilities for entrepreneurial creation are endless. Unfortunately, we operate within the physical plane in which time, energy, and resources are limited. Many women frequently find themselves in a cycle of over committing-- saying yes to things they don’t really want to do, giving away precious time in service of others, people pleasing, and so on.
This pattern of putting everything and everyone first in neglect of oneself typically results in feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and burnout and when left unchecked, these powerful emotions can not only lead to a lack of self-care, but also to exhaustion, weakened immunity, bouts of emotionally charged eating and even depression. We may feel guilty about letting others down or saying, “No” more often, but our health, energy levels, and business success actually depends upon it.
To reclaim more time and vitality, notice the areas of your life and business in which you’re literally leaking energy—
+the recurring networking meeting that leaves you feeling drained yet has never resulted in a referral
+the unanswered emails in your inbox
+ the conversation with a team member that needs to be had, or
+the weekend social event you’d rather not attend
These things take precious time and energy to accommodate. Worry alone, is extremely depleting. By releasing the tasks and events you know are draining your resources, you reclaim vital life force energy that you can now devote to something of greater importance to you, be it a yoga class or more time for visioning about your 5-year plan. Find the time and energy leaks and patch them up, stat!
2. Proactively carve out space to nurture yourself.
As entrepreneurs, we can easily forget about ourselves in the swirl of admin tasks, emails, meetings, managing our teams and taking care of clients, however having sacred time dedicated to our own well-being makes us better in not just our career responsibilities, but in our lives and relationships as a whole.
Try to allow a bit of time just for you each day. This can look a variety of ways depending upon the day, week, or month, what matters most is that it exists.
Consider book-ending your day with a morning and evening ritual that allows you to decompress and re-connect with what's important to you. (A great resource for this is the book Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.) It can be as short as 5 minutes or last an hour, the key is to incorporate time that helps you to center and check in with yourself consistently.
If a daily practice feels too overwhelming right now, try committing to once a week or even once a month. You can try scheduling time for bodywork like massage or acupuncture, meditation, yoga, dancing, journaling, practicing gratitude, attending workshops you find interesting, inspiring and fun — anything that helps you feel a sense of grounding within.
While it can be easy to put our businesses as top priority, we’re humans first and humans need regular time for rest, play, connection and nourishment.
3. Fuel your body for success.
As business owners, our bodies and our health are our top assets. If we don’t thrive, our businesses don’t either.
When we’re burning the candle at both ends, we’re much more likely to choose foods, drinks, substances and behaviors that don’t serve us. We might over-stuff our poor bodies with large quantities of (junk) food, hurriedly and distractedly eating in front of the computer or as we multitask. Or we may stay up too late, drink too much alcohol, or use caffeine, sugar, or more alcohol as substitutes for adequate sleep, relaxation and self-care.
Plain and simple, the foods and drinks you choose create your body: your muscles, blood, tissue, hair, thoughts and moods. The quality of the food you eat affects your experience of health and well-being thus directly affecting your ability to be successful in your business. Period.
By choosing to eat nutrient-dense, whole, unprocessed foods, you empower yourself and your body to perform at the highest capacity of energy, clarity and joy each day.
Start small. Try swapping an afternoon candy-fix with a healthier alternative like fruit, nuts, or ample hydration and see how you feel afterward.
4. Consider your monthly cycle and energy levels.
I recently taught about this at Emerge Summit and it is one of the biggest game-changers!
Many of my clients note that they feel very different from one week to the next and this difference in mood, energy and productivity is a great source of frustration. One week they feel strong, productive and outgoing and the next they are weepy, unfocused, tired and don’t want to leave the couch.
The truth of the matter is that we feel different each week because we are.
A woman's brain chemistry changes at different points in her menstrual cycle, as her hormone levels change. While sometimes, it may feel like our bodies are trying to cheat us out of productivity, they are actually guiding us toward success on a deeper and stronger level. A level that considers our unique strengths week over week, so that we can utilize our brain’s changing chemistry to our benefit once we know and understand what’s going on.
A simple way to empower yourself around your monthly rhythm is to begin tracking your cycle over the coming weeks, noting any patterns in mood, appetite or energy that arise. Then, take this into account as you craft your schedule, take meetings, schedule events, brainstorm with your team and so on. The more familiar you become with your own rhythm, the easier it will be for you to honor it from one week to the next and plan accordingly.
5. Carefully curate a kick-ass support system.
Perhaps the most important self-care piece of all is this—do not go it alone. To navigate the challenges, ups, downs and general roller coaster that is entrepreneurial life, it is imperative that you have support.
Whether it’s a mastermind, mentor, powerful Coach (or three), a gifted therapist, or a dedicated sisterhood of other like-minded women, having support and guidance from people you trust builds a strong foundation for success on all levels.
Having professional support and a community of fellow ambitious women as a part of your team assures you have insight, wisdom and guidance during the toughest of times of your business (because they will happen) and encouragement, validation and others to celebrate with during the great times.
Find someone who’s work resonates with you, or that you admire and seek them out. Consider asking them out for lunch or coffee, or schedule a session to become their client. If we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with, don’t you want to make sure your 5 besties are uplifting and inspiring?
In my work as a Board Certified Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, I help soulful, ambitious women to fall in love with their bodies, create healthy relationships to food and create the lives they were born to live. I've seen firsthand how these five steps can help women partner with their bodies and create the lives they’ve always dreamed of.
The more we can care for our whole selves — body, mind and spirit — the more fully we can show up for what matters most in our lives.
How can you make self-care more of a priority in your life and business starting today?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, STEPHANIE BURG
Stephanie Burg was a professional ballerina for over a decade. After years of restrictive, disordered eating and utter disregard for her body, a series of injuries took her from the stage and forced her to reevaluate every facet of her life, starting with her relationship to her body.
Now a Board Certified Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, Stephanie is a fierce advocate for the human form, drawing upon her expertise in movement and studies in holistic nutrition, gut health, food allergies and emotional well-being to teach women how to return to the innate wisdom and brilliance of their female bodies by shedding outmoded, limiting beliefs and prioritizing excellent nutrition and self-care. Stephanie believes that when a woman loves the body she calls home, she embraces her power to create the life she was born to live.
Stephanie’s work has been featured in publications such as ABC News, Colorado Public Radio, Dance Magazine, Mind Body Green, Elephant Journal, Tiny Buddha, and various national and local publications. Stephanie was selected as one of Charleston, SC’s “50 Most Progressive” celebrating the most forward-thinking individuals having an impact on the future of Charleston.
Don't miss Stephanie's 7 Day Formula for FINALLY Loving the Body You Call Home by visiting http://www.stephanieburgcoaching.com/ You deserve to feel great in your body, now!