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Self-care is self-preservation.
Self-care is a hot topic in the entrepreneurial world. Everyone talks about, but few are able to fit it into their daily schedule. It's more of an ideal or silver standard, and less of a daily practice.
That is, until it is forced upon us through illness, writers block, fizzled creativity, or worse, burnout.
The good news is, it's totally preventable. And even reversible.
With a few simple techniques to pull from, you'll be a self-care pro in no time.
The goal of a break is to get away from what you were doing for a set period of time so that when you return, you have a fresh mind and a new perspective. So, go look out your window or step outside for 5 minutes, stretch your body, watch a funny YouTube video, or rock out to your favorite song. It doesn't matter what yo do, just do it.
Meditation and deep breathing can help you be more focused and centered, move through areas where you feel stuck, and help you feel reinvigorated. All good for business. There are great meditation resources out there, including this one from Meditation Oasis for a Mini Break from Work or Study. (That's like two for the price of one, taking a break and meditating.)
Move your body.
Getting up and moving your body is necessary when you sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day. It helps to get the blood flowing, to stretch out your body, and give you a new perspective. It also just plain feels good to sweat. Go for a walk, run a mile (or two), stretch, do yoga, or find an exercise video or segment and do that instead. Whatever you do, move your body.
It may feel like healthy eating is harder and takes more effort than you can muster. But the reality is, crap in equals crap out. And I'm not just talking about that kind of crap. I'm talking about energy, creativity, mood, and your ability to focus. So, make sure to get your fill of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, and good clean protein. In need of some inspiration? I may have a few recipes to suggest.
Try new things.
Nothing shakes the cobwebs from our brain and gets those creative juices going like new experiences. When I'm stuck in a rut and feeling burned out, I make a point to get out of my comfort zone. It could be through a new book, trying a new recipe, going out to a new restaurant, joining a new group, or taking a new route. It doesn't matter what it is, it just matters that you've never done it before.
Whether it comes in the form of a mani-pedi, a relaxing massage, an acupuncture treatment, getting your hair done, or a trip to your favorite boutique, nothing can replace the feeling of being pampered. You work hard, and you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor every now and again.
A lot of entrepreneurs take that whole solo entrepreneurship bit to heart, thinking that they have to do it all themselves. The reality is, we all need support. Whether it's someone to help us with the mundane tasks of our business or finding other women entrepreneurs to provide much needed emotional support. Some of the best things I've done for my business involve joining a Mastermind Group, joining a Facebook community full of other women entrepreneurs, and setting up regular Skype dates with business-minded friends.
I've shared some of my favorite ways to take care of myself. Now it's your turn. What are your favorite self-care techniques? Share your tips and ideas in the comment boxes below.
You can also tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s a sample tweet to get you started:
My favorite way to take care of myself is __________. (Tweet this.)