The dangers Of Being Too Work Focused
I had taken a bit of a step back from myself this year in order to fully dedicate my time to my wonderful clients - but I want to talk a bit about how factoring in time for YOU is one of the best ways to elevate your game. When I started my home consultancy, I had a plan: 1) Find Clients
2) Wow Clients
While this was a good, smart and ultimately necessary goal for any new company, something happened that I didn't quite expect - I was busy. I put myself aside and furiously went to work providing the best possible end product and experience for my clients as possible. However, despite my consultancy growing and flourishing - I on the other hand was failing as a person. As a marketer, I spend a large portion of each day online. Between Facebook and Instagram, it became apparently that I was no longer living my best life. Allowing my self care and confidence to drop the more days I spent tirelessly in my home office without so much as changing out of my sweatpants soon took it's toll. Suddenly, I found myself in this weird alternate world where hair products and mascara no longer existed. *Insert shock and horror here*
Now, I am not saying that every marketer has to be Kardashian fabulous every second of every day, but when you allow yourself to live as the marketing gollum in a darkened office without the need for human contact long enough, it absolutely takes a toll on how you feel about yourself when you close the last tab on your screen for the evening. I'm not talking about simply preventing yourself from becoming a greasy, unkempt mess - but also keeping yourself healthy on the inside. Your mental health can and will take a nosedive if you are hyper-focused on nothing but the tasks at hand.
Luckily I realized this before I was too far gone, so I'm here to give you some tips to ensure that you - The Busy Business Owner Entrepreneur - remember to partake in some self care.
Tip #1: Have a great space
If you are going to spend hours upon hours in your home office or place of business each and every day, be sure to create a space that is not only usable for your purposes - but visually appealing. That might mean something different to everyone - for me it was surrounding myself with foliage, soft colors and bright accents that cheer me up and provide a bit of glam to my work-space. For you? It might mean having your tools organized and readily available, getting rid of that old peeling wallpaper or finally patching that hole in your wall that you've been hiding behind a photo for six years. Wherever you set up shop, make sure you can enjoy it and be productive in the space. For a peek at my new home office, check out my previous blog post! Tip #2: EAT
I know that I am not the only one out there who was constantly skipping meals and putting off snacks in order to finish that "one last thing". I see you, meal skippers! I was doing this every single day, to the point where my first piece of food or drink (other than gallons of coffee) per day wasn't until 7-8 pm once my husband was home from work and whining about starving to death. This is not healthy! I now have some lovely mason jars in my desk, containing a variety of easy to snack on foods such as almonds, baked crispy chickpeas and jellybeans for when I need a bit of a pick-me up treat. I also recommend setting some alarms in your phone to remind you to grab yourself some water in that shiny new washable BPA free water bottle that you are going to buy yourself and keep in your space. (Right?) Make it a point of either sitting down for something when you wake up or bringing something portable with you to your desk in the morning. Take that lunch break! I promise you will feel more alert and energized throughout your day if you remember to fuel your body and mind.
Tip #3: Go for a walk
If you sit all day long like I do, be sure to carve out a few minutes a few times a day to get up, stretch and walk around. Hunching over a keyboard or project all day long will not only make you sore, but can actually cause a multitude of problems for you long term. According to the massage therapist I saw last week, you can actually shorten your tendons and muscles by not stretching and moving often enough, which will cause you pain and take a long time to reverse. Get up and move that booty, even if it's just a lap around your house/office/yard/block/store.
Tip #4: Little outings
I try to give myself a reason to leave the house every day, but it's not always achievable or possible. So I have a two day rule - I have to leave my house and go do something that involves getting dressed and talking to other humans every other day. It can be as simple as grabbing a coffee (NOT AT THE DRIVE THRU!) or wandering through IKEA and grabbing one of those tasty ice cream cones at the end as a reward. I myself have started to go tanning again which not only provides me with a nice twenty minute relaxation nap, but gets me out of the house every other day to build and maintain my color. It's a win-win - I look like I spend tons of time in the great outdoors with a killer tan, without actually being subjected to the mosquitoes who seem to think of me as an all you can eat gourmet dinner. Just get out! Tip #5: Treat yourself
Every so often you have to remember that you are a real person, with likes, dislikes, wants, needs and even yes - requirements. Treat yourself! This could mean a night out at the movies with your friends. It could mean a relaxing massage, facial or getting your hair done. It could even mean finally replacing that office chair that squeaks every time you shift your weight. Just do something for YOU and nobody else. It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, just something that will make you smile, feel good or in some way happier.
Tip #6: Plan a micro-holiday
Chances are, no matter where you are reading this from there is SOMETHING to do within a car-ride from where you live and work. Give yourself permission to put away the business for a couple days and partake in some pleasure! This could be as simple as camping, a road trip or even a full fledged vacation to someplace tropical. You do not want to let yourself become me in this regard - I am 32 years old and about to leave Alberta for the FIRST TIME EVER on a small getaway to BC at the end of July. FIRST TIME EVER. So do yourself a favor and get away when you can!
Tip #7: Therapy
I'm going to get a bit real on you all here for a moment - therapy is a very good thing. I see a therapist every two weeks, and while my reasons may be different from yours - it's a good idea to keep your mind clear and healthy. Some people I know go in a few times a year, some like me a couple times a month. You aren't going to be a help to anyone, including yourself - if you are full of self doubt, regrets and negativity.
Tip #8: Make friends
This one sounds corny - but keep with me for a second. When you are out and about, or even online - keep an eye out for awesome people. Network! You never know who you might meet or what it could turn into. I recently went to a salon and spa and the owner, who was also doing my service was a total gem. We are close in age, have similar experiences in our past and seem to be very aligned as female boss-babes and driven to succeed. Making new friends as an adult is definitely not the same thing as a child, simply passing someone your favorite Barbie or Pokemon card was the easiest way to say "let's play!" back then - now, it's a bit tougher. I challenge you to embrace the awkwardness and simply tell someone you enjoy them. By the time I left my appointment not only were we talking business, but I made it a point to tell her how much I enjoyed my time with her and actually said the phrase "Girl I have a feeling you and I are going to have a relationship!" (Yes, i'm aware that sounds totally messed up and creepy but, the tone wasn't in person I promise) If you find someone who you vibe with - try your luck!
Tip #9: Animals
Maybe you don't have one. Maybe you can't have one. Maybe you aren't responsible enough to care for and keep one alive - but there are always animals out there that you can interact with. This is the biggest form of happiness that I can give myself without winning the lottomax and disappearing into some exotic city to die in a pile of shopping bags and fast cars. My dog has her own bed in my office, and she keeps me company daily while I type away. She pulls me out of periods of frustration and somehow knows exactly when she should come put her head on my lap and demand scratches. Now, I'm not suggesting you must run out and obtain a cute creature of your own, but I *am* suggesting that you pop into your local shelter and volunteer your time to hang with or walk some animals. I am suggesting you take your jog in a dog park and boop the snoots of every dog who runs up with their happy faces to greet you. I am suggesting you visit your moms house and belly rub the old family pet. This is my secret weapon! Anxiety, frustration and even rage can be calmed within sixty seconds of giving and receiving love from another living creature. Things can be easily put into perspective when you bury your fingers into something soft and fuzzy and get some kisses simply for being you.
Tip #10: Don't listen to me
While I am giving some rock solid advice here -the important thing to remember is DO SOMETHING FOR YOU. What works for me might not interest you in the least, and I'm sure you will enjoy something that would probably not tickle my fancy too. The takeaway from this should be, YOU MATTER and in order to be effective and successful - you need to start with yourself. Now go into the world and find your joy! -S