10 Ways to Stay Healthy While Running a Business
Jul 30, 2020
Running a business that has any chance of success requires a huge devotion of time and energy. It can be hectic and unforgiving and business goals won’t be reached by themselves.
It’s a marathon that requires stamina and mental and physical strength. And that is exactly why, self-care must be at the top of your list of business goals.
It might seem strange to include health goals alongside your quarterly goals, but if you let your health slip, your productivity is bound to follow.
Sick days, chronic illnesses, or even just depleted energy levels are a result of not prioritizing your health. Like we said, your business is a marathon. Your sprints at the beginning won’t mean much if you can hardly walk half-way through.
Here are 10 ways to keep yourself (and your business) thriving:
- Keep track of your mental health. The long hours dedicated to your business can leave you feeling fatigued, stressed, overwhelmed, and lonely. We often don’t take the time to acknowledge and work on these issues until it’s too late - i.e. burnout.
Start a daily journal where you can log habits such as diet, sleep, physical activity, alcohol and caffeine consumption, stress levels, and social activity. When our behavior is staring us right in the eyes, we can identify harmful patterns and work on fixing them.
- Laugh whenever you can. At times, running a business can take you to the point where you don’t know whether to cry or laugh. Choose the latter whenever you can. Laughter decreases stress levels and increases relaxation.
Even something as simple as watching an episode of your favorite sitcom can help decrease your feelings of stress and help you see the brighter side of things.
- Nurture your social connections. No matter how busy you are, you cannot allow yourself to become isolated. Social bonds are a critical part of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
You might not have hours on end to spend with family and friends, but it’s the quality that counts. Even just one hour of uninterrupted, technology-free quality time with those you care about brings about positive effects.
- Manage your stress. Easier said than done, but there are steps you can take to proactively curb stress piling up. If you think about it, the times we feel most stressed are when we feel like we’ve lost control.
So, it all comes down to taking control of your day. Manage your time wisely, prioritize your schedule and commitments, set boundaries, and say no to things that don’t serve you.
- Exercise regularly. Anything, from gym sessions, to playing a sport, to just moving more throughout your day, counts. Apart from the physical benefits, regular exercise does wonders for stress, anxiety, and depression.
Aim for 30 minutes a day, and you don’t have to do it all at once. Take the stairs, walk instead of drive, or get up from your desk every hour and do some stretching. A little bit here and there adds up quickly.
- Develop your mind. No matter how much you’ve learned or how many experiences you’ve gone through, there is always room to continuously develop your mind. Challenge yourself by learning new skills, exposing your mind to new ideas via books and documentaries, or even exercising it with mind games (there’s an app for that!).
- Build a routine. To keep yourself afloat and flourishing, it’s vital to have an intentional routine. Play around with your schedule and find what works best for you over the long run. For example, if you’re getting up at 5am to exercise and take time for yourself before the work day, that also means that you must have a strict bedtime in order to fully rest. Once you decide on a routine and stick to it, it’ll become a habit that allows you to get the most out of your day.
- Eat healthy. It’s all too easy to turn to junk food and mindless snacking when we’re rushed and under pressure. While these easy go-tos might seem like they’re saving you time, they’re really wreaking havoc on your body and brain functionality.
Take the time to plan out healthy meals for your day and eat regularly to keep blood-sugar levels stable, which helps your brain perform better. Healthy fats and high-fiber foods also help with increased cognitive function, higher alertness, and decreased stress.
- Take a day off. When you have work piled up and everything is counting on you, taking a day off is the last thing you can afford to do. While not always possible, most of the time you can find a way to carve out 24 hours of rest when you are on the verge of burnout. This time away will pay back itself threefold, with increased motivation and productivity, when you return to the daily grind.
- Schedule check-ups. No one likes going to the doctor, but it’s necessary. Schedule regular medical and dental check-ups and go in and see a doctor if you’re feeling “off.” Curtailing something before it becomes a bigger problem is in the best interest of your health and your business!