With Valentine’s Day finally here, February is perfect for reflecting on and celebrating how committed you’ve been to your entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s also an ideal time to assess how well you’ve been taking care of yourself.
As a small business owner, you likely work long hours, eat many meals on the fly (if at all!), regularly forfeit a good night’s sleep, and pass on countless invitations to enjoy activities outside of work. While those sacrifices may seem as though they’ll make you more productive and your business more successful, ultimately they can have the opposite effect.
I urge you to realize YOU are the most important asset your business has. And if you run yourself ragged, ignoring the needs of your mind and body, your business will suffer. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually your entrepreneurial effectiveness will deteriorate due to your self-neglect.
As we celebrate the month of love, how about showing yourself some love while you’re showing others affection?
To refresh your memory on how to do that, here are some ideas:
- Get away. Working non-stop can leave you frazzled and resentful. Even if for only a half-day, plan an escape from the grind. During your getaway, indulge in an activity you love whether it’s catching the latest blockbuster on the big screen or getting pampered at a spa.
- Eat quality foods. What you eat affects how you look and feel—which in turn impacts your self-confidence and energy level. I’m not saying you shouldn’t partake in some Valentine’s Day chocolates (I certainly intend to!), but don’t turn a holiday-inspired splurge into a chronic bad habit. Fuel your body and mind with healthful foods that offer the nutrition you need to perform at your peak.
- Get moving. Nothing can bust stress better than working out. Whether powerwalking on the treadmill, a Pilates session, or pumping iron is your thing, carve out time to treat your body right.
- Take five. If getting away from it all for an extended period isn’t entirely possible, at the very least squeeze in short breaks throughout the day. They will give you opportunities to refresh your mind, regain focus, and, if necessary, adjust your attitude.
- Say No. Many entrepreneurs have a difficult time with this—and it’s to their detriment. I know, because I’m one of them! When you have an innate desire to help others, saying “no” to taking on tasks and responsibilities doesn’t come naturally. But if you say “yes” to every request, you’ll shortchange your ability to fulfill your existing priorities. Avoid overextending yourself by mastering the art of saying “no.”
Don’t treat tending to your own physical and mental well-being an afterthought. Make a conscious effort to show yourself some love this month, and make it a priority every month and year going forward.