Anyone who’s reading this right now can probably agree that there’s a lot of everything going on right now. The world is panicking with the news of outbreak after outbreak. Despite it all, most lose sight of the fact that things will improve and go back to normal. Even so, the added stress of having to manage your business or work duties provides even more problems. As an entrepreneur, you’re actively steering through all of this – COVID-19 news, the changes in technology, all the ups and downs of the economy, the shifting markets and the social media sphere – juggling all of this can be overwhelming.
A saying you’ve probably heard before, either during an actual pre-flight safety talk or reblogged over the Internet, is that you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help others. It’s cliché but it’s true: you have to take care of yourself, first and foremost. Here are some tips to help you recharge your batteries and get yourself back at 100%.
- Turn off your phone and email. Not completely if you don’t want to—it’s great if you like playing games on your phone, or streaming YouTube on a tablet or laptop. But it helps to disconnect from work—checking your inbox for updates from your clients, reviewing your online store, answering phone calls and texts. It’s challenging, especially as an entrepreneur: you may be used to bringing your work home with you and working online all hours of the day and night, especially if you’ve decided to go into quarantine. But having a clear, defined line between work and home can save your sanity.
- Go outside. Maybe there’s a park nearby to sit in, or a busy street where you can pick up some lunch. Being outside in the fresh air, away from your work environment and headspace, can refresh your feelings and state of mind. Of course, be sure to avoid mass gatherings just as a precaution.
- Get some exercise in. It doesn’t have to be two hours of lifting weights at the gym (which you may want to avoid since everyone shares the same sweaty equipment). Even just a short walk of ten minutes, fifteen minutes, or half an hour, can make all the difference.
- Eat something. Blood sugar levels are important! Here’s a list of healthy snacks from the Food Network Canada, and here’s a list of close to 50 recipes from BBC Good Food that you can make in under 30 minutes.
- Get some sleep. Related to number #1, give yourself enough time in the evenings to get a full 7 to 9 hours of sleep. This may be easier said than done—aside from work, you may have chores to finish up and kids to tuck in and a partner to snuggle with on the couch—but running a sleep deficit can come back to bite you, and hard. It’s worth making the time for.
- Say “no.” Whether it’s “no, I’m not checking my email or phone tonight”, “no, I’m spending my weekend relaxing, not preparing a marketing pitch”, or “no, I’m not joining the massive crowd at the grocery store first thing in the morning”, saying ‘no’ can set valuable boundaries, make your to-do list more efficient and free up time to do the things you love. When it comes to self-care, saying “no” can be one of the best things you do for yourself. Just remember to say “yes” to washing your hands!
Gillian Robinson | Contributing Writer