Being a business owner can be tough. It can sometimes seem an uphill slog with three steps forward and two steps back. We may find ourselves working harder and longer hours to get that traction and bring in the money our business needs. In the process, our personal health and wellbeing can go out the window. Sure, the financial health of our business is critical but if we don’t look after ourselves, we’ll ultimately burn out and lose our ability to do what needs to be done.
Here are 5 ways to help you keep fit for the business by renowned business and wellbeing coach Ros Jones who understands the importance that personal wellbeing plays in business.
Get enough sleep
When we first start our business, it’s normal to be excited and full of energy and want to put in the hours to get our baby off the ground. But working late into the night and then starting again first thing in the morning without sufficient sleep in between for long periods of time is downright dangerous. Studies have shown that we need at least 7 hours of sleep to restore our bodies and power our minds. A good night’s sleep fortifies virtually every system in our body and without it you put your physical health at risk (of heart disease and stroke for example) and your mental clarity and energy levels.
Take time to learn every day
Creativity is crucial for business success. We need to be able to differentiate ourselves, be innovative and ahead of the game. Doing the same thing over and over will cause your business to stagnate and, like a tree, if your business isn’t growing, then it’s dying. Keeping your mind open to learning new things will fire up your creativity to help keep you moving forward. Take at least 30 minutes a day to learn something new by reading or listening to a book or a relevant podcast, get on a webinar or mix with people who will teach you stuff. Take loads of notes in your notebook and find some time during the day to share it with someone else or take action to implement what you’ve learned.
Drink more water
It can be easy to fall into the habit of surviving on sugar or caffeine-laden beverages to keep us going through busy schedules. A healthier alternative is to drink more water. We need to be drinking at least 2 litres (6-8 glasses) of water every day, more if we exercise hard. Research has shown that even mild dehydration can impair our memory, our mood and our energy levels which may heighten feelings of anxiety.
Exercise every day
Taking some time to exercise every day can help control your physical weight and reduce the health risks caused by being overweight. It will also improve your mental health and mood because during exercise your body releases chemicals that can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed, the so-called “runner’s high”. This in turn will help you deal more easily with stress and reduce the risk of depression when things don’t seem to be going so well in your business. Regular exercise will also help keep your thinking, learning and judgement skills sharp. It also helps you sleep better.
Take time out to be in nature
Taking time out to walk in nature has a powerful, positive effect on the mind, body and spirit. Being in nature reduces blood pressure and gives us time to pause, reflect and be still. When our business takes our direct undivided attention, it can lead to feeling mentally fatigued or drained. In nature, we use our undirected attention to use our senses to touch, see or smell whatever the natural setting has to offer us. This doesn’t require a task-specific problem-solving approach. Instead, we simply enjoy the experience and feel rejuvenated by taking in the sights and sounds at a relaxed pace. This space reduces stress and lifts our spirits – and you may find that wonderful new ideas and light bulb moments just pop into your quietened mind.