Launching and managing your own business while working hard to be profitable is exciting and rewarding but it can also be tiring and occasionally emotionally draining. There are simple actions you can take to safeguard your physical and emotional welfare – and that of your team, if you have employees – while ensuring your business is successful.
Managing your time and prioritising tasks and responsibilities so you don’t feel overwhelmed and find yourself ‘sweating the small stuff’ will also help.
1. Prioritise your physical health
Getting regular physical exercise protects your long-term health but it can also make you look and feel better in the short term.
It is recommended that if you’re between the ages of 19 and 64, you should:
- Do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) at least two days a week
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week
- Spread exercise evenly over four to five days a week
- Reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity
- You can also achieve your weekly activity target with:
- Several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity
- A mix of moderate, vigorous, and very vigorous intensity activity.
- Investing in a personal trainer, for example, will add to your motivation and ensure you’re more likely to exercise safely.
2. Don’t forget your mental health
With one in four people experiencing at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year, much of the stigma surrounding mental health problems is now melting away as more of us are willing to accept that sometimes it’s OK not to be OK.
Having trouble sleeping, losing your appetite – or bingeing – as well as snapping at colleagues, family, and friends, struggling to focus, and feeling anxious even if you’re not sure why can all be signs of stress and depression. Physical exercise has been shown to improve mental health and taking time off work to unwind completely, be that at the weekend or when you go on holiday, is also important for good mental health.
- Mindfulness and meditation are helping more and more people to manage their mental state.
- Try to be present and live in the moment
- But by letting these thoughts from the past and future go and focussing instead on the here and now and the task in hand you’ll begin to feel more relaxed and in control.
- Take a step back and be aware of your thoughts and feelings
Running your own business can be frustrating and scary but the next time you experience these emotions just take a breath and try to observe them for a moment rather than getting drawn into them.
3. Get on top of your time management
Feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list and putting in long hours simply to get little jobs done can damage your mental health. It can also prevent you from spending time with family and friends or playing sports, doing physical exercise, and enjoying your hobbies – all of which are essential for good mental health.
4. Feeling stale or stuck in a rut?
Changing the way you work, taking time out to review your professional goals, or inviting your teams to contribute ideas for new products and services as well as reviewing working practices can turbo-charge your business and open up new opportunities.
It can also boost your energy and create a more optimistic, invigorated working environment for you and your people. Reaching out for help when you’re struggling can mean simply telling colleagues and your professional network that you need some fresh ideas, new stimulus, or recommendations for change.
When you’re constantly needing to recharge, or you’re not getting that energy, you need to bring in something fresh – that could be a new look and feel or a new product, but often it’s new people. If you feel as if you’re hitting a wall, the best thing you can do is try and talk to somebody about it. Can their experiences unlock something in you?
5. Develop a health and wellness strategy
As you know in business, nothing happens unless you make it happen. And that means developing a strategy, getting your people to buy into it, identifying goals, and measuring your progress. The same is true for the health and wellness of both you and your workforce.
Making sure everyone is aware of your physical and mental health strategy and that they are given advice and help so they can take part in it and benefit from it is also important. Just as you develop a strategy for your business and then invest time and money to deliver on it, – you should do the same for your health and well-being. Investment here can bring significant returns for you and your team – both professionally and personally.