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Small business life takes us up, down, and all around. One day we’re celebrating, the next we’re nervous about our prospects. IT’s critical that we maintain a sense of center while our work varies.
But why do small business owners feel so emotional about our work?
When one works for a company, their work is prescribed for them. Go in, get things done, go home, repeat.
As entrepreneurs, our identity is wrapped up in our businesses. When it does well, that directly correlates to us having done something well. When it goes poorly, that easily translates to us having done something wrong, even if we didn’t. We take it all personally, because it all came out of our ideas about the world.
I’ve found that a few particular tools can make a huge impact for maintaining Foundational Wellness and not losing your shit during these times. So let’s take a look.
It’s well-documented that when we move the body we feed the mind. I really love Yoga With Adriene. She makes yoga accessible, fun, and easy to learn. I’m also a fan of Yoga with Kassandrafor a slower Yin Yoga series.
Not feeling yoga? Go for a walk. Being outside is proven to stimulate the brain and improve one’s sense of wellness. My mentor recommends a pre-breakfast walk to get the stomach ready for food as well. He says that breakfast is much tastier after a bit of movement!
By the way, what are you eating? When feeling stressed, we gravitate toward fatty and sugary foods, which unfortunately slow down the brain when we need it most. What’s more, when we eat more fruits and veg, our stress actually reduces. Our guest this month in the Lounge will have a lot to say on this matter. You can RSVP here.
I’m a huge fan of meditation, but sometimes I struggle to stay on the horse, so to speak. When I need to ‘just do it,’ I default to the next meditation in the 21-day series by Deepak Chopra.
Not in the mood to meditate? I hear you. Maybe Vortle is your jam. The Vortle app was developed with trauma and stress in mind. It has soothing sounds and visuals, a circle breathing visualizer, and simple games to take your mind off things while you reset.
I’m also really into using the Pomodoro Technique, thanks to my partner who introduced me to it. The Pomodoro Technique is a simple timer system that reminds you to come up for air at healthy intervals. That’s critical for me. I sometimes hyper-focus, which is great for getting a lot done in a short period of time, but it also means I forget to pee or eat. 😆
When in doubt, just stop. If it feels harder than it should be, you’re getting a signal from your mind that today is not the day. Move on to something else, take a break, or leave work for the day. There will always be more to do. Don’t try to force yourself to ‘catch up’ or nail a goal when it’s just not flowing for you.
Time With Loved Ones (and Alone)
Our work isn’t the end all be all in life. In fact, most of us are working for more freedom, not less. Those near their end of life report wishing they’d had more time with loved ones, not with their work.
Make sure you build in time with your loved ones into your schedule. Don’t just rely on happenstance. I’m a fan of planning dates with parters, kids, and friends alike. Be intentional about making time for those you care about most, or you may find yourself defaulting to spending just a little more time each week on your work, only to not see them at all.
Just so, also plan some self dates for yourself. Giving yourself the space to hear your own mind and relax without input provides massive stress relief. Go for a walk. Go to the museum. Ride your bike. Get a massage. Buy yourself dinner. Do something that nurtures your soul at least once a week. Your brain and work will thank you.
What foundational wellness habits work for you? Tell us about it in The Lounge.