Business can be beautiful, but sometimes it’s felt like I had 2 options: to be ‘successful’ or to practice self-care.
It felt like it wasn’t an option to do both.
Like the company that wanted to take my work all the way (across 5 continents) but only if I disregarded my health and wellness for their schedule. I said ‘no thank you’. Because if I’m not happy, if I’m not congruent and if I’m not me, then it’s not really a success, is it?
This can happen on a large scale – the boss that says you’ll get the promotion if you ‘put in the hours’ or on a smaller scale, where you push through the project to reach the deadline, to be done, to rest but collapse on the other side. And each time it happens, each collapse over the finish line is eating away a little more and a little more still at the very ability to do such work, or get dressed, or live your life.
In my case, my wellness is hard won and so fiercely protected. If you care so little about me that you want to impact my health for your profits, then we won’t be working together, thank you.
Being a business owner comes with a lot of responsibilities. It’s easy to feel like that isn’t enough hours in the day to get each and every task completed. It’s far too easy to overwork yourself and to fail to spot the signs that you or one of your employees (if you have any) is in need of some help.
The good news is that when it comes to taking health and wellness seriously, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money or effort. It’s just a case of understanding what impacts these things and how to make life easier and less stressful for everyone.
I’ve always admired people who manage to take their wellness seriously without letting it take over their lives. I always said I didn’t want to fuss so much with cure-seeking and postpone the life I am able to live now, but there’s something in between searching for a cure and ignoring your body’s needs to live a “normal” life or run a “successful” business.
With that in mind, here are some useful tips and ideas for making health and wellness a priority as a business owner. These relate to your own health and wellness as a business owner, as well as the health and wellness of your employees (if you have any).
1/ Make Movement Motivating
How tempting is it to sit down, plough through your work and promise yourself a yoga session at the end of the day?
And how often do you get to that yoga session, once you’ve spent all your energy working?
I know that to work well, I need to practice compassionate awareness. I need to be tuned in to my body, listening to it’s needs and take regular breaks, including movement breaks.
This applies to you and any employees. As part of the work day, try to incorporate exercise, and encourage your team to do the same. There are lots of simple ways that you can do this; it’s just a case of determining what works for you.
Whenever I run a meeting or conference we have regular movement breaks every hour, as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to one of my international Trailblazers’ Conferences.
In college (where I’m furthering my counselling qualifications) we hold impromptu people in pain yoga sessions in the breaks, to lie down, to meditate, to stretch and get moving.
If you crave the accountability to engage in regular exercise, check out if you have access to any workplace classes. These could be held at the start and end of the day and could be anything, from yoga to meditation.
If you work from home or freelance, could you take a class – physical or virtual – with a friend or colleague?
What do you need to do to add movement (visualised or physical) to your day?
2/ Make Your Workspace Work for Your Mood
Where are you, right now? Take a look around your workspace and consider whether it is an effective space for working productively.
The truth is to be able to work effectively, the environment that you’re working in doesn’t need to be perfect. I’ve written some of my best work on my phone at 3am, in the back of old notepads, while crying in grief. I’ve worked at train stations, while in hospital, around screaming babies. Showing up to the page, to the work is a practice that can be developed.
But if you have the opportunity to create a space that encourages you to work productively and makes it easy to do so, then let’s make it shine.
Right now, I’m working from my studio, the walls are painted mellow sage, and yes, I choose it for the name, not just the colour. I have a beautiful peace lily blooming next to, my altar, paintings, day-bed and my harp…
Can you take some time to consider what it takes to make a space feel like a good environment for working? Think about things that feel good, what motivates and energises you, but also adequate lighting, a well-designed space, and equipment that suits your body and needs.
Take lighting for instance, for work space, the advice from a lighting contractor would be to opt for lighting that’s as close to natural light as possible. This is because lighting that’s overly bright can cause headaches, I can get migraines from office lighting so working out the right lighting has been especially important to me.
3/ Thinking About Fuel and Fun
You know and I know that eating healthy, wholesome foods is the way to go for your body and your business.
But how to do it when you’re low on energy but the stakes are high and the deadline’s drawing nearer? That’s the secret.
One of my favourite ways to go this is to let the making and eating of food be the break I’m craving. Instead of grabbing food and heading back to work, what if making a smoothie, a dip and some cucumber dipper sticks or a salad with a delicious dressing could be a fun team activity. I love making food with my PAs and business partners, plus I get to learn their favourite recipes.
When it comes to running a business, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into account. This means that it’s far too easy for important things to sometimes get missed.
However, if there’s one thing that shouldn’t be missed, it’s taking health and wellness seriously.
I’m supporting and celebrating you in your path of wellness, healing and life.
What’s your best experience in business and wellness? Let me know in the comments?
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