As a wellness provocateur and disabled entrepreneur I’m often asked about how I manage business, wellness and life.
I am sharing my answer here (with permission from the person who asked).
Q: When personal matters grow overwhelming, how do you refocus so that you can effectively run your businesses?
This has been on my mind lately; I have more clients right now than ever, which is exciting, but I’m also feeling my symptoms worsen. And I’m not in crisis mode, either, so am not sure of how to proceed.
A: It’s challenging that more clients can come, but bring more pressure too. It’s not often talked about, but it’s totally a thing. I think it’s going to vary for each person naturally, but here’s what works for me, and may be helpful for you and others:
1. Fuel – I keep myself fueled. If I am feeling as well as possible in terms of rest, time for myself, doing activities which I find restorative and relaxing, then everything is easier. And I can deal with a full client load. If I’m depleted, everything is harder and feels like juggling, but I’m not able to drop balls because they are people. So it’s my job to keep my well filled up. Luckily I have enough self-reflective space and Healing Team support that I notice if I’m getting low on fuel and can top up – so I’ve never felt like I’m going to drop people, but I imagine that’s how it could feel.
2. Boundaries – everything needs clear boundaries. So when I’m with a client, I’m fully with them. I’m not thinking about lunch or bills. It helps that I really enjoy the work, and it needs me to be present. And when I’m fueled thoughts don’t tend to intrude. And when I’m not with a client or doing client prep, I don’t think about them. I release them and ask a team of angels to take care of them for me, while I rest/sleep/see another client.
3. Reflection – I have lots of reflective space built in, so if there’s any worries, personal issues, triggers, things stemming from client sessions, I can journal or think about them. I can talk to my own therapist about the things I’m dealing with. If a thought or worry comes up I tend to put it in it’s category and think about it when it’s time. This ability has grown over time.
4. Mindfulness Practice – this is what helped stop my worries from turning up and then dancing in front of my face like gremlins, until I did something about them. Or, if I couldn’t, I just worried and worried over them. I practice being in the moment; now is now, and now is ok.
5. Releasing Perfectionism – I am not going to be perfect, and that’s ok. People aren’t going to hate/desert me if I reply to their email a little later, or if a blog post isn’t as good as it could be.
6. Fun – things work better when I am having happy times. Sometimes it’s hard to find those. I make love lists, I explore new things and book in time to do fun things. This week I wanted to bake, and each day I somehow seemed to find time for work, urgent media requests, other people’s problems, but not to bake. And so on Thursday I thought, enough! I am doing this, I am a priority too. And I made a gorgeous clarfouti and banana raisin bread. As I began making it I was aching with tiredness but in the process I became relaxed, grounded, engaged and fluid. It was a rest-while-in-motion activity.
[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
I wonder if you can proceed by taking this as an opportunity to design an Optimum Environment for Me Plan? It can be a fun experiment. If you are taking on more clients, how does your self-care need to change/step up to meet the extra pressure?
How do you manage work and self-care? Share your answers in the comments below.