4 Overlooked Elements of Entrepreneur Self-Care
The life of an entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, sometimes I feel like I’m in a continuous cycle between the day-to-day grind of running a business, networking, and being stuck in my own head trying to figure things out.
I can often forget to fill my own tank, but practicing self care is sometimes exactly what I need to keep on, keepin’ on.
Self care leads to decreased illness and increased productivity, inspiration, and energy, which is always worth it.
We hear a lot about work-life balance (though I like to focus on work and rest rhythms instead) and having healthy habits like fitness, diet, and sleep.
All that is great, but there are four elements of self care that you don’t hear about as much but I believe are just as important. Let’s talk about each one.
As we experience the craziness of starting and running our own businesses, it can be easy to focus on what’s not going well or what we haven’t yet accomplished, while overlooking all the little (and big) wins along the way.
Here are some ways to regularly reflect on the strides you’ve taken and celebrate your wins:
Ring a bell or play a tune when you land a new client or do something awesome (bonus points for coming up with your own celebration dance).
Keep a daily journal and write one line each day about what you accomplished, big and small.
Write down specifically what success looks like for your goals along with how you will celebrate when you’ve done it. Then do it!
Have a person or group that you talk with regularly and build into your time together the sharing of your successes so you can cheer each other on. Encourage each other to text wins between your weekly chats.
At the end of every month or year write down all that you have to be proud of.
Bring out your inner child by using fun or motivational stickers in your planner or journal.
Do anything from the pamper list below!
We often don’t make an effort (or have the time) to pamper ourselves, and as entrepreneurs we sometimes have difficulty spending money, especially if it has anything to do with self-care. It can seem frivolous. Self care doesn’t always have to cost something, but it’s okay to invest in your well-being once in a while. Otherwise, what’s the perk of working so hard!
When you’re feeling burnt out and tired, try one of these pampering ideas:
Get a massage, facial, blowout, makeover, or manis/pedi (at the spa or at home).
Have breakfast in bed (bonus if your partner, kids, or room service can prepare the meal for you).
Treat yourself to your favorite meal, dessert, or drink and be super present to savor it.
Go to a play, musical, concert, or movie.
Lay in a hammock perhaps with an umbrella in your drink.
Take a hot bath or soak in a hot tub.
Have a staycation day or week.
Take that dream vacation.
Go out for a night on the town in some fancy garb from Rent the Runway.
Invest in a some super luxurious lounge clothes.
Upgrade your home office to make it even more comfortable.
Stay overnight at a fancy hotel.
Buy yourself some flowers or clip some from the garden.
Cozy up with a book at one of your favorite places.
Pack yourself a picnic and head to the most picturesque park near you.
Take a fun craft class such as painting, pottery, or calligraphy.
Purchase a piece of artwork that brings you joy to hang somewhere very visible in your home.
Watch the sunrise or sunset.
Hire someone to clean your house.
Diffuse essential oils in your home.
Take a cooking class, hire an in-house chef for a night, or order one of those ready-to-cook delivered meals.
Keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge to pop at just the right moment.
On our entrepreneurial journeys, it can be easy to lose sight of why our work matters or struggle to have confidence that we are on the right path. However, I believe that each and everyone one of us has our own unique gifts that can leave an important mark on this world. Giving yourself the space to be inspired can help you keep running after a business and life you love.
Of course you can get inspiration externally by people, places, or things, but don’t forget to sometimes look inward for inspiration, reflecting on what you’re doing and why. Here are some ways to get inspired:
Write down or revisit your purpose, mission, and vision.
Dive into podcasts, TED talks, or YouTube videos from people you admire.
Read or listen to a magazine or fiction, self-help, or business book - whatever gets you jazzed up the most.
Do something crafty.
Walk around your town and explore the architecture, shops, and parks.
Get out in nature by taking a hike or riding a bike.
Watch someone else do the thing you’re afraid to do.
Keep a smile file of positive words said or written to you (an idea from Kirk Perry of P&G and Google) and read them when you need a boost.
Do a goal setting session.
Create a song playlist of music that pumps you up.
Attend an event or conference with people whose company you enjoy or for a topic that gets you energized.
Keep an Energy & Engagement Journal to learn what gets you in flow, then do what gets you into flow as often as possible.
Read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up or Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki and declutter the things in your house that aren’t bringing you joy or worse, may be silently sending you negative messages and reminding you of your insecurities.
Set up an area in your home that gives you good energy and make its sole purpose your inspiration corner - where you go to journal, meditate, whiteboard, or consume content that inspires you.
Write down affirmations, bible verses, or quotes and strategically place them around your home. Repeat them out loud to yourself as needed.
Keep a habit tracker of something you want to be intentional about doing, giving yourself an checkmark or gold star every time you do it.
Go on a mission trip or volunteer trip.
As humans, we were created as social beings. Whether or not you’re an extrovert or an introvert, you still need human connection and relationship to thrive.
Being an entrepreneur can be isolating. There was a time where I wouldn’t leave my house for days. I’d spiral into this hole and didn’t realize how down I was feeling until I was forced to leave the house for something. I’d feel like a whole new person, but I didn’t know what I was missing in the moment because it’s easy to get sucked into isolation and do what you need to do to keep yourself there, even if it isn’t good for you.
It’s also important to form relationships with other entrepreneurs. Our lives are just different and it can feel lonely if all of our relationships are with people who have a typical 9-5 and can’t relate to what we go through.
Here are some ways you can regularly and intentionally connect with others to stay sane and keep your happiness up.
Join a coworking space. Here’s the one I go to that I love.
Become a member of your industry’s professional association.
Attend local meetups, chamber events, or conferences.
Join a local entrepreneurial group or attend an entrepreneurial event.
Go to a speed networking event.
Join a church small group or community group.
Meet your neighbors and set up a regular get together.
Plan a regular date night with your significant other OUTSIDE of the home.
Volunteer for an organization you care about.
Get an accountability partner.
Become active in Facebook or LinkedIn groups.
Set intentional rhythms for how often you’ll call, text, or visit with individual family and friends.
Become pen pals with someone (yes with old fashioned snail mail), such as a friend you no longer live near.
Uncover Other Opportunity Areas
It can be tough to recognize where our mindsets and our methods are holding us back. We are often just too close to it to be able to see how we are self-sabotaging or missing the opportunities in front of us.
These free downloadable reflection questions will help you uncover your biggest opportunity areas so that you know where to focus to get better results.
In a Nutshell
So there you have it, the four often overlooked elements to care for yourself as an entrepreneur because self care is so much more than just health and work-life balance. Here’s a recap:
Don’t just focus on what’s not going the way you’d hoped. Instead regularly acknowledge and celebrate all the little (and big) wins you experience on your journey.
Scroll up for 7 ideas to celebrate regularly.
Pampering can seem frivolous, especially when it costs money, but it can be energizing to treat yourself every now and then for all your hard work, and it doesn’t always have to cost something.
Scroll up for 23 ideas to pamper yourself.
Make regular time to get inspired by looking both internally or externally, so you feel compelled to keep putting in the hard work to do what you were made to do.
Scroll up for 17 ways to get inspired.
Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, everybody needs human connection and relationship to thrive. Being an entrepreneur can be isolating, so it’s important to be intentional about finding ways to get out of the house and connect with others.
Scroll up for 13 ways to connect with others regularly.
Don’t forget to grab your free downloadable reflection guide below to uncover your opportunity areas - the mindsets or methods holding you and your business back.
I’m Stacy Kessler, an entrepreneur, strategist, and adventurer dedicated to helping you figure out how to craft a unique, compelling, and profitable business you love around your expertise and passion.
You are meant to do important and amazing things in this world and I’m here to help you do just that.
You might also be interested in these articles
You don’t want to miss this.
Sign up to get these strategy articles delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.