Every seasoned entrepreneur knows that there is sacrifice. You know how to hustle. You’ve built the mental strength that allows you to push. You don’t think twice about staying up late to finish the project, and you’ve built the discipline to get done what needs to get done no matter the cost. But have you lost yourself in the process?
Maybe the skipped meals, high caffeine intake, long days sitting in front of your laptop, and the short nights of sleep are starting to catch up. It’s scary to think about what it means to have built a thriving brand but at the cost of surrendering yourself.
Putting yourself last is not a prerequisite for building a successful brand. Prioritizing your well-being, managing stress, and caring for your body are not indulgences; they are essential investments in your long-term success.
Here are three key strategies you can implement today to ensure that your business thrives while your wellness remains intact:
1: Improve your creativity with exercise
A new study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that people who regularly exercise do better on tests of creativity than their more sedentary peers.
The key is to reframe physical activity not as a luxury or something that takes time away from your work, but as something you can use to boost your mental acuity, allowing for fresh ideas and innovative problem-solving. Moreover, giving yourself a change of scenery and physically stepping away from your laptop can help you have a fresh perspective on the problems you are trying to solve.
Whether it's a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a workout at the gym, make time for physical activity and witness the positive impact it has on your overall well-being and business performance. If you find yourself overwhelmed or intimidated by the thought of planning your own physical activity routine, consider joining group fitness classes. By doing so, you can eliminate the need to decide what exercises to do during your workout. Another alternative is hiring a personal trainer who can provide you with the necessary support and accountability to stay on track with your fitness goals. Alternatively, consider signing up for activities like tennis or rock climbing where you can engage in a community setting while simultaneously challenging your mind and body.
2: Handle your stress
What are your coping mechanisms? Do you allow yourself to deal with the stress and know when to rest or to take a break or do you continue to drive yourself forward and potentially into the ground?
To become more adept in the art of handling stress, start by embracing the importance of rest and breaks. Breaks don’t mean you’re weak, they’re part of a smart strategy to keep you going at peak performance. The key is to schedule them in advance so that you aren’t waiting to burn out to take them. Doing so helps you be proactive. Remember, you’re a human and can’t operate at 100% every single day.
To create healthy coping mechanisms, build activities into your schedule that help you relax and recharge, like going for a walk, practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, or seeking support from your trusted network. All of this will help you maintain a healthy and sustainable work/life balance.
3: Create room for fun
Entrepreneurs know that you can’t just “turn off” the job. You’re constantly working or thinking about work. And as a result, fun isn’t just going to magically happen.
Stepping away from work to enjoy life with loved ones, explore new places, and take up new hobbies will help you balance your workload and fully embrace life with all of its vibrant and joyful moments.
What would planning a vacation or even a fun staycation day with friends do for your mental health? If unplugging for 24+ hours from work sounds stressful, that might be the sign that some fun is overdue. Here’s your reminder that regardless of the current state of your business, whether it’s overflowing with clients or in a slower season, you deserve to have both a fulfilling life and plenty of fun.
As a seasoned entrepreneur, it's crucial to recognize the significance of prioritizing health and wellness amidst the demands of work. By tapping into the power of physical activity, mastering stress management, and creating room for fun, you can strike a balance between your personal well-being and professional success.
Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury but a necessity for long-term growth and fulfillment. The path to success as an entrepreneur is a marathon, not a sprint, so support your journey by incorporating these practices into your routine to help cultivate a fulfilling and sustainable entrepreneurial journey.
Rachel Pierce is a Kansas City-based entrepreneur in the fitness industry. She has worked in the fitness industry for 10 years doing everything from corporate wellness and group fitness to D1 collegiate strength and conditioning. Now, she works exclusively with women and is passionate about coaching women to improve their fitness and nutrition and helping them build a resilient and fulfilling life.