Self-care is vital whoever you are, whether you’re studying, working in an office, or in between projects. But for entrepreneurs, who generally manage their own schedules and are notorious workaholics (hey, it’s good to be passionate about what you do), the struggle is even realer. Here, Jessica, founder of Antwerp Avenue, shares some of her top tips for caring for yourself whilst hustling hard, because after all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
As Jessica knows all too well, when you’re running your own business it’s easy to get into a rhythm of working round the clock. “From the moment I wake up, I’m working, because my mind is always ‘on the job’”, she explains. This is when self-care becomes even more important, as Jessica discovered when she suffered a minor breakdown about a year ago. “One morning, I was rushing (as always) to get ready for an important meeting, and when I sat down to tie my shoelaces, I couldn’t get back up again. My body felt like it weighed a ton and all I could do is lay down and rest”, Jessica explains. Don’t let it get to this stage – start implementing your own self-care routine and listening to your body!
Making positive changes
Jessica realised that “if I didn’t take care of my body, I was going to hit a wall at some point, and I didn’t want that to happen”. Jessica’s lifestyle changes involved becoming stricter with herself in terms of her working hours, and making sure to incorporate stress-busting activities into her daily routine – but different routines work for different people, and it’s worth trying out a bunch of different options to discover what works best for you.
Here’s what Jessica changed:
- She stopped working on weekends. She allows herself to work on the ‘fun’ aspects, like designing and getting creative, but leaves the emails/ meetings/ “and administration BS, haha!” for weekdays.
- She takes baths every so often
- She indulges in watching Friends on Netflix before bed. “It may seem like a very average thing to do, but laughing out loud really relieves stress for me!”
- She uses Headspace (the meditation app) from time to time to clear her head
- And of course the best method of relaxing of all, “I plan vacations every so often!”
Remember to make time for self care
Many people who work in offices can leave their laptop at work, and enjoy evenings free to spend as they choose, but for most entrepreneurs, they’re always switched ‘on’. Jessica realised eventually that while running her own business gets in the way of practising self care, “my schedule will probably never get better and it’s up to me to MAKE time for it”. That sounds pretty sensible, and now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to catch up on Friends…