Starting a business can be exciting, but also challenging, demanding and exhausting. If you throw parenthood into the mix, you can really feel as if you’re spinning lots of plates whilst hoping they will not come crashing down. Your business will benefit if you are happy, healthy and productive, so looking after yourself should be part of your business plan. Here are 5 simple steps you can take:
I know this is common sense (and your Mum has already given you this advice), but it is worth reiterating that you need to fuel your body with healthy food, and good nutrition is vital for your mental health. Rushing down a sandwich “al desko” is not an enjoyable experience and probably leads to indigestion- so step away from your laptop so you can eat and savour your food.
Invest in Your Relationships
Social relationships contribute to good mental health and wellbeing. Spend time strengthening and growing your relationships. Make time to see friends and family. If you work by yourself, you may want to consider working in a co-working space, where you could meet like- minded people.
Schedule Relaxation Time
You need time to relax and recharge. If you don’t, you may find you are “running on empty” and risk burning out or becoming ill. Make an appointment with yourself- so you can take time out. You could spend time in nature, read a good book, listen to music or do anything that you enjoy that relaxes you. You should also take regular breaks during your working day. You could use a work break for a short walk or meditation.
Learn to Unplug
It seems we are connected to our phones, laptops and tablets 24/7 in our “always-on” culture. You may need to look at how you use technology in your work and leisure time, and see if any of your habits are adding to your stress levels. Making time during your day to “unplug” from technology, could help reduce your “techno-stress”. You can start by making one simple change-stop using your phone as an alarm clock. Buy an alarm clock, wake up and ease into your day without checking your phone as soon as your eyes open.
Ask For Help
Finally, it is important when you are stressed, not coping or having difficulties, to ask for help and support. Talk to someone you trust and speak to your doctor. Don’t suffer in silence, let other people help you. If you are determined person, focused on your business, it may seem difficult to ask for help, but you should be kind to yourself and get the help you need. The Mental Health Foundation provides a list of services and organisations which provide help and support for people experiencing mental health problems.
Yvette Hoskings-James is a stress management and wellbeing trainer and the Founder of Work and Wellness. She is also a mum to an 8 year old daughter. She will be sharing her advice and expertise at the next Parent-Cubator programme which starts on 14 April in Central London.