Working to create a business and life you love can be the most amazing experience. You have the opportunity every day to create something meaningful and help others in the process. Indeed, when you hit your stride, running your own creative enterprise can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. When in the zone, you may have so much on the go but yet you still feel excited and challenged and passionate about what you do, and carried along on a contact high of productivity that it feels like you could go for hours without needing to come up for air.
But this is not always the way unfortunately. Being an entrepreneur can also be exhausting, frustrating and heartbreaking. You give so much of yourself to your work that coming up against challenges and continually not seeing results can leave you depleted and disenchanted. Add to this the countless hours you need to commit to getting everything done, as well as everything else in your daily life still demanding your attention, and pretty soon your health and overall wellbeing can take a beating. Feeling this way can fast become a slippery slope into overwhelm and before you know it your groove gets jolted and you have so much to do and not enough energy or time to do it. Your headspace clouds over and you feel buried by all the junk that life and work throws at you.
I totally get it. We all feel this way at times (sometimes all the time!) and in creating and working on my business I have had times when I’ve felt so overwhelmed and fundamentally challenged that I’ve reached the point of wondering if I should just pack it all in and go back to the 9-to-5 grind. Thankfully my loathing of my former ‘career’ and deep desire for freedom has helped me stay the course, but as I kept coming up against this cycle I knew I needed a way to stop getting to breaking point. I realised that digging myself out of a rut can take a lot of energy and patience, and while it’s totally possible, wouldn’t it be better to just avoid going there in the first place?
Are you feeling this too?
To help you out (because that’s what I’m here for!) I wanted to share some of the ways I know to help get back on track, and to stop myself from spiralling too far into a depression. Along with these tips, I have just created and launched a free (yep, you heard it right, free!) online email series to help folks, especially busy entrepreneurs, to take control of their self-care and get some quick strategies to get happier and able to get back to creating your world-changing empire more quickly. More about that at the end… (or you could just sign up now with this form below if you're keen:)
Okeydokes, here we go. Read on for some of my top strategies for improving your self-care today:
BOOST YOUR OVERALL WELLBEING
If you ask Google to ‘define wellbeing’ (and I did) the first result you’ll see is the definition that wellbeing is ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.’ Sounds like something we all strive for, and certainly worth pursuing, yet so many of us relegate our health and happiness to the bottom of our to-do list and treat caring for ourselves as either an afterthought or something that gets done if we ever get time. “Sweet heavens above, please let me find the time!” We long to take care of ourselves, but as a culture we don’t, or can’t, seem to prioritise it. We idealise an overloaded schedule and constantly strive to prove we can do, be and have more. No wonder we all get so burnt out!
This behaviour is kind crazy and definitely counterproductive to living a good life. By being in the best state of comfort, health and happiness we are able to more present and engaged in our lives, and filling our time with a frenzied pace doesn't allow us to create the space we need to care for ourselves. When we truly take care of ourselves so much of the drama and overwhelm melts away, we're able to see improvements across all the areas of our lives. We have better relationships because we’re less testy and more present. Our work will naturally improve as our concentration levels are better and our access to creativity and innovation gets clearer. So, to borrow an old-fashioned expression, prioritising everything and everyone else in our lives before our own wellbeing is like putting the cart before the horse. In other words, the wrong way around!
Looking for a way to kick-start your journey back to wellbeing, but not sure where to start? Or maybe you’re doing ok at taking care of yourself but sometimes it gets away from you. Either way I’ve got you covered! I’ve created a meditation to help you stop the busy busyness of your work, your day, your thoughts, and get a wellbeing check in. The best part? It’s under 10 minutes long so is a great way to get started and not be too big a time drainer.
Get it here as part of the free five-day self-care series:
IDENTIFY YOUR DERAILERS
Similar to the point above, looking at your life and being able to identify what is not working for you and where you might have your priorities out of alignment can be the start of some beautiful changes.
One element of this is being able to recognise what keeps tripping you up as you work towards creating and living a great life. I call these ‘derailers’ as they knock you off track again and again. You’re cruising along, then wham, these elements crop up and before you know it you’re either heading in the wrong direction or have stopped moving forward completely.
Being able to identify these derailers will allow you to get back on track more quickly or, even better, stop from being derailed in the first place.
Derailers can be unconscious behaviours like popping into Facebook to check one thing and suddenly realising you’ve been on there for two hours, or hurdles and challenges you weren’t expecting (super common when you’re in business for yourself!). You may find that others are thwarting your efforts to get more done either through general distraction or by expressing their very present needs (such as a hungry child or a client who contacts you in a panic with an urgent project change or request).
When we become derailed from our original focus it can feel upsetting and frustrating, and add to this that all too often we can also feel disappointed in ourselves for not sticking to our original intention. We might become angry or short-tempered and the last thing we feel during these times is calm and in control.
Being able to identify these derailers allows us to get ahead of them and create strategies to lessen or even negate these obstacles. It may be as simple as adding 25% time allowance for every project you plan or setting a timer before you enter the murky time-sucking vortex of social media. Heck, even allow yourself time to check social media where you can just follow your nose and spend an hour there. This is not about denying yourself distractions, but rather it is a way of stopping distractions, disappointments and life from derailing your objectives. You're ultimately setting yourself up for a win, rather than allowing yourself to keep being knocked off track.
Want more tips on overcoming derailers? Check out my post on 5 Common Derailers for Newbie Bloggers
I know that I find meditation super beneficial (when I remember to do it!). It helps still my busy, busy brain and allows me to find clarity when trying to solve a problem. I’m not alone here. There’s so much research to demonstrate the benefits meditation can have in our lives, health, happiness and so much more. I’m not going to bombard you with statistics and research, but here are few resources worth checking out if you have time:
- The science of meditation
- 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today
- 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain
I have a super active imagination and while this is often one of my greatest assets, it can also make more traditional, silent meditation a big challenge and kind of a drag. My thoughts just keep coming at me and I get annoyed that I just can’t get it together, and the thoughts keep swirling around and around, and thus the cycle continues. This feeling of frustration makes it hard to implement and stick with a regular meditation practice because there's no real benefit. This is where guided meditations come in. I find it so much easier to still my mind when I can be taken on a journey, and just allow myself to let go of my thoughts without having to do all the heavy lifting. I still get so much benefit from the experience but so much of the pressure has been taken off and I find this helps me maintain the desire to keep up the practice.
You know I've got your back, my friend, and I’m here to help you out. Like I mentioned above, I have recently created a couple of guided meditations as part of my free self-care series as I see these as really effective tools in improving wellbeing, and I want to help folks get the benefits of meditation without the hard work.
I’m really proud of how these turned out and feel like they really are the stars of the program. You should totally sign up for this series just to get your hands on them!
Acceptance is one of these principles we all understand, can see the value in and want to embrace, yet it is also one tricky little fiend. I would love to achieve acceptance in all things and move through the world like a zen monk, being untouched emotionally by others and their shortcomings, and generally being a loving creature. But alas, this is not simple. In fact, I think acceptance is one of the trickiest emotions to embrace.
Acceptance means that we allow something to be, without trying to change it or exert our will, or force something to be other than it is. This sounds simple enough, but when something or someone acts in a manner which is so contrary to what you believe it should be then acceptance can feel impossible.
However, acceptance isn’t about blithely embracing things without question. Rather, acceptance is taking away the anger and emotional attachment to an issue, and therefore freeing you up to focus your attention and energy in a more positive way.
If you’d like to explore how to better embrace acceptance in your life and business, I have a handy meditation to help you in creating more acceptance in your life, I have a whole section dedicated to this in the self-care series.
MAKE THE COMMITMENT. SHOW UP.
One of the best things you can do to honour your self-care is to continue to make the commitment to be kind to yourself, and actively engage in ways to improve your health, happiness and comfort. Not only will you find it easier to pull yourself out of a spiral into overwhelm before you're too far gone, but you'll find that you head toward these negatively feelings less and less because you naturally have a better mindset.
Will you let me help you get started?
In the self-care series I've put together some of my best strategies to help cultivate the right mindset for creating a better business and life. I know I’ve spoken a lot about the series in this article, but this is because I created it especially for the purpose of helping folks, especially bloggers, creative and entrepreneurs, to make self-care easier and allow themselves to enjoy the process of running a business and working towards creating an amazing life.
I wanted to make sure this series gave you resources to get ahead in the self-care game as well as tools you could use when you're in a bad headspace and need some help to get you out.
I'd love it if you signed up. I know it could help you improve your overall happiness and believe that when we are in the best headspace, we are able to create our best work and show up fully in life.