How to practice good self care has been one of the most important things for me to learn as I’ve grown my business. And it’s been one of the most important things to keep me in alignment and support my continued growth, success, and happiness.
Today I want to talk to you about self care and how to design your own self-care plan. A set of rituals that will help you keep yourself in an energy of happiness, power, and inspiration so that you can go out there and inspire people to work with you and inspire people to follow you … without burning yourself out.
Let’s get started.
If you’d rather listen than read, here’s where you can tune in to this episode:
Truth is, I can easily tend toward workaholism. I know this about myself now, but I’m not sure I always knew this.
Now, self-care is a big priority for me, and it has been for a few years…ever since I went through my own health crisis, that I’ve spoken about before on this podcast, but if I’m honest I do go through seasons where I kind of neglect my own self-care a little…and I eventually start to feel it.
And I decided that right now is a really important time to talk about self-care for entrepreneurs. And of course I’m referring to this pandemic crisis we’re all going through right now. So this topic is timely, but it’s also timeless…because self-care is not ONLY important when there’s a global crisis happening.
But right now, I am feeling a ton of worry and uncertainty out there, especially in the entrepreneurial space, but I’m also feeling a lot of frantic “busyness” as in: let’s all figure out what to do about our businesses, and I’m noticing a lot of leaders are coming out with content that’s about how to pivot, how to improve sales, how to message right now…and I am definitely all in for that, in fact, my episode a couple of weeks ago was about what to do inside your business right now.
But I am also feeling there needs to be a bit of balance with some basic things, in terms of self-care.
Because YOU are your business’s most important asset. Nevermind sprucing up your website, re-branding, refreshing all your content…all the things that people are telling you to do right now…I mean, YES, if you have the bandwidth for all that stuff right now then yes, do that. But not before you have taken care of your business’s most important asset, which is YOU.
YOU ARE YOUR BUSINESS’S MOST IMPORTANT ASSET
More so than EVER before, right now, with what’s going on in the world with the pandemic we are currently dealing with…self-care is paramount.
If you’re reading this article way in the future, when the pandemic crisis is a memory…I think these self-care tips will be useful to you, because this is an ALWAYS thing, so definitely keep reading.
Actually, I kind of like the idea of talking to people in the future. I feel like I’m creating a little time capsule here, talking about what’s going on right now, but knowing that people will listen to this at some point in the future, and hopefully the world will be in a much better place….so I kind of like envisioning the future readers who are on the other side of this crisis.
Okay, anyway, the point is, whether you’re with me now, in the eye of the storm, or whether you’re in the future … welcome to this topic, get comfortable, and let’s talk about real self-care for entrepreneurs.
Designing Your Own Self Care Routine
Today I want to help you design a self care routine that’s very easy to implement, yet very effective to keep you in a receiving mode in your business.
As an entrepreneur I’m sure you’ve experienced times where you felt really stressed out, maybe overwhelmed, and maybe your body was giving you symptoms of stress and anxiety too.
For me, headaches are my most reliable sign. I get migraines, and they’re usually under pretty good control…unless I’m going through a lot of stress, and then I start getting a ton of migraines and headaches. Basically this is my body sending me a powerful signal t hat I need to slow down, or take better care of myself, or otherwise make a change. And I am a HUGE believer that the body says NO.
So how does your body say no? Is it digestive havoc? Your skin — do you get breakouts when you’re stressed? Is it your joints? Is it fatigue? It’s so important to tune into those signals. Pay attention when your body is saying NO, and then make adjustments.
Because obviously, when you’re feeling like that, overly stressed, and physically decompensating, how can you possibly do the work you are here to do?
As a coach, it’s going to be very difficult to inspire your clients, or inspire people around you, when you can’t even nspire yourself. You just can’t give from an empty cup.
So taking the time to take good care of yourself is not just an optional luxury, it’s an absolute must when you’re an entrepreneur, and especially when you’re a coach.
This is something that I talk to my clients about all the time.
I always insist that my clients, who are all coaches of one variety or another, take exquisite care of themselves. We all need a self-care routine. That’s what will help you be in your power and moving toward their goals, and back on the road to success.
So to design your self care routine I want you to think about three things. Your mind, your body, and your soul.
PART ONE: SELF CARE FOR YOUR MIND
Let’s start with your mind. A powerful mind is full of positive thoughts. And positive thoughts lead to powerful actions that will lead to results. Now when you’re stuck in a funk and all you’ve got are negative thoughts, how do you get yourself out? Well there’s a sequence of things that I do that you can do right away too.
And it starts with your morning routine.
It’s so important to start your day on the right note.
And the first thing I want you to do is to think about gratitude. When you’re starting a day off with gratitude you feel better instantly.
I start my day with my journal, and the very first thing I write about, every day, is something I feel grateful for.
Someday they’re big things, like big wins I experienced in my business, and some days it’s my family and my boys, some days it’s our health, our home, or the abundance coming to us. Other days? It’s my Nespresso. Actually, that turns up on my gratitude list fairly often, because I do my journaling while I”m having my morning coffee.
So your gratitude could be for a small things, or big things, it doesn’t matter and it’s going to change every single day, just let it flow. Take a few minutes to think about what you’re thankful for, what you’re so grateful for, and see how amazingly beautiful and powerful you will feel.
The next thing I want you to do is pick an emotion of the day. This could be in the form of an affirmation, or an intention, or a mantra. But just encapsulate how you want to feel, what you want to think or believe as the day goes forward. Today my affirmation was very simple: everything is going to be okay. Because although that sounds simple, and maybe even obvious, there have been moments during this pandemic that I have doubted that basic truth. So I write it down, at the beginning of the day, everything is going to be okay, and then I repeat it to myself throughout the day.
The next thing I want you to do while you’re still in your journal is to write your reality into existence. So once you’re done with gratitude and you’re clear on the emotion you want to feel right now today I want you to write about things as if they’re already true. For example: I have an abundance of clients. My home is paid off. My debt is paid off. I’m with the love of my life. My clients are amazing; they’re having results every day. My bank account is full. My body is energetic. I am free, I’m living in this world and I can do anything I want to do, nobody is holding me back.
Whatever thoughts are coming to you, there is no right or wrong. Let those thoughts flow on paper and don’t limit yourself and literally write your desires into your existence right now and feel yourself into this powerful State.
It’s an amazing thing to do it doesn’t take a lot of time, give it five minutes and you will feel completely different, it will help you start off your day in a completely different way.
The last thing you should do every single morning after your journaling practice is meditation. I am a huge proponent of meditation, and it’s a really wonderful way to clear your mind and center yourself.
Especially when you’re in a state of fear and anxiety, like we are right now, it’s very hard to stop your thoughts from coming back and telling you that you can’t do something and you’re afraid of something and oh my God what if something happens today, so the best thing that you can do is to take just 10 to 15 minutes to meditate and calm your mind, and just be still. There are infinite varieties of meditation, you can keep it really simple and just sit in silence for 10 minutes, or you can use a meditation app, or program. There are loads of free resources and paid programs too, and I encourage you to experiment and try things until you find one that works for you.
The final tip I have for you, for your self-care routine for your mind, is to read. This is something you may want to have as part of your morning routine, or it may be something you do later in the day or in the evening before bed.
I think everyone should do this, but especially entrepreneurs and people who are looking to grow themselves and attract more happiness and fulfillment into their lives.
Fill your mind with things that will serve you. Read books about personal development, read about spirituality, read a business book, and sometimes read a really great novel. It doesn’t matter what it is, pick up something you feel will serve you and your goals at any given moment and every single day even if it’s just for 10 to 15 minutes. Read a couple of pages in a book or listen to an audiobook, so that you can continue to nourish your mind, feed your mind with new thoughts and new ideas that will help you get ahead and help you do things you always wanted to do.
Okay, now that we’ve taken care of the mind, let’s move on to self-care for the body.
PART TWO: SELF CARE FOR YOUR BODY
Let’s talk about your body and how to be active.
Over the years I have definitely learned the lesson that being active and having a regular exercise routine is crucial.
It’s a mistake I have started to fall into a couple of times when things have gotten very busy inside my business, or my life, is to let my workout routine slide.
And I think of it like that quote from the Dalai Lama, when someone asked him how long he meditates for. His answer: 1 hour per day. Unless I’m really busy, and then 2 hours per day.
And i love this, it’s genius and it is so, so wise.
As a side note: I actually saw the Dalai Lama speak once, it was many years ago, in Vancouver, an event put on my Goldie Hawn when she was living in Vancouver, and so was I. It was truly one of the most transformative days I’ve ever experienced.
But I was talking about prioritizing self-care, and in this case, exercise, not just when you have time for it, but even MORE so when you don’t have time for it.
I know you might feel like working out is not the best use of your time, as you’re building your businesses, and that instead of going for a run or doing a yoga class, you should put in more time at the computer. The 30 minutes on a workout should be spent on writing another sales page, going on social media, talking to a client, or doing something else for your business. And this is a huge, huge mistake. Working out and staying active, every day, is an investment in your business. It’s what will give you the energy, vitality, and focus to be better at what you do in your business as a coach.
So I have five tips to help you look and feel your best.
Tip number one is very simple and that is a 30 to 45 minute daily workout. Starting today I want you to think about your workouts as rejuvenating and energizing instead of something that takes away your energy. Your workout is your stress relief, and instead of sapping your energy, it will give you more energy.
Now, your workout can be whatever you want. That’s the beautiful thing about it. There are so many different options, there is no need for this to be torture for you. For me, my favorite thing is my daily run, outside, by the ocean. Before we went into self-isolation with this pandemic, I would walk my youngest son to school, wearing my running gear and running shoes, and then take the scenic route home, by the ocean, running, for a 4-5 K run.
Now, I still do it, just minus the school part. I’m lucky enough to live in a climate that allows me to run year-round. So this is perfect for me, it’s a routine, I look forward to it, and I love doing it early in the day. But you could do anything you like—a spin on your Peloton bike, if you have one, go to the gym if that’s what you like to do—when we’re all allowed to get to the gym again, or a workout class, maybe at home using one of the awesome apps that are available—especially now.It might be a sport, playing tennis, or basketball with a few friends. It could be going for a swim. Again, many of these will have to wait until the world returns to normal, which it will, so for now do your best—but ultimately this is what you you want to do, a 30-45 minute workout every day.
Besides this daily workout I also want you to go for a walk at some point during the day. I love walking, and it’s very different than running, for me, obviously, and I protect my daily walks. Usually I do this around lunchtime, in the middle of the day. Walking outside, definitely. It’s calming, walking gets you out there and get you to breathe in that fresh air, gets you some sunlight and it allows you to look around the world, calm your mind and maybe even process some things you need to be processing and have no ideas on your daily walk.
Tip number three is to get more sun. I believe that the sun is really important for you and your body and I have found that getting more sun actually energizes Me. It has to do with vitamin D, for sure, but there may be other factors too, that we don’t know about yet. But for me getting even just a little sunlight every morning is so important and it makes me feel like I’m part of the planet and soaking up this amazing energy that the sun can give us.
Tip number four is to get enough sleep. This is something a lot of people—especially busy entrepreneurs—will skimp on and sacrifice. And this is never okay. In the past, whenever I went through a busy phase and I was big-time cutting back on sleep, my health would very shortly suffer. It took me two different episodes of this to make me realize how important sleep was to me. And again — this was a situation of “when the body says no” and I now understand it, but when i was younger i was more arrogant, or ignorant, maybe, and I thought I could just muscle through.
You cannot muscle through.
Sleep is not something you can sacrifice. Make sure you know how much you need, personally, to function optimally, and for most adults it’s around 8 hours, maybe 7 or maybe 9, but in that ballpark, and then protect it. Stick to your bedtime and wake up time religiously. Your body will thank you, trust me.
Okay, my final step in caring for your body is yoga. If you haven’t really been into yoga in the past, I want you to give it a try. Yoga doesn’t have to take much time, there are so many yoga classes available, so many yoga studios out there—once we’re able to go out to things like that again—but for now you can definitely do yoga at home. In fact, this is my preferred way anyway. For me, yoga is something I do every day, but I prefer to do it at home, at my own pace, and I usually use a yoga app or an online membership, or there are a couple of YouTube channels that I love, like SarahBeth yoga. I’ll link that in the show notes.
But for me, yoga is the perfect compliment to running because it’s slow, it’s all about stretching and lengthening, and I love the meditative aspect and the breathwork. Even if I just do 15 minutes of yoga, I feel amazing afterward.
Okay, now that you’re feeling good about your mind and your body, let’s move on to the third pillar of self-care, and that is your soul.
PART THREE: SELF CARE FOR YOUR SOUL
Your soul has to do with connection. I believe that we can fuel our soul and feel great and feel happy when we have powerful connections in our lives.
But sometimes as an entrepreneur we feel so time starved. And we tend to spend more time in our businesses with our clients and with our teams, and we may neglect our family and our friends.
So in order for you to refuel and fill your soul with happiness and connection, it’s important to connect back to your family and friends and the people that mean the most to you and spend time with them.
This is a really simple step but it is so hard for many people to do because they feel so guilty about spending time away from their business but trust me it is important.
As an entrepreneur, you may be working from home, which means you will need to be very intentional about creating boundaries around your work, and making sure your work time isn’t bleeding into family time, or social time. After all, for many of us, one of the reasons we went down this entrepreneurial path was to have more time with the people we love, right? So now is no time to neglect this area of your life. Make sure you carve out time in your schedule to connect with your loved ones, spend quality time with them, really enjoy your days with the people in your life. This is your support network, also, and trust me this is something you are going to need when the going gets tough in your business. So don’t make the mistake of being all-business and no play.
This will look different for everyone–maybe it’s date night with your partner, or Sunday brunch with your girlfriends (once we can do brunch again–which is, incidentally, something I am REALLY missing right now) or movie night with your kids…whatever it is, it’s not just a luxury, it’s actually a crucial part of your wellbeing.
Okay, so there you have it, those are my strategies for helping you to design a self care routine that supports you and your business. I hope you find them useful!
I’m curious about your self care routine, so if you’d like to share what your own self-care practices are, head over to Instagram or Facebook and let me know—let’s have a conversation!
Resources & Links:
- Breethe Meditation App
- Health Coach Squad
- Practice Better
- SarahBeth Yoga
- 3 Ways To Get New Clients: drkimfoster.com/getnewclients
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