If you are a self-employed or a small business owner, it is far too easy to prioritise your work over your wellbeing. Whilst this is fine occasionally, in short bursts, such as meeting an important deadline or winning a corporate pitch, overdoing it for too long can be a recipe for disaster.
Bigger employers are increasingly recognising wellbeing at work, yet I see too many small business owners neglecting their health – a dangerous habit. Simply put, if you are the engine behind your business, how will it function if you’re too sick to work?
Investing in health insurance and dosing up on supplements might make you feel like you’re protecting yourself, but I’d always recommend taking a more proactive approach to caring for your wellbeing – both in and outside of work.
Here are 10 things you can do to protect your health and wellbeing as a business owner or self-employed person.
10 things you can do to protect your wellbeing at work
- Prioritise your wellbeing. It sounds easy but can be so difficult! Make a concerted effort to put your wellbeing ahead of everything else. Add wellbeing to your business goals and review it as you reflect on the performance of your plan.
- Take regular exercise. By allocating time for regular exercise, you’ll protect your mental and physical health. As well as maintaining cardiovascular health, exercise reduces stress hormones, supporting your emotional health in the process.
- Get enough sleep. You know what your body needs; make sure you get the right amount of sleep to make you feel good. Avoiding work in the evening helps with this, so learn to manage your time effectively, and it will be easier to get enough shut-eye.
- Fuel yourself with good nutrition. A healthy diet will fuel your body and brain making you feel good while doing your best work. It’s too easy to default to a diet of carbs, aka toast and coffee, so aim for protein-enhanced snacks and meals that will sustain you through the day.
- Build your resilience. Cultivate your ability to bounce back from setbacks by thinking of challenges as valuable learning opportunities. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but you’ll also be able to apply your learnings to strengthen your business.
- Be kind to yourself. Although self-care can feel frivolous, it’s essential to our mental wellbeing at work. Do the things that help you to relax, whether that’s spending time on a hobby, getting a massage, or going out with friends. It all counts.
- Practice mindfulness to develop mental clarity. By learning to switch off from the distractions around you, you’ll find it easier to centre yourself and maintain a clear perspective when things get tough.
- Set boundaries. Setting clear boundaries for work hours, emails, and client interactions is essential to protect your wellbeing at work. Doing this supports your wellbeing at work by helping prevent burnout and ensuring healthier client relationships.
- Celebrate small wins. Too many business owners focus on the big wins and forget to recognise the little triumphs that contribute to success. Start recognising and celebrating every success, and you’ll build your confidence and motivation. What a win!
- Foster a supportive community. Never underestimate the power of a network filled with like-minded people. By having somewhere to share experiences, seek advice, and offer support, you’ll develop a valuable sense of encouragement and belonging.
Supporting your wellbeing at work means taking a holistic approach and accounting for your mental and emotional health and your physical wellbeing. Following the advice above is a great way to start protecting your health and happiness as a business owner, which you can impart to your team – essential for the foundations of a successful, sustainable business.
Struggling to fit everything in? Not sure how to make time for yourself? Start your wellbeing resolutions today by booking a free 45 -minute discovery call with me to learn how I can help you grow your business in a way that’s healthy and enjoyable.