A few days ago, I wrote about five basic things you need to start your own business. Yes, it is a bold move, it is challenging, often overwhelming and while hugely rewarding, also a big drain on your energy. I decided I must write a list of self-care tips to keep you energized.
I recall the days when I completely lost track of time, trying to do it all and reaching a point of burnout. Even then, I didn’t slow down and pushed myself until I was forced to get a health check and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You don’t have to do that. And you shouldn’t!
As a solopreneur/mom business/blogger/influencer – even as you do everything in your power to make your business work, you have to set aside time to take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup and that means making sure you have a self-care routine in place.
Here are 15 self-care tips that will actually energize you and keep you enthusiastic and happy. After all, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we want—to be happy?
It is all too easy to get caught up in that busy-ness and use every waking moment to tackle your ever-growing task list. But it is also crucial to focus on your health so you can continue to manage your hectic routine with a smile on your face and not worry about skipped meals and lost sleep.
Do dip into this self-care tips list every day and incorporate at least one thing to keep yourself motivated. Some are easy—getting more sleep or unplugging and some need a bit of planning—such as planning a getaway.
15 easy self-care tips that will actually energize you
…and keep you sane!
Get away from it all
This is first on my list! As my workload grew, I realized that it is important to take short breaks whenever possible with family or friends, or solo as part of my self-care routine. Travel truly ventilates the mind—I can personally endorse that. When I travel, I make it a point to inform my clients. I do not carry any devices except my phone for practical reasons and also, for the camera.
So next time you have days off from work, head out of town. If you are wondering what to do when you are your own boss, give yourself days off! That simple! You don’t need to go far or do something fancy. Just make a list of the places you’ve always wanted to see. It’s fine to be a tourist in your own town. Can’t get away? No problems. Planning a trip can be just as exciting and boost your mood, simply because it is something to look forward to. Or just go enjoy a sleepover with your bestie.
Find Your Flow
This is about finding your passion. Doing what you love. You’ve probably experienced this: you get so engrossed with what you are doing that you lose track of time. This can be a good thing, because you feel confident about what you are doing and you are more open to taking risks. So put some thought into identifying what you enjoy. Choose hobbies that relax you. And when you enjoy what you do, whether at work or for leisure, your life will feel more meaningful.
As someone who works from home as a writer, blogger and editor, I do get carried away with what I am doing especially when I am in the flow. I realized this quickly enough and made it a point to take time off for hobbies I enjoy—these include sketching, cooking, music, books and travel. The best self-care tips involve activities that make you happy!
It’s hard to find anyone who does not use a computer these days. But if you stare too long at that screen, it can be easy to miss what’s going on in real life. So, make it a point to put down your devices – unplug – and spend time with your family and friends—face to face. This helps your brain to slow down and focus more. It calms you. It boosts your mood, keeps you healthy.
Of course, you may need practice to shut your laptop and phone, but the effort is very much worth it. Particularly when you are with the ones you love. Give them your full attention. Feel like some “me” time? Read a book. Go for a walk. Get a coloring book and play with some crayons. Meditate.
Nix Negative Friendships
I’ve talked about people you should sign the zero-tolerance agreement with. Thing is, toxic people can drain you of your energy and leave you feeling lousy about yourself. Result? Frustration. The time spent with these people? Useless. So, if you have anyone on your friends list who makes you feel this way, consider distancing yourself. You need true friends in your life. Keep the ones that are supportive and comfort you and make you feel happy.
Pamper yourself with a massage
Among the most enjoyable self-care tips on this list! Getting a massage is not just to ease sore muscles and manage pain. A massage is also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, helping you relax. Managing stress can keep lifestyle diseases at bay. So, book one at your favorite massage center and feel the difference. No time? Then set aside ten minutes to sit in your favorite chair, and soak your feet in a tub of warm water with Epsom salt. Great way to detox. Give yourself a home-facial. Or just lay down for ten minutes and listen to music.
Enjoy some nature therapy
It does not matter how old you are or where you live—spending time outdoors, in nature calms you and keeps you balanced. Being in nature also helps improves your perspective on life, focus better and connect with others. Even if you can’t get out every day, try sitting near a window and look outside.
Browse through nature photos. Nurture an indoor plant. All this can help you stay grounded. I have a bamboo plant near my window where the sunlight falls on it. Just looking at it makes me feel much better. Of course, as a diabetic, walking every day is a non-negotiable. But you know what I mean. Every little helps.
Get enough sleep
This is one of the most important self-care tips on this list. There is an unlimited amount of research about the consequences of not getting enough sleep. Of course, when you are busy, you probably think sleep is a waste of time. But no, your body and brain need the sleep to function well. During sleep, our organs refresh themselves and we wake up rested.
When we get our quota of sleep, we are more alert, think clearly and manage stress better. Sleep also helps our immune system stay strong. It promotes better heart health and weight management. A lack of sleep opens the gateway to a long list of diseases. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Move and shake
There will be times when you feel stuck or blank. This happens when you are stressed over something. The best way to snap out of this is to get active. Turn that music on loud and shake a leg. Dance like nobody’s watching. Or take a brisk walk. This is my favorite. I grab my camera and out I go into the fresh air. The great thing about a walk is the rhythmic movement that takes you out of your head and helps you focus on the present moment—and makes you feel ready for whatever you have to tackle or face.
Oh, you could swim a few laps if you are up for it. Or jump on a trampoline, if you’ve got one. Or grab a jump rope and enjoy 10 minutes of jumping. Whatever works for you.
When we help others, we feel good. Perform random acts of kindness. Donate time and energy to someone or a cause. Volunteer. The happiness that comes with doing something selfless is great. It is a wonderful way to give your brain a good workout even as you make the world a better place. Isn’t it nice when people see you as someone who is kind and giving? Yes, self-care at its best.
Hang Out with Happy People
Ever noticed how someone’s attitude and feelings can rub off on you? Watch out for those vibes. As far as possible, hang out with people who spread good vibes, people who have a positive outlook on life, people who seem happy. This will keep you cheerful and enthusiastic about life. And when you are happy, you’ll find it easy to spread that vibe!
Gratitude is an effective way to practice self-care. Just pause to take stock of what you are thankful for. Keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude is transformative, especially when times are rough and you focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have. Tapping into thankfulness keeps you from feeling envious of others. Here’s something to do right away: think of someone who has helped you and write them a thank you note. Whether or not you send it, you will feel good for having written it.
Keep a journal
The credit for this goes to my Mom. She believed that when we face overwhelm, putting our thoughts and feelings on paper makes them easier to deal with. Writing in a journal gives us perspective on which worries and fears truly need to be dealt with and help us deal with problems, nipping the habit of negative self-talk in the bud. I’ve kept a diary since my childhood and I promise you, it feels wonderful to unload thoughts on paper.
So, invest in a nice notebook and pen and write in it. Unload your mind in it. If you find it easier to go digital, that’s good too. There are plenty of note-taking apps. Let your feelings flow on to your journal and cleanse your mind. Journaling is a great tool for self-discovery.
Marie Kondo is making waves with her strategies to simplify and declutter. She has a valid point. Get rid of what you don’t need—it is less to manage and less to clean and dust. Clutter, to an extent is okay—but there comes a point when it starts to stress you out and you can really do without that! For some people, it builds up to such an extent that they feel terrible about themselves and stop interacting with others for fear of what they may think about them. Next comes sleepless nights wondering how to deal with it all.
So, if you have clutter to deal with, start small. Chip away, little by little, at what you really don’t need or want anymore. Make space for fresh energy.
Feed Your Soul
No list of self-care tips would be complete without feeding your soul. Nurture your spiritual side. When you do that, you are don’t worry as much or feel sad. You don’t have to be religious and pray, although, that helps too. Just cultivate the habit to meditate and breathe. Set aside at least ten minutes a day to do this. For some, first thing in the morning works. Choose a time that works for you. If sitting still is difficult, practice walking meditation. You’ll find that you deal with stress much better. Things don’t freak you out as much as they otherwise would.
Reach out when you need help
The one thing most people are convinced about is this: they have to do it all on their own. When there’s a big problem, they pretend nothing is wrong and struggle to tackle it solo. But the truth is, there’s no shame in seeking help. Whether you are dealing with a business problem or a mental issue, do not hesitate to reach out for help.
Look for a support group. This can help you gain a new perspective on your specific situation, and make the best choices. So yes, your problem won’t disappear overnight, but at least you can get it off your chest. When you have professional support, you’ll feel better about taking charge.
And that’s 15 self-care tips that will actually energize you and keep you motivated. I am sure you’ll agree that most of them are simple enough to practice.
Which of these self-care tips are you practicing?
Which is your favorite?
What self-care tips would you add to this?