Sometimes, I’m so tired, my bones feel tired – like they literally take on a new density and almost feel like they’re sagging. Between operating a business and trying to keep it moving forward and coming home to chase a toddler around the house, I have almost no time for just sitting – alone – by myself.
It’s not much different for any parent who works full time. However, instead of the demands of an employer, you’re only subject to the demands you place on yourself. But, if you’re a bad ass business owner, then you’re demanding more from yourself than any employer ever would.
Here’s what’s going through my mind all the time:
- Are we going to meet sales budget?
- Are we spending too much on overhead expenses?
- Is my marketing working?
- Are my employees satisfied with their jobs?
- How do I keep employees motivated?
- Is there enough money in the bank?
- Are my customer’s happy?
- What can we do better?
- Do I need to hire new people?
- What equipment do we need to buy?
- Can I even afford that equipment?
- How much do I owe in taxes?
- Am I saving enough money each month to pay the taxes?
- How do we make less mistakes?
- What am I forgetting?
And just to balance out all that crazy, I’m thinking about these issues on top of it all:
- Am I spending enough time with my daughter?
- Is my husband happy?
- What are we having for dinner tonight?
- When will I find time to take the dogs to the groomer?
- Crap, I forgot to get my car inspected. When can I do that?
- Am I spending enough time with my daughter? – Seriously, tell me.
- How many hours of sleep did I get last night?
- Why did I eat that sugar cookie this morning? I should have had a real breakfast.
- When can I go to the gym? (like never)
- These pants are tight. They must have shrunk – definitely shrunk. It has nothing to do with that cookie I ate.
A friend of mine and mentor, Renee Trudeau is an advocate for self-care. Not just “Treat yo’ self” self-care, but actual mindful self-care. Here’s what she recommends for exercising the crazy away:
- Just breathe. Breathe in for three, hold for three, exhale for three (through your nose with your mouth closes; repeat 8 times and go at your own pace).
- Sit and do nothing. Our minds crave stillness (not to mention our hearts, bodies, and souls). Rest in stillness with your eyes closed for five minutes.
- Walk. Walking is great for stress relief, idea generation, problem-solving and integrating our left/right brain.
- Write. Many are finding tremendous benefits from guided journaling. Try a three question quickie journaling exercise (grab a pen/paper) and answer: How do I feel? What do I need? What do I want? Repeat as often as needed–I do this every morning.
- Lie down (and put your legs up the wall). Feeling overwhelmed and no time for a yoga class? Close your office door and try legs up the wall which is great for instantly calming your nervous system and offering a whole other host of benefits.
- Massage yourself. Often we’re surprised by how soothing it can feel to kindly rub our upper and mid-arms (circle your wrists and fingers, too) to release tension and help bring us back to the here and now.
- Try earthing. Find the nearest green space, take off your shoes and socks (who cares how this looks, how bad do you want to feel good?!) and get your feet on the grassy ground.
- Drink water. Most of us are dehydrated all the time and we underestimate all the side effects of not drinking enough good, clean, filtered water : irritability, headaches, fuzzy thinking, lethargy.
I was watching TV the other day and there was a scene in a show when a character suffered a minor injury but was forced to stay in the hospital for a couple of days to recover. “Wow. I want that,” I thought to myself. I’m clearly in need of a couple of recovery days. I think it’s a sign to take some self-care more seriously!