I recently wrote an article on anxiety amongst entrepreneurs and it really struck a nerve with business leaders. So many of you are struggling with anxious feelings surrounding the fate of your companies, and at times it can seem overwhelming no matter how hard you try.
Well meaning friends and colleagues may offer up advice on the topic.
"Take a spa day!"
"Get a manicure."
"Schedule a massage."
After 25 years of business coaching, I can tell you that that type of self care doesn't work.
A massage might make you feel relaxed for an hour or two after you get it done, but you will still find yourself awake at night worrying about the various fires that seem to have ignited while you took time away from the office that afternoon.
True self care goes much deeper, and has a more profound impact on your stress levels and business outcome. Here are my 3 tips for practical self care that truly makes a difference.
Take Care Of Your Health
The majority of businesses are 90 days away from closing its doors. If you were to get sick, have a heart attack or get hit by a bus, statistically speaking your business could survive a few payroll cycles before folding. That in and of itself should cause you to be a bit anxiety stricken. So taking care of your health, eating right, getting a good night's sleep and moving your body (in the gym and away from oncoming buses) all increase the probability that your business will continue to grow and thrive.
Take Time Away From Your Business To Reflect
As a business owner, you may have a tendency to control every aspect of your business. You have your hand in payroll, staffing issues, sales, marketing and product development to name a few. Trying to keep all these aspects of your business running smoothly can wreak havoc on your mental health. Which is why we encourage our business coaching clients to develop systems and controls within their business that will allow them to step away and reflect.
Imagine being able to go vacation without your laptop. Imagine turning off your cell phone at the end of the day, and not worrying about the business.
Taking time away from your business to reflect gives you the mental breather you need to grow.
Take Time To Connect With Friends and Family Members
"All I do is work. Even when I'm with my family I'm still responding to emails and texts for work. The saddest part is that my family have just gotten used to it. When I do actually put down my smart phone they act surprised, as if I'm a just a temporary visitor."
This constant tug-o-war between your loved ones and your business is a huge reason for your relentless anxiety. So instead of scheduling a spa day, try scheduling a family day. Leave your cell phone at home and remember why you work so hard in the first place. Kiss your spouse, chase your kids around the playground and call your mother. Your business will thank you.
What are your favorite self care tips when it comes to dealing with business anxiety?