When you are your own boss, it is imperative that you are a healthy entrepreneur, but it can sometimes seem like an oxymoron. After all, a lot of what you may be doing to build and run your business is at odds with what you need to do to be healthy. Bad eating habits paired with long hours, not to mention the stress you may be carrying, all these things tend to wear you down and potentially ruin your health.
It is up to you to protect your health, especially as you work on making your dreams come true. Here are a few suggestions for ensuring that you are taking care of your health:
- Set regular hours. Unless you have some last minute deadline you have to make (they do happen), set reasonable business hours and stick to them.
- Set regular breaks throughout the day. You must determine what makes sense for you, but regular breaks keep you refreshed. The same goes for regular breaks throughout the year.
- Include a meditation break. Take a moment to be still and accept whatever flows into you. It may sound “woowoo,” but it is a real refresher. In fact, science today goes even further and recommends that you take a short 20-30 minute nap. It can improve your alertness.
- See your health care provider yearly (or more often, if that is prescribed). Don’t let potential health issues sneak up on you because you were too busy to take care of regular appointments.
- Eat right. Watch out for those sneaky snacks of chips, cookies or other unhealthy foods. Avoid the sugary, calorie loaded carbonated drinks. Choose diluted fruit juices or smoothies. Snack on fruit and raw veggies. Be cautious, too, of what you eat and drink at power lunches and at those essential networking events. Your body will thank you.
- Eat regularly. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Don’’t skip it. But don’t eat after 8:00 pm. It is harder for your body to digest food once you have gone to bed, which will contribute to difficulty sleeping.
- Exercise regularly. Make one of your breaks an exercise break or start/end your day with exercise. Always remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine and remember not to exercise after 8:00 p.m. You will be to wound up to sleep if you do that.
- Consider taking supplements. Consult with your health care provider on whether this is something you need.
- Get enough regular, uninterrupted sleep. This goes hand in hand with keeping reasonable, regular work hours. According to the Center for Disease Control, 50 to 70 million adults don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases health problems like diabetes, weight gain, depression, and even cardiovascular disease. Sleep deprivation is as unhealthy as it is draining. The recommended amount? At least seven hours.
- Drink water throughout the day. Many people don’t understand just how vital it is to drink at water daily. It keeps the organs, skin, joints and brain lubricated. Water also eliminates wast and keeps your body temperature normal. There are ways to calculate what is enough for you if you no existing health issues. The thing is, don’t skimp.
- Stay socially connected. Cultivating and keeping friends is just as important to your health, if not more so, as cultivating and keeping customers is to your business. And it goes without saying, that you must stay connected to family.
- Have other outlets. You love your business, it’s your passion, but don’t let it be your only activity. “All work and no play…” You know the drill.
As we are ending the year and looking toward the new one, make a New Year’s resolutions to be a healthy entrepreneur. Better yet, make being a healthy entrepreneur a part of your Annual Business Strategy, including specific goals and tasks for staying that way. This is one of the most important parts of the business solutions for your continued growth as an entrepreneur. You can’t steer the ship if you’re too sick to run it.
Until next time…
Audrey, CEO/Founder of Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions