Stress and the Entrepreneur

by crystal wilson 

So, we’re just over a month into 2016.  I don’t know about you, but on years that I have made “resolutions” this is usually about the time the new wears off, and I fall back into old patterns.  Many of us tend to resolve to do things that add up to taking better care of ourselves, whether it is to get more exercise, carve out more “me time”, or something else very specific to you, it’s often helpful to have a bit of a boost in motivation as the year progresses. 
In an attempt to provide you that boost (and let’s be honest – it’s totally self-serving as well!)  I spent some time chatting with Dr. Katie Thomson-Aitken, a Naturopathic Doctor with a specific interest in the health and wellness of the entrepreneur, about managing stress and focusing on wellness as an entrepreneur – we all know it’s a challenge, but as you will see, it’s one we need to focus on meeting well.
Dr Katie, why is it important for entrepreneurs specifically to put a focus on self-care? 
You are your business. By taking care of yourself you are taking care of your business.  By taking the time to fill up our own energy tanks and keep ourselves from running on empty it keeps us well.
Ever get sick the minute you take a day off? That’s your body trying to get you in bed to rest! If you are getting the rest you need, you can enjoy your time off without getting sick!
It can seem so counter productive to take time for these things when there are so many tasks and people commanding our attention.  What do you say to those of us who say we don’t have time to rest, eat well, etc…?

You don’t have time not too! When you feed your body well it runs better, giving you the focus you need. When you eliminate the mental chatter you have better focus and productivity, which results in taking less time to complete the tasks you need to get done.  If you are stressed, you are wasting time.  Neuroscientists have actually proven that chronic stress (the kind that comes from constantly exposing yourself to pressure without providing periods of rest, and positive input) shrinks the human brain.    Even finding three minutes in your day to rest (in addition to taking the time to properly nourish your body with good food in frequent intervals) can greatly improve your productivity, and your presence in the tasks you need to complete to see your vision into reality.  Wondering what to do during those three minutes?  Complete this exercise!
What can we do to make sure we are functioning at our best?
Eat every 4-5 hrs, something with protein and produce - schedule it in as you would a client meeting and don’t compromise on it.

Give yourself enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation (USA) advises that, on average, adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep.  Each person is different, and you know how much you need to function and function optimally - don’t sacrifice yourself. Give yourself the gift of 30 minutes before bed (No Screens!) to unwind your mind into restful sleep.

Remind yourself of the bigger picture. The best thing entrepreneurs have going for themselves is their passion. Set visual reminders in your workplace that reinforce your reasons for doing what you do. Focusing on your passion is a gift you bring to the world and is so nourishing to your mind and body.
                         Work Hard. Play Hard. Rest Hard

So, there you have it folks – Take care of your body and your mind, and they will take care of seeing your business succeed.  Doctor’s orders.  And if you'd like to book a free 15 minute consultation with Dr Katie to discuss how to best manage your stress levels, call 519-827-0040.  Tell her FLOW sent you!
Do you have any tips and tricks that have worked to allow you to practice good self care as an entrepreneur?