Social Entrepreneurs often forget to take care of themselves, especially when starting a business. Working every hour they can, barley leaving their work space, every spare minute is spent perfecting and developing their business. Ever found yourself hunched over the computer at 2am suddenly realising you’ve forgotten to eat dinner, brush your teeth and text back people who sent you messages 3 days ago.
It happens to the best of us, self-care often takes a backseat. Even during the busiest times of your social enterprise, you have to take time out for yourself, your social enterprise can’t run if you’re not their running it. It’s essential you manage your health and well-being from the inside out and make sure your making time for you as well as your business. Below are some tips we’ve pulled together to make sure you stay in tip-top shape.
- Schedule ‘me time’ in your daily routine
Whether it’s watching an episode of your favourite TV show, reading the paper or magazine, meditate – whatever makes you take a moment and allows you to gather your thoughts and reflect on what you’ve done and what you need to do next. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates takes a “think week” in the forest with nothing but books and quiet.
Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group) swears by getting in a daily workout. He starts each day with exercise, it’s not only helped his physical health but has also had a positive impact on his mental health. Exercise provides a healthy distraction and break from work, as well as helps to keep you active and fit.
- Learn to say no
We currently live in a culture where we find it hard to say no and have to fill every minute of every day. Try not to over-schedule and get overwhelmed and forget to take time out for yourself. You don’t need to do everything, all at once. Say no to yourself, others and be honest with yourself and customers about lead times. By saying no, you give yourself time to engage in other things and reach your full potential. It may seem painful to say no at first, but with time you’ll be declining unwanted plans or nixing unimportant tasks or counterproductive meetings with ease.
- Don’t forget to eat!
Sounds silly, but often when we’re busy and our head is filled with what we need to do and where we need to be we forget about our basic needs. Make sure you take time out of your schedule to eat, and by eat we mean food that is going to nourish you not running to McDonalds for a quick fix and to save time. Meals are a great way to make sure you spend time with others and have some down time. Remember no phones or laptops at the dinner table!
- Don’t forget about your hobby
Everyone needs a break from work, problem is when you own a social enterprise or your starting one your life tends to go on hold. Forever promising yourself and others that ‘you’ll do it next time’. Hobbies are more important that we realise, they form parts of our personalities. Make sure you take time out and still do what you enjoy. Like gardening? Get out there and water your plants and deadhead an hour a day. Enjoy cycling? Every Saturday take your bike out for a few hours.
- Sleep should be a priority
Extreme fatigue compromises your performance, did you know that sleep deprivation can cause you to act like your drunk? Not a good way to be when your running a social enterprise. Sleep is vital to our well-being, it’s when our bodies heal and repair themselves and is key to supporting healthy brain functions. Amazon’s founder Jezz Bezos swears by getting 8 hours a night, he needs that in order to feel energized, excited and mentally sharp. Make sure you catch them z’s!
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