What does it take to run a successful wellness business AND keep yourself sane?
Season 2 of my podcast Just Start Now has come to an end this month and it’s been a joy to see how much you’ve all got out of every episode.
Over two seasons I’ve now interviewed ten fantastic wellness business owners and picked their brains on their journeys, their successes and their failures and also asked them a big question:
How do you keep yourself mentally well, while running your business?
It’s important to figure out what ‘enough’ is for you in your business.
By allowing yourself weekends off if you want to, or allowing yourself to work 9-6 if you want to, you can achieve the balance you desire and enjoy your life while maintaining your sanity.
When you run a business you could work every hour under the sun and never run out of things to do, so instead of glorifying ‘busy’ you have to decide when you’ve done enough and when you are enough.
It’s vital to set yourself some boundaries around time and take some time off. You’re not in the 9-5 job anymore, so you can work when it’s convenient to you.
I also think having some business besties that you can turn to when you have a specific question or are facing a new problem in your business is a really great support for staying mentally well, and joining a membership group can be a great way to find those people.
You have to schedule in time for yourself like you would a business meeting. For me, that looks like 20 minutes of exercise here, 10 minutes of meditation there and also just having some fun!
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so you have to keep that promise to yourself and make sure you’re checking in with your mind and body all the time.
Personally I’m better when I’m busy. That’s probably not the right thing to say, but for me, having a good balance of being busy and then dedicated time off is what keeps me sane. I’d also say reaching out and asking for what you want or need is essential.
The worry of going back to work after having a baby was completely consuming me, but reaching out to my business partner and establishing my hours completely changed my mindset and made all the difference. I wish I’d had the conversation sooner!
Boundaries around social media usage are so important. That could be boundaries around what you feel comfortable sharing online, or unfollowing or muting people that you feel are preoccupying your mind.
It’s also important to take a step back every now and then and remember reality. Take in what’s going on around you and invest in those real relationships as much as you are investing online.
And finally, take the pressure off yourself to be the perfect picture of health and wellness. You don’t have to look, eat or train in a certain way and the industry is better with diversity, so embrace who you are, embrace your perspective and be proud of that, as it’s entirely unique to you.
It’s so important to properly press pause every now and then. Sit down with a pen and paper and firstly, reflect. Look at what you’ve been doing, how you’ve been showing up, and how you feel about your progress.
Understand that things don’t happen overnight – you might not see the benefit of the foundations you’re laying now for a few months or even years – but getting clear on your vision and the ‘why’ behind your work will mean the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ become easier to identify.
Be with other people and get support. I cannot stress this enough.
As humans, we have always been designed to be part of a community and we need to bring that back. Screens, Whatsapp, and social media don’t count – we need to connect with people face to face and get that oxytocin going.
It doesn’t matter whether that’s networking, getting a coach or generally being around other people, just don’t do it on your own.
I have to prioritise ruthlessly. I have to take stuff off my to-do list all the time, stuff that I really genuinely want to do. It sounds simple but it can be so hard.
There’s something that Kate Northrup says: body first, business second. That doesn’t come naturally to me, I want to work all the time. But what she means is you need to think about the way you are feeling, your energy levels, where you are in your cycle etc. You need to keep yourself well. You need to rest. You need space.
I’m getting there, I’ve improved so much and I think it’s a huge part of mental wellness.
It’s really important to allow yourself some time to switch off and really enjoying a moment of quiet and peace, without worrying about anyone else.
Nowadays people think they have to be constantly working, but actually if you don’t want to reply to an email straight away you don’t have to.
The world won’t end. It’s your business and it’s important that you allow yourself that time.
My one tip would be to practise self care and to know your limits.
Being busy is not a badge of honour, you may not have set working hours because you work for yourself, however try and set boundaries within your day – a simple thing like when is your cut off for emails. Self care is the best care and that’s how you’re going to be more productive within your working day.
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