Phrases like ‘self-kindness’, ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ are being used more than ever before. Your instagram feed might have you believe that a bubble bath, a glass of wine or a scented candle are the best ways of practising self-kindness, and while these do create a relaxing environment to unwind in, for time-starved entrepreneurs carving out an extra hour out of your day to sit in the bath just isn’t always an option.
Particularly for business owners, sole traders and entrepreneurs, taking the time to rest, recharge and be kind to yourself is not only beneficial for your wellbeing, but for the survival of your business. Sacrificing your own needs and wellbeing at times might seem like the only way to manage your workload. Even though this might create the extra time you need to dedicate to your business initially, this is also a sure fire way of burning yourself out. Keep on reading to discover 4 time efficient ways to add self-kindness into your busy schedule as a business owner and make yourself burnout-proof.
1. Smashed that goal? Treat yourself!
For entrepreneurs, setting achievable goals is an essential part of staying motivated and measuring growth. But what happens when that goal has been achieved? How many of us are guilty of immediately setting our sights on the next hill to climb, forgetting completely the time and effort it’s taken you to get to where you are now?
For each goal you set for yourself and your business, set yourself a reward that goes along with it. Whether that be a day at the spa, a new pair of shoes you’ve had your eyes on for a while, try and make this goal as concrete as possible. Not only will this give you an extra incentive to achieve this goal, but you’ll also be reminded of how dedicated, talented, and just plain brilliant you are as you enjoy your treat.
2. Help yourself by helping others
Performing acts of kindness creates a sense of belonging and reduces the feelings of isolation that can be so keenly felt throughout the entrepreneurial community. According to the British Psychology Society, being kind stimulates the production of oxytocin and serotonin, which are the chemicals in our brains that makes us feel happy.
If your business is based in the North East or operates online, why not register as a Kind Currency business? It’s free, takes next to no time to sign up, and once you’ve joined the community you and your business will be recommended to a whole host of ethically minded shoppers who want to support you, all in the knowledge that you’ve contributed to the Kindness Fund too.
3. Look for the wins, both big and small
It’s not just about celebrating the big milestones. It can become super easy to focus on the things that didn’t go quite right each day, or mull over the situations that you wish you’d done differently. But making the time to find the win of your day or your week is a great way of acknowledging all the fantastic stuff you or your team have accomplished. Whether you want to set aside a half hour team meeting at the end of the week to share your highlight, or if you just want to write down your win on a piece of paper and display it proudly next to your work station, this act of self kindness is one of the less time consuming ways that you can add to your already busy schedule as an entrepreneur.
4. Even Batman had a sidekick! Ask for help when you need it
Particularly for solo entrepreneurs, owning a business can feel pretty lonely and isolating at times. We often feel the pressure to have all the answers all the time, when in reality it’s sometimes best to ask others for help. Whether you outsource an element of your workload to a trusted contact or freelancer, being able to take that task off your mind can free you up to dedicate your time to the responsibilities that play into your strengths. Or you could simply use the time to get some fresh air, spend time with loved ones, and just unwind.
There are also plenty of entrepreneurial and professional networking communities that you can join. Not only could these groups lead you to the connections that could help you with your workload, but they’ll also be able to offer you the support that only a fellow entrepreneur can offer.
Whatever promise you make to yourself today to incorporate practising self kindness into your schedule, it’s important to remember that the above ideas aren’t a short term, one and done solution for burnout.
Kindness is a lifelong marathon, not a sprint.