The reality: entrepreneurs tend to be AWFUL at looking after themselves. Many wear their burnout as a badge of honour. We need to stop glamourising overworking ourselves, losing sleep, forgetting to eat and staying hunched over our laptops into the early hours of the morning. 

I have to be honest, when I first started working on my business, I thought I HAD to be acting like this, as if it was some sort of proof as to how well my business was doing or would turn out to do. My experience of seeing people run their businesses was both my parents, who worked stupidly long hours, rarely taking time out for anything else (dare I say it). I have seen them come to the end of their tether on numerous occasions which of course is an upsetting situation for all. 

I learnt, the hard way, I couldn’t work like them. Early in October I caught COVID which really knocked me down mentally and physically, I had little energy to complete any tasks or move forward with my business. It took me a couple of weeks to get the motivation to actually pick myself up and ‘get back to it’. I felt under immense pressure from myself to get myself back to normal as quick as I could and became increasingly frustrated with myself. I then proceeded to overwork myself to the max to catch up on the tasks I hadn’t completely. And low and behold, I burnt out*. 

Lesson learnt.

*My burnout = Hours and hours of crying, back ache, headaches and feeling physically ill.  

 

The biggest thing I have learnt this year is making sure that you’re giving yourself as much time and space as possible. Learn to forgive yourself. Give yourself time to assess the situation and process what is happening. When you do that, you don’t have the distraction of trying to keep it off of your mind or panicking about how to handle it in addition to everything else you are responsible for.

Top wellbeing tips:

Do one thing you love a day

Whether it’s taking your dog for a walk, reading your book, watching a film, it can be anything! This is about taking time to be self-aware, to do something you love and not feel guilty for doing it. Write it into your daily schedule/ to do list so that you hold yourself to account and feel a little bit of accomplishment when you tick it off at the end of the day.

Exercise daily

This forces you to apply yourself both mentally and physically. The way I do this is super simple, I set myself 20 minutes each day to do either a workout, a walk, a cycle (anything to get your heart rate up). Some days if I feel like it I will do a longer workout or go to the gym but by setting myself this 20 minutes, in my head it’s achievable because it’s such a short period of time!

Get nourished!

Now I am not saying you need to eat a superfood salad everyday and never indulge! Eating a balanced, healthy diet will help you feel more energised and help you stay focused. But never feel guilty for having days where all you want to do is eat a whole box of celebrations. My favourite place to get healthy and quick recipes from is HelloFresh. If you really want to make the best use of your time, meal prep on the weekend for the next week.

Sleep, sleep, sleep

This is one of the most important things to me, I really prioritise sleep, especially this year. If you feel tired, listen to your body and go to bed earlier that night. I know at times this may not be possible if you have deadlines etc, but make sure as soon as you are able to, prioritise sleep.

Find a support network

Being an entrepreneur can be really lonely, especially this year when we are not able to co-work and we’re all working from home. Find people who get it, and understand. If you can get a mentor, then definitely do this! There are a huge variety of ways you can do this: Natwest Accelerator and the Prince’s Trust to name a few (and it’s free!). If not, there are networks out there to utilise: Found & Flourish, gals who graduate, girls in business, Natwest business builder!

I really hope these help, and remember forgive yourself and try to stop feeling guilty for taking time to look after yourself!

Below is a little grid that I make myself on Sunday every week, ready for the next week to make sure I am sticking to my wellbeing ideas: 

 

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

Exercise

E.g. 20 Min HIIT workout (am)

E.g. Walk whilst listening to podcast (lunch break)

 

 

 

 

 

Something you love

E.g. Watch film (evening)

E.g. Read book! (evening)

 

 

 

 

 

Food/meal ideas

E.g. Roast veg and Salmon

E.g. Veggie lasagne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maddie Booth

Maddie Booth

About your author

Maddie is the Founder of the natural and sustainable skin brand, Scrubbee. Scrubbee focuses on repurposing ingredients for their products, bringing new life to one ingredient at a time traditionally considered a by-product. Their first product line begins with reusing coffee grounds from local cafes for their ‘coffee face scrubs’, an exfoliator specifically formulated for different skin types to help with skin impurities and breakouts. 2021 will be an exciting year for Scrubbee with development of their new products; body scrubs, lip scrubs and serum oils.

You can find out more about Maddie and her business here:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | LinkedIn

Read More