Building and running your own business can bring flexibility and freedom into your life and also result in many positive emotions. The passion and hard work pays off in many ways, but we also need to be mindful of the flip side of common stress factors that impact small business owners. The many long hours, sense of responsibility and concern about profit margins can bring with it many demands on our mental health and wellbeing.
We are all too familiar with the term ‘Work/Life Balance’. If we challenge ourselves to change the narrative and focus on the concept of ‘Healthy Life Balance’ we are immediately recognising there is more to building a healthy life than having work as our core focus.
It is important to keep in mind some helpful ‘Life Balance’ strategies as you continue to passionately build your business. Most importantly, keep your work hours in check. Long working hours can spiral out of control and before you know it you are working both physically and emotionally 24 hours a day!
Some helpful tips to balance your energy include:
- Take regular breaks throughout the day and use this time as a circuit breaker for your mind. Take a walk, enjoy a meal or maybe take some time to recognise your emotions. You may also like to consider putting these circuit breaker time slots into your busy diary and consider them just as important as any other meeting.
- Take some technology free time each day to train your brain to not always be on. Turn the mobile phone and laptop off and rest your mind.
- Plan your day to compartmentalise the list of productive tasks. There is a very big difference between important and urgent. Writing a list in order of importance and ticking things off will help organise your mind.
- Can you delegate anything? Some tasks may need your skill set and expertise, but there may be tasks or roles that others can take on to ease the big picture burden.
- Don’t say ‘yes’ to everything or everyone. Take time to clarify your focus each day and decide what is beneficial to you and your business.
- Stay connected with other small business owners to debrief, compare notes and support each other. It can sometimes be a lonely and thankless journey to navigate the business world alone
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle focus and take time for self-care activities. Self-care is not selfish, it is the explicit decisions and behaviours we make each and every day to support our health and wellbeing.
Be proud of your hard work and achievements. The decision to run your own small business is not one that was made overnight. It has come from many years of passion and bravery. You will be surprised by the positive shift in energy if you take time to change just some very small positive ‘Life Balance’ solutions. Business owners are a little bit like our much loved world of solar energy….we run on little power and we always need the sunshine (self-care) to rejuvenate us to be at our best!
This article was written by our wellbeing consultants. Get in touch with the Chamber’s wellbeing consultant Angie to organise a wellbeing catch up over coffee or book in a funded wellbeing workshop for you and your team with our wellbeing consultants Kate or Kylie.