As an entrepreneur, your most crucial asset is your health. Regardless of how many investors you may have or the profit you bring in if your health is on the back-burner, then success will be hard to sustain. It may seem doable to consistently work over 50 hours a week, skip sleep, or put healthy eating aside, but failing to take care of yourself can have far-reaching effects on your business. Your health has to be a significant priority, and there are multiple strategies you can begin to take today to ensure that it is something you take into consideration daily and improve your health overall. So, if you want to take care of your most precious asset, take a look at these tips for putting your health first.
Go Easy on Overworking
It is so easy for this to happen. You just gained a huge client, and they have expectations and deadlines you know you have to stretch yourself to meet. Instead of capping the week at 40 hours, your time worked begins to creep past 60. At this point, burnout is likely imminent. The cost of overworking outweighs any benefits. Overworking can lead to job stress which in and of itself costs U.S. businesses between $150 billion and $300 billion each year. At some point, overworking presents a cost of diminishing returns. Your productivity and performance will begin to suffer. We were not meant to work like robots, and your mental and physical state will reflect this. So, be honest with yourself regarding your schedule and build in days of rest. Take these into account whenever you accept a new project.
Realize that Exercise Comes with Multiple Benefits
While it is true that exercise does help you maintain healthy weight levels and ward off many diseases, it also has some other practical advantages entrepreneurs can greatly benefit from. If you have found yourself to be sluggish and unable to maintain energy, then a new exercise routine may do the trick. Exercising increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients in your tissue, and most importantly, in your heart. This process can then increase your energy levels enough to get you through the rest of the day. Exercising also stimulates chemicals in your brain which can cause a nice uplift in your mood. It can also improve your judgment as well as help you attain better sleep patterns. Exercise is a great start to address many health issues that may be facing your life as an entrepreneur.
Pay Attention to your Mental Health
According to the Gallup Wellbeing Index, 45 percent of entrepreneurs reported feelings of stress. Also, a group of studies by the American Psychiatric Association, National Institutes of Mental Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association found that Depression, ADHD, Addiction, and a Bipolar diagnosis were more likely to occur in entrepreneurs. The nature of working alone, leading a small (or large) business, and experiencing regular risk can make even the most successful and skilled entrepreneur stressed and prone to mental health challenges. There are a few steps you can take to ensure these difficulties do not overtake your life:
- Practice mindfulness – This is a practice of taking a break from work, sitting still, and controlling the rate of your breathing as well as the rapid processing of your thoughts. It is an excellent technique for managing stress and causing yourself to live in the now.
- Consider therapy – Talking to a trained professional about your challenges can be a huge help. These individuals are equipped to give you the tools you need to manage the stress or other mental health challenges you are dealing with.
- Join a business leadership group – Spending time with other individuals who are going through the same things as you can help release some stress and tension. Many times, it is easy for entrepreneurs to feel alone. So, it makes sense to find some people who know exactly how you feel as a business owner.
- Be sure you are getting enough sleep – A lack of rest leaves you more vulnerable to mental and physical health challenges. Your body needs to recharge and rejuvenate. Make it a practice to focus on including rest into one-third of your day.
Your body is only as good as the things you put in it. As an entrepreneur, you have to think about the impact specific foods will have on your physical and mental state. Eating well can give you increased energy, sharper thinking, and protection from common diseases. Taking the time to plan out and cook your meals allows you to take control of your diet and overall health. Avoiding the temptation always to eat out also can save you much money down the line. So, if you are not sure about which foods you should focus on, don’t hesitate to seek out the help of a nutritionist or start researching on your own.
Again, your health is your most prized asset. Without it, you cannot create or sustain success for your company. Be sure that you are taking time to develop a strategy that puts your mental and physical health first. Not only will you see a rise in productivity and performance, but your overall outlook on life itself will improve.