By Emily Ford
Did you know around 30% of entrepreneurs in the USA suffer from depression? This study was led by Dr.Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
There exists a certain attitude among entrepreneurs that stress is to blame for this high percentage. This is the belief that for one’s business to succeed, one has to put in long, grueling hours dedicated to work each day.
Although hard work is important, following this principle has led entrepreneurs to neglect their health and well-being. In a cruel case of irony, this disregard will eventually earn them missed workdays spent recuperating in bed from stress-related illnesses.
If you are an entrepreneur who’s finding it difficult to balance both work and health, look no further! This guide will tell you all that you need to know so you keep burnouts at bay.
1. Practice Clean Eating
An unhealthy diet could lead to you feeling drowsy throughout the day and thus hindering productivity. Eating balanced meals will supply your body with all the nutrients you need to keep you energized.
The following are some ways you can ensure that your eating habits are clean.
Instead of consuming three large meals a day or eating unhealthy snacks, try frequently eating small healthy meals. The constant intake of these nutritious ingredients will keep energy levels up and curb hunger.
If your office has unhealthy snacks then you can replace them with healthier options. Although this is a more expensive investment, your firm will reap the benefits of increased productivity of healthier workers.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, consuming fruit and vegetables lowers elevated blood pressure, reduces chances of heart disease and stroke, stabilizes blood sugar and improves digestive health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that mildly active adults should eat 1-1.5 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables every day.
Introduce Variety into your Diet
Spice up meal times by adding variety to your plate. Colorful fruits and vegetables are visually appealing and hence more appetizing. Not to mention these kinds of foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Harvard’s School of Public Health stresses that any one kind of fruit or vegetable will not cover all your nutritional needs. This is why it is very important to switch up your mealsevery now and then.
Water is essential for all living creatures to survive yet we are so busy tending to our responsibilities that we usually go all day without a sip. Keep a large, attractive water bottle close to you at all times. Make it a goal to finish the water by the end of the day.
Additionally, you can get a juicer so you can stay hydrated as well as get a dose of beneficial vitamins every day. That’s two birds with one stone!
Limit Coffee Intake
It can be tempting to reach for the coffee pot to give you that boost when you find yourself losing focus. Unfortunately, too much caffeine intake can hinder sleep and has a negative impact on your overall health.
2. Move Your Body
The benefits of exercise and good posture cannot be stressed enough. It can be tough to set aside time for exercise for entrepreneurs.
However, to keep a healthy body and mind, plan out a routine and stick with it. You will soon notice the improvement with regular exercise.
Focus on Good Posture
Sitting long hours in the same posture or staring at the screen is detrimental for health. Bad posture creates breathing problems, joint pain and affects height. Stop slouching, do not remain in the same posture for more than half an hour and invest in a posture corrector or chairs that support your spine.
Make Exercise Part of Your Routine
Regular exercise goes a long way to keep both your body and mind in shape. Try to set aside at least 30-60 minutes daily for moderate-intensity aerobic exercise — preferably before going to work. If you are too busy for that, make changes in your habits like taking stairs instead of lifts, taking walks during breaks.
Maintaining a consistent exercise routine is important. You can also encourage a friend to be your exercise partner that will keep you both motivated to follow your routines.
Try Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation are proven stress relievers. They help maintain a healthy mind and body. Trying out new poses can also be a fun experience.
Leave That Chair
As entrepreneurs, you are required to sit at a desk for long hours which is a health hazard. Get up every 30-45 minutes, stretch, grab a bottle of water or simply take a walk around your office.
Have Walking Meetings
Take phone calls while standing up or walking. You can also prepare your meetings sot hat you don’t need to be in front of a computer.
3. Learn to Kick Back
“But there is so much work to do!” This is a frequent excuse that we give ourselves to deprive us of a much-needed reprieve. Rest is also a part of work, even machines malfunction when they are overworked. Hustle hard but also remember to take a break.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Perhaps the most neglected aspect of our health but good mental health plays a significant role in productivity and profit. Meditate, write a journal about your problems and small victories. There are also apps like Headspace or Calm that help you relax.
Spend Quality Time
It is not about how much time you spend but rather how you spend it. Tailor your day so that you have time for social activities. If you wake up early, take your kids to school or grab coffee with a friend. Have lunch with your friends or spend afternoons with your spouse. Try to be social, having friends a day keeps the stress away!
Refresh Your Mind
Set aside time for fun projects like reading or listening to audiobooks, music or take up a course. This will also help you view your business from a different angle and help you tackle problems better.
Unplug and Relax
Working 24/7 will cause burnout and ultimately be counterproductive to your progress. Carve out some time weekly to do a relaxing activity like camping, fishing, watching movies or family time. This will greatly improve your productivity for the next week. Also remember to have some time to yourself, take vacations and have work-free days in your schedule.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can ruin your relationship with both current and potential clients, so, learn to manage it to the best of your capabilities.
4. Make a Plan for the Day
Make a schedule that works for you and stick to it. It may be difficult at first but your body will eventually get used to it. You will quickly be able to finish tasks if you know what needs to be done.
Schedule your personal life as well. Set aside time for family, friends, weekend activities and vacations. Therefore you will look forward to it and this will motivate you to manage your time well.
5. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Most adults get inadequate sleep, this is even more true for entrepreneurs. The American Sleep Association recommends the following for good sleep hygiene which are good habits to promote a better night’s sleep:
- Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day
- Avoid naps
- Don’t lie awake in bed for more than 5-10 minutes
- Don’t read or watch TV in bed
- Avoid substances that interfere with sleep (caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol)
- Make your bedroom comfortable
6. Get Frequent Health Checkups
Preventive appointments will detect problems at an earlier stage before they become worse. Schedule your appointments in advance so that they don’t clash with your work. Use reminders so that you don’t miss those appointments. Some regular check-ups are:
- Dental cleaning/exam: Every six months
- Full physical: Once a year
- STD screening: Once a year
- Eye exam: Every two years
- Mammogram: Every two years for women aged 40+
- Pap smear: Every three years
Your health should be your priority before anything else. Ensure that your health is not sacrificed in the pursuit of your dreams.
It may seem a lot of work but in time you and your body will be used to the routine. Start small and build up to check all of them. In the long run, you’ll come out physically healthy, mentally happy and ultimately running a successful business.
I am so happy that you mentioned camping and vacation trips! This is something I definitely live by. Both my wife and I have really demanding and mentally draining jobs, and with 3 kids, we do feel that burn-out! Camping and mountain biking is our escape, so packing the car and loading our bikes, even for just a weekend away, where there is a lot of fresh air, some fishing spots and mountain biking trails is enough for us to recharge our batteries and get into that relaxed head space! We do this whenever we feel like we’re overworked and stressed!
This list is really everything you need to keep your cool vibes at the office, which I think is so important, especially when people get stressed so easily. So thank you for this great list! I just think I might skip out on the yoga though…
I’m an avid writer myself about how much fruit and vegetables we need to eat on a daily basis. So easy to forget when we are consumed by work. Coffee is certainly one i could be cutting back as it definitely leaves you dehydrated.