Guest Post: Taking Care Of You!
We are so excited to have Caroline Hull of Caroline Creates on our blog today! She is writing about something that we should all do a little more of...
Running your own small business can be really taxing on our bodies, minds and emotions. Many of us are a one-person show and have many other responsibilities outside of our business. Our planners are full and schedules are non-stop. I know when I have been running myself ragged, I often start to feel incredibly discouraged and unfocused. It becomes like nothing can get done. The to-do lists start piling up and I’m constantly distracted.
That’s when you know you’ve hit a block. You know, when you just can’t design anymore. You are exhausted from working all hours and your inbox is about to explode. Maybe you sat down to work and stared at the screen for an hour. . .
I hit this block last summer. I started doubting my abilities, my business model, gosh, pretty much everything that had to do with Caroline Creates. I was officially in a RUT and my business was suffering. I kept thinking to myself, “I just need to work harder and more often.” That, my friends, was not the answer. You see, along the path of building a business and taking care of my family, I forgot to take care of the person who matters the most: myself.
I started an experiment to see what would happen to my business, family, home, and business if I put myself higher up on the list. The results are pretty incredible and I’m never going back. Here are some things I implemented and tips for the care and keeping of YOU as a business owner.
Get Up and Get Dressed - A lot of us work from home and it can be so tempting to just roll out of bed and into the office. I make it a point to get dressed every. single. day. It totally changes how you approach your work and your day. Now for me, this is a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and some mascara, but if it means you put on a dress and some heels, go for it! The point is to start your work day with purpose feeling great about yourself.
Find Your Zen - Find something that you can do to help you be centered. For me, it is Yoga, but any activity that shuts your mind off for a short amount of time is good. For example: reading a book you love for 10 minutes a day or cooking your way through your favorite cookbook. Embrace those hobbies that have fallen by the wayside. When I cleared my evenings and started doing yoga everyday, I found myself less apt to get stressed and more focused.
Take a Break - Take a real break from your desk, your office, your computer and get out. The best way I’ve found to get excited about my work again is to take a breather. Maybe take a random weekday off and go to a museum or go get a massage. I love to travel and when I do, I leave work at home. Stepping away also encourages you to miss your work. Whenever I take one or two days away, I come back full of ideas and a great desire to just design!
Drink Coffee - Ok, ok. I mean go get coffee (or your beverage of choice) with a friend or fellow business owner. Create a community that you can lean on when things get tough. I joined a mastermind group 6 months ago and it’s the highlight of my month! Having people in similar situations to discuss business strategy and life has been so good for my soul. Sometimes being an entrepreneur can feel like being stranded on an island but by creating meaningful connections, you feel as though you have coworkers and people cheering you on.
Now, I know what you are thinking. I just don’t have “ME” time and there is nowhere to fit it in. This is a lie we tell ourselves. Start by finding 10 minutes a day to do something just for you and it will build. I don’t watch TV in the evening anymore because that’s my time and I’m so protective of it now. When you make time for “YOU”, magical things happen. When I started the process of really taking care of myself, I found that the atmosphere in my house improved greatly. The goals for my business became clearer and creativity started overflowing from my brain to pen to paper. I truly believe my recent successes are from this shift in my life and my business.
YOU are what makes things happen so remember to make the time to take care of YOU!
Thanks, Caroline! Those are great tips. Keep up with Caroline on Instagram!