Self care and sleep are completely undervalued in my opinion – until you get to a crisis point. I’ve been there, so many people have been there – Ariana Huffington wrote a book about it! It took a trip to hospital and a year of recovery for me to finally give myself permission to care for myself, and even then it doesn’t come easy.
Self care gives you energy
Growing a business is a lot like gardening. (Stay with me!) In the first few months, and really the first year, you have to constantly look after the plants, watering and nurturing – the point is to allow the plants to put down strong roots and not get stressed. This is the same for starting business and building a brand.
By nurturing yourself, you give space to put down your roots. Providing yourself with the energy to keep on going when it gets tough – and it will. Even with one of the most successful businesses in the world, if you don’t nurture and care for yourself you will burn out. You may love to work, thrive off it perhaps, but without finding true enjoyment in your life, you won’t have a system in place (you) to care for yourself when life gets a bit rocky.
So how do you do it?
Give yourself permission to enjoy your life
Women in particular don’t give themselves permission to look after themselves, particularly when they are starting or growing a business. The first thing is to focus on what brings you joy – and to make sure you dedicate time to do this. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it makes you happy.
Get the sleep that you need
Everyone has different sleep requirements. Some people need a lot of sleep, some less. Whatever it is you need, make sure you are doing it. If you have trouble going to sleep, introduce a bedtime routine, wind down, do something nice for yourself. I love Clementine App’s Deep Sleep hypnotherapy session to help me get to sleep when my brain is whirling. It really works for me.
Have an orgasm
Probably not what you are expecting from a strategist but the simple fact is an orgasm is good for your brain – and is particularly beneficial for a woman’s brain. For anyone who has been watching Netflix’s Explained you may would have seen Barry Komisaruk, Behavioural Neuroscientist explaining what happens during a female orgasm:
“There’s an increase in delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the brain, so orgasm, in that sense, has to be good for the neurons. It’s cardio for the brain.”Barry Komisaruk, Behavioural Neuroscientist
So there you have it, the science backs up taking time for an orgasm. Do it alone or with someone else. Whichever it is, make sure you are looking after your brain.
There’s a great short article by Alice G Walton about the 6 Science-Backed Ways Exercise Benefits The Body And Brain. In a nutshell, 30 minutes a day of regular exercise has so many positive effects on your body’s different organs and systems, with anti-inflammatory effects, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, ‘slowing ageing’, improving cognitive function and the growth of new brain cells, and treating depression.
Your business starts with you
In order to create a successful business, you need to start with you. Sleep when you need to, introduce a bedtime routine, meditate, buy yourself a plant, do a painting, go for a walk, do some yoga, cook, hang out with the people you love. Do anything that makes you happy and make time for these things. They will make you a happier person and ultimately lead you to being a better boss, able to make decisions quickly and confidently.
You’ve only got once chance so make it count for you. Go on. You know you’ll be happier for it.