Wellness in Business

Who’s feeling the strain?

Bring self employed is hard at the best of times, but the last 18 months have added new pressures and challenges that we never could have imagined. We’re feeling it, and I know that many of you guys are too! So, today I’m taking a break from businessey stuff and instead we’re going to be looking after ourselves. I’ll be sharing my best tips for keeping positive, working smarter, and generally looking after yourself whilst managing a business, a family, and everything else you manage to pack into a standard day!

1 – Take a mental health hour

So, today, I am challenging you to take a mental health hour! During this hour you should cut yourself off from all the negative influences on your life and take time for yourself. You can do it whenever suits you best, so for best results, schedule your mental health hour for when your day is usually at it’s quietest. This means turning off the phone – yep, sorry (not sorry)! You’ll also have to turn off the TV (or at least news and current affairs shows, reality type TV, and the soaps) and your computer or tablet. Instead, you are going to choose to do something intentionally (no more passive participation), that makes you feel good, and do it without interruption.

This is not going to be easy as we are all so attached to our phones, but if you think about it, it’s very unlikely that anything is going to happen in the next hour that can’t wait a bit. You wouldn’t expect your friends to always respond straight away to you, so try not to worry. You are more than a slave to the internet, so pick something you love to do, and enjoy YOUR hour! Here are a few suggestions of things you could do with your free hour, but anything goes, as long as you do it purposefully…

  • Bake with the kids
  • Groom the dog
  • Go for a walk
  • Create something
  • Cuddle the cat
  • Draw
  • Yoga
  • Read a book
  • Sing in the bath
  • Write a letter
  • Have a cuppa with a friend
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Visit a neighbour

If you think it’s too much for you to turn your phone off completely, then try just turning off the internet so you can still receive urgent phone calls. Or if an hour is too long then maybe start with only 30 minutes and build up.In any case, you should expect it to feel weird at first, and you’ll be desperate to check on how the world is coping without you. But, in the end, you’ll thank yourself. I definitely do 🥰For the best results do this every day, but even weekly can have a positive effect on your mental well being – give it a go!And don’t forget to let us know how you get on!

2 – Make a “Jar Of Awesomness!”

This is my absolute favourite tip. We all need to be reminded how awesome we are from time to time. And, we don’t believe ourselves, so if you do nothing else, do this!

You’ll need a lovely big jar, and a pen and paper, or a printer and some scissors! Start by going through all your emails, reviews, social media comments, voice mails, thank you cards, birthday messages, and DMs. When you find one that is complimentary print it off or copy it down (including the name of the person who wrote it). This doesn’t have to be a work thing, maybe one of your friends complimented you recently, or perhaps it was one of your kids, or your other half? When you have them all noted or printed, cut them out, fold them up and pop them in your jar.

Next time you are feeling a little unloved, pull one out and remind yourself how awesome you are. You only need a few to start, but keep adding to it as you go and soon your jar will be overflowing with your awesomness!

Top tip: Do this during your mental health hour, just remember to do all your printing before the computer gets turned off! And don’t feel you have to hold back when it comes to decoration – the fancier the better.

3 – It’s good to walk!

We know that exercise can be really beneficial for our mental health. It can relieve mild depression, boost mental energy levels, relieve lethargy and reduce general anxiety. But did you know, that is can also help you cope better in moments of crisis? According to Dr Sten Ekberg, physical movement activates the frontal lobe of the brain which turns off reactivity, stress, anxiety and impulse. This in turn means that when things go wrong we’ll be much better able to cope with it because we’ll be relying on the reasoning part of the brain, rather than making snappy decisions that we might end up regretting! Good huh?

4 – Work together

Working with others, virtually, or otherwise, has amazing mental health benefits. The most obvious one being that it helps you feel part of a community. This is perfect if you’re self employed, as it can be quite isolating and lonely at times. It’s also a dedicated time to start and finish work. When you’re self employed it’s easy for work time to blend into the rest of the day. Working alongside people from different business types widens your network, plus you will have an extra pair of eyes if you need a second opinion, spelling check, fact check, or something else. Helping them in the same way is wonderful for your own well being too!

So, if you haven’t already, why not join our group and jump in to our very own virtual office. We’ll be live via Zoom for you to drop in and out as you feel like. Full details are posted in the group.

5 – Get into a routine

Routines are a great stress reliever. They can make you feel more in control, which means that you will cope better when things take you by surprise! Having an early morning routine also has the added benefit of creating a sense of achievement right at the start of the day, which is great for your mood. And, the best part is, you don’t have to get up super early. Just pick a time you are ok with and start then! People that do this are statistically more productive throughout the day. So getting the first hour of your day right could be a game changer! You can include anything in your new routine, but here are a few suggestions that are particularly effective when done in the first hour…

  • Make your bed
  • No phone or TV
  • Make your lunch
  • Get up at the same time every day
  • Take a ten minute walk
  • Write down something you are glad about
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual
  • Write down one thing you love about yourself
  • Have a shower
  • Wash the dishes

Good to know… on average it only takes 21 days for a new behaviour to become a habit. So you don’t have to keep this up for long before it becomes second nature! What works for you in the morning?

6 – Calm a busy mind!

If you have constant thoughts, tasks and ideas buzzing around your head, then a notebook might be the solution. Day or night, when an idea pops in, simply write it down so you can refer back to it later. Not only will it give you time to reconsider an idea at a more convenient time, it will allow your mind (and you) to rest and it will relieve anxiety associated with forgetting stuff! Get a notebook and pen ready when you go to bed tonight – you never know when the next genius idea will surface!

7 – Schedule Social Media

In a recent poll, all those that responded said they like to be spontaneous when they are posting on social media. But, taking time to create content and scheduling it is a real time, and stress, saver. Knowing you don’t have to think of stuff to post every day can be a huge relief, and it leaves room for some really great, spontaneous stuff in between! Rather than posting “that’ll do” posts! It also means that your content will be varied and posted at consistent times throughout the week (which Facebook and Instagram particularly love). Aaaand, it allows you to tell your story in a more intentional way!

Your customers will like it to as they won’t see the same types of posts over and over again, and then nothing for ages. Plus, they’ll get a good mix of information spread throughout the week. Scheduling posts doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous at all! Why not leave a few spaces blank for those last minute additions. For example, your schedule might look a bit like this…

  • Monday: Shameless sales post!
  • Tuesday: Behind the scenes/Space
  • Wednesday: One benefit your business offers
  • Thursday: Something Cute or Funny, A Meme
  • Friday: One benefit your product offers/A Blog Post
  • Saturday: A FAQ/Space
  • Sunday: Social proof/Customer review

Creator studio is a Facebook tool and will let you schedule posts to Facebook and Instagram. It will also let you schedule to Instagram stories too. There are loads of independent options too, I love Buffer, for example. Most offer trials and/or FREE versions, so it’s worth checking them out to see what will suit you. Just look out for one that schedules to the platforms you use, and check that it will allow you to tailor each post, to each platform. Nothing worse than seeing a Facebook post with 30 hashtags on it, or only half a Tweet!

Maybe you have your own tips? We’d love you to share what’s working for you. You never know who it might help and the impact it might have on them 🙂

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