Raise you hand if you’ve ever been really cranky in a meeting because you were hungry. What about skipping the gym because of work? Do you feel like you’d be lost without coffee?
Every day, we pack our to-do list full of appointments, projects, and other people’s priorities—all those things we need to take care of. Think about what you had on the agenda yesterday. Were you actually on it? We spend so much of our day helping others, but we often forget to put our own care on our list of priorities.
The health of a business is so tied in to the health of its employees—even more so when you’re a company of one. To give you a personal example, a few years ago, I found myself juggling seven different income streams and feeling totally burnt out. I didn’t feel like I was gaining any traction. I was also working every weekend so never seeing my family, seriously skimping on sleep, and overdoing the caffeine. My wake-up call came quite literally, when I fell asleep in downward dog at a yoga class. Yes, I fell flat on my face. I was officially out of excuses: It was time to make a change.
Letting go of what was not serving the bigger picture was scary, but it turned out to be my most successful year to date. I even started sleeping more, finally started using that meditation app I’d downloaded, and cut my daily eight cups of coffee to four. I also started visiting my family every week.
Something really cool happened too: I noticed my clients became more successful in meeting their goals. Plus, having more energy to bring to events helped me engage the room and connect with people in a more meaningful way.
Aside from supporting a better quality of life, building recharge time into our schedule helps us be better at our jobs. It doesn’t have to be all deep-tissue massages and salt baths or whatever you might think of when you hear “self-care,” but those basic things that help us feel energized and stable so we can face whatever crazy the day has in store. For example, balanced meals, getting enough exercise, water, sleep.
So think about what self-care essentials you might need to work on. How’s your physical health? Your mental and emotional health? What’s working and what’s not? Whatever it might be, take one step in a positive direction, however big or small you like. Investing time and energy in yourself is good for your business.
As an experiment this week, make an appointment with yourself—even if it’s just fifteen minutes to check in and assess how things are going. You might be surprised at what an impact scheduling yourself into your day can have. It’s a cliché for a reason: Health really is wealth.