Life as a business owner is full of highs and lows and having to be prepared for the unexpected is par for the course. This is all very well when we are feeling on top form, but running your own business can often lead to overwhelm and ultimately burnout.  Stress and anxiety can also play a significant part in a business owner’s life and a study by Dr. Michael Freeman of the University of California found that 30% of entrepreneurs experience depression.

However, while it’s true that running your own business has its negatives, it also has its upsides. Therefore, if you want to thrive as your own boss you are going to need to treat your wellbeing as a priority. Here are six ways to live healthier however busy you are.

Set Boundaries

If you are working every hour available, then you are on the fast track to burnout, particularly if you have other family or personal commitments. Naturally when a business is in start-up phase, there will be times when you will have to work longer hours to hit a deadline, but this should be the exception rather than the norm.

Set boundaries for your working hours and give yourself at least one day off per week if not two. These should be days when you take a complete break from even checking your email or updating social media. If you have a service based business, it’s also important to set boundaries with clients and to make them aware of when you can be contacted and when they will need to wait. Jumping to answer a client’s email at 11pm will set a precedent for them to feel you are contactable around the clock.

Don’t Work In Isolation

You might be running your business alone but it’s vital to get a support network, as business owners report a sense of isolation as being one of the biggest stress points in their working life.

You can join a local networking group or online mastermind, head to local meet-ups or even connect with fellow business owners in a LinkedIn or Facebook group. Friends and family, while having your best interests at heart, are not always the best people to talk to about work related concerns. Therefore, find peers who will be happy to talk through any business issues, plus celebrate with you when things go well.

Care For Your Body

If your business is largely desk based this often means sitting for long periods and doing very similar tasks. If you don’t want to end up with neck or back problems, ensure your desk and seating area is set up ergonomically. You could also opt to sit on a Swiss ball or try a standing desk if you have particular back issues already.

RSI can be a major problem if you are using a computer for long periods every day so a wrist rest and an ergonomic mouse can be helpful. You can also try different methods of working. In recent years dictation software has vastly improved and this is now a viable alternative to typing.

Your eyes also need care if you don’t want to end up with dry eyes or eye strain. Set a timer to remind you to look away from your screen at least every 60 minutes, as this rests the muscles in your eyes. It’s also a good opportunity to get up for a stretch or glass of water.

Eat Wisely

We all know that we need to eat healthily if we want to thrive and you will find lots of great information and recipes on this site to get you started.

One of the key areas is to balance your energy so you aren’t giving yourself a boost with sugar or caffeine and then crashing down a couple of hours later. Eating a protein based breakfast can get you off to a good start and help you to stop snacking on empty calories through the morning.

Drinking enough water is another way to stave off tiredness as dehydration can quickly lead to an energy slump. If you really don’t like drinking plain water then add mint, cucumber or fruit to give it a bit of a lift and to encourage you to drink more.

Get Active

Many people don’t exercise regularly because they feel they don’t have the time or they feel too exhausted to drag themselves to the gym or an exercise class. However, the fact is that the more regularly you exercise, the more energized you will feel.

If any of this resonates with you and you feel your business success has been at a cost to your health and fitness take a look at the options for working with me or contact me for a no obligation discussion to see how I can help you

Make Time For Rest

Finally, it’s important to ensure you get enough sleep but also time away from work for rest, relaxation and fun. After all, you are building this business to ultimately have a better quality of life, plus a great work/life balance. Maybe you think you need to defer that until your business is a roaring success, but the truth is that if you don’t give yourself space to rest now you might very well burn out before you achieve what you want to.

Every life needs balance and that’s true whether you are working for someone else or you are the boss. Make sure you care for yourself as well as you would for an employee, you are after all your own most valuable resource, within the business and outside of it.

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