The greatest wealth is health, as the old saying goes. But, when you clock up long hours and neglect your “me time” in order to keep your business up and running, your health may suffer.
If you sacrifice your health for your business, you’re actually doing a great disservice both to your business and yourself. According to CNBC, burnout is one of the most common reasons why businesses fail.
Running a business comes with a range of challenges and stressors. The best way to deal with these inevitable stressors is to take care of yourself.
Why do Business Owners Need to Look After Their Health?
You are the one who establishes the work environment. Your actions have a big effect on the company culture. If you overexert yourself, your employees may think that you expect the same from them.
It may lead them to think that things like answering emails outside working hours, working every weekend, and sacrificing sleep are a part of an acceptable working pattern. And, your employees may become more easily burned out than you if they can’t follow your pace. You should set a good example for your employees and start prioritising health.
Keep Your Work Hours in Check
Is your family upset with you because of the amount of time you spend at work? Do you often forget to take a lunch break? Do you keep thinking about work even when you are spending time with friends and enjoying leisure activities?
If the answer to most of these questions is “yes,” it’s time for a change. Here are a few ways you can improve your work-life balance:
- Take regular breaks throughout the workday. If needed, set an alarm as a reminder. Going outside for a brisk walk or taking a meal break can help you manage stress and organize your thoughts.
- Each day, set a time for when you will turn off your company phone and log out of your business email account. Technology can make us feel as though we should always be “on.” Your phone and laptop can blur the line between home and work.
- After a very busy period, take a long weekend off, or at least an afternoon. Working shorter hours after a period of working longer hours can help you achieve a better work-life balance.
- When you are starting to feel overwhelmed, think about what tasks you can delegate or outsource. Some tasks may not be a priority while others can easily be done by some of your employees.
And, sometimes, just saying “no” is the best way to go. Pushing back can seem impossible, even when it is the best course of action, so it is very important to learn how to say “no.”
- Plan each day ahead. Set a time that you plan to finish by and prioritize urgent tasks.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
You must proactively work on your mental wellbeing and physical health. The two are inextricably related, so you can’t have one without the other. Here are a few steps that can help you improve your mental health, manage stress, and achieve a better work-life balance:
Spend Some Time in Reflection
We tend to force ourselves to be “on” at all times, especially when we are constantly surrounded by people. Constant communication can be emotionally draining. If you don’t manage it well, it can lead to mental fatigue. Eventually, you may say something to an employee or associate that you will regret later.
But this doesn’t mean that avoiding others is the solution. Instead, you should make the most out of the time you have for yourself. You can use the quiet hours in the morning or late at night for reflection.
For instance, you can use this time to practice meditation. Or, if you are spiritual, you can pray. A few minutes a day spent in reflection can do wonders. If this is not something you are familiar with, you can try out a mindfulness app.
Promote Health and Well-Being in the Office
The success of your business doesn’t depend on your health only, it depends on the health of your employees as well. Besides, maintaining wellness is much easier when you are all in it together.
Encourage your employees to take regular breaks. So that you can blow off some steam together, get a ping-pong table or an air hockey table for the office.
If you are able to, designate an area of your office building as a gym. Alternatively, you can offer gym memberships to employees.
Fill the office kitchen with healthy snacks. It’s very easy to swap unhealthy meals for nutritious ones, and they don’t necessarily have to be more expensive. To pick out some food for the office, you can organize employee outings to the farmer’s market.
Now that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, you should stock up on hand sanitizers and wear a mask around the office. Get some reusable masks for your employees as well. Since many brick and mortar stores quickly run out of safety supplies these days, it is easier to order online.
Being a business owner can be isolating. You can rely on your employees, but they may not know what it is like to be in your shoes. It is important to find someone you can talk to—someone who relates to you and someone who has been through the ups and downs of running a company.
It’s good to have someone with whom you can discuss your business worries as well as successes. Social support can be great for mental health. Here are a few ways you can increase your social support and keep connected:
- Join a small business network.
- When you’re having a hard time, find another business owner you can rely on and talk things through with them. You can use Meetup to connect with other business owners.
- Get a small business mentor. You can find one through your existing contacts or a formal network such as the SFA’s free mentoring programme.
So that you will be able to take care of your business, first you need to take care of yourself. To stay on the right track, always keep these three areas of interest in mind. By focusing on your health, you will inspire your staff to do the same. A healthy team led by a healthy entrepreneur leads to a healthy and thriving business.