How to take care of yourself when you run your own business

Back before I started working for myself, I had a pretty good self-care routine. When I came home from work I could switch off my brain, get into some comfy clothes and relax. I could move my body if I wanted to or spend a few hours in the kitchen, simply because I had the time.

Now that I run a business, and still work full time, my brain is a teeny tiny bit crazier, and it takes a lot more effort to switch off, even when I really need to.

I’ve compiled a list of 5 things that actually help me take my brain from work-mode to home-mode.

  1. Do something you love, without expectation
    The chances are if you run a creative business, that you’re doing something you have a passion for. The problem with this is that I’ve often found once something becomes a ‘job’, I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve found it really beneficial to take the time to sit and create something that’s just for me. Whether it’s a piece of prose that will never see the light, or just some light-hearted doodling. Remind yourself why you loved to do these things in the first place and it can only improve your work.
  2. Designate an office space for yourself
    My work is super mobile; as long as I have my tablet I can write, draw and design my heart out.  I could very easily complete all of my freelance work from the comfort of my bed, but I don’t. I’m lucky enough to have a room dedicated as my office, but even if you have a spare chair at your dining table, designate that as your place of work, and try not to stray. Chair is for work, everywhere else in your home is for relaxing and fun.
  3. Take time to cook and eat dinner
    I’ll admit I’m not the best at sticking to this one, it’s not uncommon for me to end up taking a plate of dinner back into my office and wolfing it down while I work. This isn’t the worst thing, sometimes you just really have work that needs to be done and there’s not enough hours in the day, but it’s not something I want to make a habit of. For the most part, sitting down at the table with your loved ones and a delicious home cooked meal is worth a hundred times more than a semi focused half hour of work.
  4. Have a knock off time
    Just like you would for an office job, set yourself ‘work hours’ and try to stick to them. Again, sometimes things don’t quite work out and you might have to do some overtime, but take that into account too. If you do overtime, give yourself a well-deserved break later in the week. With my work schedule I finish my office job at 4, come home and work until 6, take a couple hours for movement, socialising and food and then if I really want to I might come back for another hour between 8 and 9. You’ll know what works for you and your life, make work a priority if you need to, but don’t make it the only one.
  5. Take a break
    This one sort of relates to the above point, but it’s a little more specific. One of the crucial things for me in maintaining a successful work life balance is feeling like I finish my work day on a good point. Something my mum always told me is ‘if you’re starting to make mistakes and getting frustrated, it’s time to stop.’ It can be so tempting to just keep pushing on a piece of work, even though it’s just going around in circles and then all of a sudden it’s midnight and you’re only going to get five hours sleep. The chances are your outcomes is going to be of a much higher quality if you step back and finish off the day knowing you tried your best. It will still be there tomorrow.

Chat soon x

2 thoughts on “How to take care of yourself when you run your own business”

  1. When I’m writing and in the zone (whatever that means) I stop only to make coffee. Food is for losers. It takes too much time and is a distraction. When being creative, you need to eliminate distractions as much as possible.

    1. I agree that removing distractions is an important thing! However I don’t think food is for losers haha. If I forget to eat I very quickly lose my creativity. For me, chunking tasks into blocks of time is helpful. I know I can stop and have coffee/food/social interaction when I do X hours of writing/drawing 🙂

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