You know self-care is important, right?
You know you shouldn't put yourself to the bottom of the pile - yeah, yeah, yeah. But there's so much to do. There just isn't time. It's not like you don't have good intentions, it's just that commitments keep cropping up. People need answers, family need looking after. Friends want to see you. I mean it's a nice idea and everything but it's just not realistic. There'll be time once you've got your business turning over that magical 5k a month, anyway, won't there. But, ohhh, secretly - what you'd give to be one of those people that's got time to do yoga and meditate every day - I mean, are they for real? I know this is how it goes, because I've done this exact same thought process more times than I can remember. I totally get it. I do.
You're so keen to prove to yourself and your family that you can make this thing work. You feel like you should spend every spare second driving the machine, plugging away on the business - they're expecting you to get results, so you don't want to be seen as a slacker. Ever heard the one about the self-employed woman who lounged about for half the day, had a coffee with her friend and did an hour or two of work before picking the kids up? Me neither - though in our heads that's exactly what we think everyone's thinking, isn't it? Oh, the things we tell ourselves... No, if you're anything like me you work hard. Too hard. I've just had a reminder of that thanks to lockdown. And I'm sitting down today and making a plan to put myself first on the list again - because I've done burnout and I'm not going to do it again.
And because I know that being healthy and mentally well is absolutely critical to my business. I hate to break it to you but that work hard now, relax when you've made it thing? Big mistake. Huge. The more we just keep pushing on:
the less efficient we become
the less productive we become
the less in control we feel
the less motivated we are
the poorer our decision-making skills
the lower our capacity for insight, lateral thinking and the greater our tendency to miss blindingly obvious solutions
(...is this sounding like a good thing for you or your business so far?)
Put simply, we lose perspective. We can't see the wood for the trees. And we can't run our businesses anywhere near as well.
How often have you worked yourself into the ground, got totally exhausted, then gone on holiday and suddenly had the most amazing ideas, or realised you've been chasing the wrong things? (And I bet it's taken you a good bit of the holiday to get over that cold, tiredness etc. while your poor battered immune system picks up the pieces of all that work).
Mental fatigue also causes anxiety, mood swings and irritability - so it impacts our relationships, our enjoyment of life and our sleep. Oh, and our long-term health.
The thing is, we're just not designed to be constantly 'on'. We're trying to make a 50,000 year old brain and body fit in to a hectic modern world... and it just says no! (Great skin for a 50,000 year old by the way - what's your moisturiser?). So if we want it to work as well as possible, serve us well and stay healthy, we have to treat our hard-working brain in the way it likes to be treated. And that means regular time off from thinking. Regularly reassessing what really is important - because we so easily lose sight of that when our brain's in 'doing' mode.
Remembering that other people's problems aren't ours - and that they will cope if we say 'sorry, but not this time' or 'maybe later'.
Remembering that our long-term health is more valuable than 'just answering one more email'.
And that spending time enjoying our life and our family is what it's all for. But how do I make it work?
In it, I take you through exactly what I recommend and how it helps. It's full of mindset tips and practical suggestions to help you work more efficiently and keep your mind in its healthiest, happiest place! And one final tip - remember that by saying no to other things you're actually saying yes to yourself, your health, your family and the health of your business - and I have no doubt that by building your self-care in first, you'll get where you want to be faster than you ever thought possible. You're amazing, make sure you treat yourself that way.