One of the most important things about being an entrepreneur that I didn’t learn until at least a year into starting my business was the importance of implementing healthy habits in your everyday routine due to the fact that self-care leads to success.
When I first started my business, I wasn’t taking the steps that I needed to prioritize my health. I wasn’t exactly eating poorly, but I definitely wasn’t getting the sleep that I needed or reserving time for the gym. After a year of only dedicating time to work, I realized that something needed to change–so I completely overhauled my routine to ensure that my body was getting the love it needed and deserved.
The items listed below are now my non-negotiables for my health–and I hope they become the same for you, too!
Dedicate Time to Moving Your Body
Whether you choose to run, walk, ride a bike, or focus on another form of exercising, commit to moving your body for at least 30 minutes every single day. I arrive at my local gym right when it opens every single morning to go for a run, which truthfully makes me feel like that’s one of the best ways to start my day. I leave the gym feeling energized, motivated, and ready to get going!
There are other ways to incorporate easy movement into your schedule, too. When I was working from home, before I moved into my office, I would walk around my street when I had a call with someone (as long as I didn’t need access to my computer) or when I wanted to listen to a podcast. I loved doing this because I was doing something productive while moving my body! Another thing you can do is get a standing desk and put a treadmill underneath it so that you can walk while at your desk.
Whichever form of movement you choose, make sure to do it on a consistent basis so that it becomes a habit.
Drink Plenty of Water
Coffee is practically every entrepreneur’s lifeline… but one day, I realized just how much coffee I was drinking and just how much water I was not drinking–and I decided that needed to change. Of course it’s totally fine to have some in the morning and maybe even again as an afternoon pick-me-up, but I started to notice that I was only drinking coffee and totally neglecting water. Yikes!
Out of the many benefits of water, the ones that are the most important to entrepreneurship are increasing energy levels and brain function (for when you need to be on your A-game with strategies) and preventing headaches (for when you spend hours staring at your laptop).
After reading about this, I then made it a habit to be more mindful of how much water I consume each day. I feel like I drink way more water when it’s in a fun cup or tumbler (can anyone else relate?), so I try to fill up my Yeti cup with water about three times throughout the work day.
Create a Healthy Bedtime Routine
This one is definitely the hardest for me… but it’s also important. I’m incredibly guilty about working and using my laptop up until the moment that I go to bed, but blue light makes it difficult to fall asleep at night. I also find that because I’m working right until I decide to go to sleep, my mind is usually racing with a million different thoughts–ideas that I have, things that I need to do the next day, worries about business, etc.–and it’s therefore very difficult to “turn my mind off” before going to bed. Because I end up thinking about all of these different things, I find that it then takes me way longer to fall asleep.
Many people have recommended reading instead, which does help me. However, if I really want to do something work-related without pulling out my laptop and being exposed to that blue light, I pull out my notebook instead. Whether it’s writing down my to-do list, mapping out ideas that I have, or journaling my thoughts, I feel “productive” doing this and know that I’m moving everything out of my brain and onto paper, which leaves me with a clear mind.
Reserve Time for Having Fun
This goes along with making sure you’re not working all the time and letting yourself take time off, reserve time to have fun with friends and family. Whether you decide to go out to dinner, spend the day at the beach, or try an interesting activity, there are so many benefits of spending time with friends and family, such as boosting your happiness, increasing your sense of purpose, and improving your self-confidence. What could be better than that?
I also enjoy spending time with the people closest to me because occupying my mind with other activities takes my mind away from thinking about work–and it gives me something else to focus on. If you’re also someone who has a hard time shutting your brain off, these activities can really help you to put your thoughts elsewhere!
Although there are many other habits you can implement into your daily routine, these are the four that have made a noticeable difference in my life. The most important thing is to find what works for you and stick to it!