Personal Wellness is Becoming a Priority for Small-Business Owners
The issue of owner burnout and leader retention is very risky to every business. According to CNBC, burnout is one of the most common reasons that businesses fail.
When you don’t take care of yourself, your business is at risk of becoming less profitable, or worse. One in two small businesses fail within five years of opening, and research shows that burnout and exhaustion are contributing factors.
Personal wellness is becoming a priority for small-business owners. The major challenge for business owners is balancing their personal needs with those of their business. Your health and the health of your business are not separate. While threats to our health are inevitable, practicing self-care can help limit the risks to our business. Plus, practicing wellness actually promotes productivity.
So the question is, how can you make time to care for yourself? Turns out it isn’t as hard as you might think. Self-care doesn’t have to mean adding more to your list. Simply swap out existing habits with new habits. To keep you and your business healthy, try introducing the five tips below into your regular routine.
1. Networking and Personal Connections
Networking and having personal connections are beneficial to our long-term health as eating well or quitting smoking.
There is a pressing need for small-business owners and entrepreneurs to have a community. This community can be a social community e.g. She Leads Africa, WIMBIZ, etc. These social communities serve as a platform for sharing your ideas and thoughts with like-minded people. Every entrepreneur must note that business owners are stronger together. They also serve as a medium to build a great network.
2. Learn a new skill or a business course
Mastery of a new skill can improve your cognitive functioning. Budgeting enough time to attend a business course is not feasible for everyone all the time. However, being proficient in a new program or skill could land your business on the cutting edge of a business trend. So the short-term investment of time in learning a new course could have long-term payoffs.
3. Get active
Beyond just improving your physical health, recent research has demonstrated how exercise improves your mental health and can prevent the symptoms of burnout. Rather than sitting in a conference room all day, try to walk around during meetings. You can also take phone meetings on the move. Committing to taking 30-minute walks three times per week is a reasonable goal.
4. Set a bedtime.
Creating a balanced business budget, working out salaries, preparing a business plan to get a loan… There will always be circumstances and tasks that will compete with the need for sleep. But the consequences of going without sleep in the long-term are significant, including obesity and diabetes, mental health issues and cardiovascular disease.
Lack of sleep significantly reduces your level of work output and decreases innovation. One late night can easily turn into a week of late nights; commit to a time you will go to bed. Then set an alarm on your smartphone for when you’ll go to sleep (and when you’ll wake up). Use this bedtime as a deadline to keep you on track for completing tasks and ending your workday.
5. Laugh! Happiness is Free
As a small-business owner, there will be moments when you’re unsure whether you should be laughing or crying. We recommend laughing because it’s a great form of stress relief. Laughter stimulates many organs, activates and relieves your stress response, and soothes tension. Turn on a movie for some comic relief, watch a silly YouTube video or talk to a friend whom you think is funny.
It can feel strange at first to think about self-care as a business goal, especially if it means allocating time away from tasks that you normally associate with productivity. However, in the long-term, you will find that your business thrives when you do.