Essential Self Care tips for women growing online businesses

Starting and growing a business can be pretty full on – often we’re growing our business in addition to other paid work, bringing up kids, caring for others and doing all the other things that need doing. And let’s just be honest, that is often a whole lot more for women than it is for men!

In our quest to grow a successful business, we can often find ourselves at the bottom of our seemingly never ending to-do lists.

Even those of us who are growing businesses in the wellness industry (such as health coaches, nutritionists etc) can struggle walking our talk and applying all our tips to ourselves.

As I write this, in the middle of the 2020 Pandemic, I currently have my 4 month old daughter asleep in the sling on my chest and my 5 year old watching a show on his iPad. Keeping my business going right now has been a juggle – and even more now than ever, self care for me specifically as someone growing a business is essential.

When I hear from other women growing businesses they often really struggle to make time for themselves, they feel like their business has to come first and that any spare time they have should be spent hustling it out. But that’s just not sustainable.

As entrepreneurs, we have to realise that our greatest asset is ourselves.

If we keep putting ourselves last, eventually that’s going to have a massive negative impact on our business and our ability to make money! No one wants a burned out coach.

So how do we do self care as someone growing a business? I’m not going to give you all the standard tips like drinking more water or meditating although those are really great – rather these tips are focused on how we do things specifically as an entrepreneur.

Create boundaries

If there’s one thing I’d like women to do to support their wellbeing and grow a more sustainable, profitable business it’s having really good boundaries.

If you don’t have boundaries in your business you’re on the road to total burn out.

Check out this must watch short video where I talk more about what kind of boundaries you need in your business, how to communicate them and how to review them so they become really effective as well as 4 easy things you can implement in your business right now to have better boundaries.

Get help

I know this doesn’t come easy to some of us, but if we’re going to take care of ourselves and run our business we’re going to need some help.

That might look differently depending on our circumstances but could include:

  • Asking your partner to effectively co-parent the kids (partners don’t ‘babysit’ FYI) so you can work, exercise, have a bath (in peace!) or just have some me time.
  • Getting childcare in place – from a family member, a nursery etc so you can spend time on yourself – however indulgent that might feel!
  • Outsourcing business tasks you really don’t enjoy and that suck your energy

Make time to do non business related things

One way to burn out fast is to always be working on or thinking about your business. The reality is, spending time doing other things is a great way to replenish your creativity, get new ideas, find solutions to problems and more.

If you find yourself feeling unmotivated and even a bit fed up with your business don’t be afraid to take a break – it’s ok not to be posting on social media everyday, trust me that break will have a more positive impact on your business than trying to push through.

Spend time in nature

Let’s face it, a lot of us growing online businesses are highly strung type A’s (I’m happy to admit I’m a bit like that!) spending time in nature is a great way to calm our nervous system, feel connected, come up with new ideas and simply have a break from it all.

My client Alex Strauss talks about the benefits of spending time in nature and especially doing so as an entrepreneur so check out her site and podcast for more ideas.

Find ‘sites of mutual appreciation’

If you’re trying to pack quite a lot into life – and a lot of us who are growing businesses are doing that and would most definitely describe ourselves as busy, finding ‘sites of mutual appreciation’ can be a great way to fill our cups at the same time as others in our family.

For me, this looks like going for a walk in the woods or heading to the beach. Time in nature is a big form of self care for me, and my son and husband also enjoy it too so we all make sure we get to do that as often as possible.

If you and your partner both really like relaxing watching a box set on Netflix, that can also be a great way to relax and spend quality time together.

Become aware of the cycles within your business and the way you work

Some people can work fairly consistently on their business with time to take care of themselves and can keep that going for a long time because it’s sustainable.

However, some people naturally work in fits and starts, working intensely for a period of time and then needing a break and cycling through this pattern.

Neither of these are ‘wrong’ but the second option often needs thought as to how to manage things so your wellbeing doesn’t completely go by the wayside when you’re in a go go go! phase.

What you might also find is that as well as you having natural cycles in the way you work, your business does too. If you do big launches in your business that take a lot of time and energy, it can be helpful to think about how you can make sure you still take care of yourself during these intense phases.

Having healthy food delivered, getting more childcare in place, booking in a massage or spa day for once it’s done, hiring a cleaner (even just for the period you’re working more over launch) – all these things can be helpful.

If you can’t do any of those even just considering what kind of prep you can do before that busier time such as batch cooking some healthy meals for the freezer etc.

Build a business with your self care at the heart of it

If one statement could sum up a wholehearted business then that would be it! A lot of my clients don’t just want a bog standard online business – they want to create a business that not only helps others but is fulfilling for them too.

There’s an art to creating a business in this way – you need to be setting up your business to work in a way that puts you and your needs at the heart of it because no matter how much you want to help others, if you’re not thriving in your business it’s very difficult to help others thrive too.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, do you feel like you get enough ‘me time’ as an entrepreneur? How do you feel when it comes to asking for help? What are your boundaries like? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to pin this post to come back to later.

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Laura Agar Wilson is a wellbeing coach and business mentor who helps overwhelmed women live a life of more intention via planning, routines and seasonal living.

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