I’ve just got back from a short holiday in Spain where I enjoyed some time soaking up the sunshine, relaxing and exploring a new city.
For me, getting away for a break on a fairly regular basis is essential for replenishing and recharging my energy, which is one of my basics of self-care. However, when you have your own business, it can be easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of it all without giving yourself a break, which can easily leave you functioning on the brink of burnout.
My energy level is the main indicator I use to know if I’m meeting my basic self-care needs. If I’m feeling low energy, I know I need to do something (or stop doing something) so that I can boost my energy. If my energy is high and I’m feeling good, then I know I’m on the right track. So today I’m sharing my 6 non-negotiables when it comes to self-care, which very helpfully spell out the word ENERGY.
My six self-care non-negotiables are Exercise, Nourish Yourself, Eliminate Energy Enemies, Replenish & Recharge, Get Enough Sleep, Your Big Why.
Need to get back to basics for your own self-care? Download my 12 Daily Rituals for more Energy here.
Don't let the "E word" scare you. This is simply moving your body in a way that feels good. I think some people have a phobia of the word exercise because they think this means running miles every day or being kicked around a gym by a personal trainer. And if those things make you feel good, that’s great! But there are plenty of options, for example, a 5-minute dance break, 10 minutes of stretching, 30 minutes of yoga, a 45-minute walk, a 60-minute workout video or exercise class.
Remember, this is all about feeling good! And you could work it into your working day. For example, I started using a shared office space in town so that I get a 20-minute walk twice a day. And it also happens to be near a yoga studio I like, so I’m more likely to get myself to a class.
This is about what you put in your body and includes both food and drink. Drinking plenty of water through your day is essential. I use an app on my mobile called Plant Nanny to log the amount of water I drink (at the same time as keeping a little virtual plant alive.) In terms of food, making the majority of your food fresh, natural, whole foods, is the best way to nourish your body, so that your body and mind gets the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Are there foods, drinks, people, particular activities or work that sap your energy? Those are the things you want to keep to a minimum in your daily life. For example, I recently stopped drinking caffeine on a daily basis because I know it actually gives me less energy, even though it had tricked me into thinking it was actually giving me more. Now I've gone from 3-4 coffees or teas a day to having a nice coffee once a week or so. The difference it’s made to my daily energy is enormous (once I got over the initial withdrawal period of course - it really is addictive.)
Taking time out to replenish your energy and recharge is essential, whether this is taking regular breaks during your working day, having a day or weekend off during the week, or scheduling in longer breaks and holidays throughout the year. Having some time away from your business can mean you come back more focused, energised, and productive. I like to switch off from social media completely during these times too.
Combining these breaks with things that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated is a great idea too. For example, doing a meditation, having a bubble bath, reading a novel, or going on a retreat.
I cannot emphasise enough how important sleep is for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. From allowing your brain to function normally, to regulating your appetite and other bodily functions, to keeping your emotional responses balanced - sleep is just amazing. Most people need 7-9 hours (I’m at the top end of that scale).
If you have something that stops you getting enough sleep, like young babies, insomnia or a medical condition, then just see if you can get a bit more sleep than you're getting now – whether that means taking power naps, creating a bedtime routine that helps you sleep better, having “catch up” days when you can sleep as long as you like.
Connecting with the Big Why behind what you’re doing – in life and business – can help re-energise you. Whether you want to save The World or simply improve your small part of it, it will be the driving force behind everything you do. The thing is, looking after yourself is an essential part of your Big Why because it takes a lot of energy to keep going for long enough to make your contribution. I find that gratitude is one of the key things that connects me to my why – if I feel like I’m flagging, taking a break to think or write about what I’m grateful for can give me an instant lift.
If you would like more energy so you can enjoy life and business a bit more, download my 12 Daily Rituals for more Energy here.
6 Questions to ask yourself when your energy is flagging:
If you feel your energy dip, try asking yourself the following questions to see help you identify the cause so you can take action to top yourself up:
The answer to these questions will help you to work out how to begin getting your energy back on track so that you can keep going and change the world (and/or your world).
What do you do to boost your energy? What are your self-care non-negotiables? I love to read your tips, tricks, ideas and insights, so please share in the comments box below.
I am passionate about women in business achieving success in a way that works for them and making the changes they need to make in order to make that happen. However, though change can be exciting it can also be scary, triggering behaviours that might not make sense to you (procrastination or self-sabotage anyone?). I help entrepreneurial women to navigate change with more clarity, confidence and courage so that these behaviours can be dissolved and they can move forward with ease and flow. If that sounds good, I'd love to hear from you!