The Truth About Self – Care
So, we all know that work-life balance is B.S. There’s no way, especially as an entrepreneur, where you can give equal weight to both. I’ve also said that the best you can do is to find ways to integrate the two of them into your schedule. Work takes up a lot of time, but give yourself a break if you get a chance to leave the house. Or do laundry. Or take a trip. Or watch TV. Or, you know, sleep.
But, sometimes giving yourself permission comes with guilt. You could be editing photos or emailing vendors instead of watching Netflix, and this is all that goes through your head while you’re doing it. You check your phone nervously during Happy Hour. Or every day during a family vacation. It’s hard to be in the moment when there’s another moment some place else with a looming deadline. Are these your two choices: Feel bad because you’re not taking a break, or feel bad when you are taking a break?
Only if you let it.
Easy to Say
“Oh, well, don’t be so hard on yourself. You DESERVE the time off.” Blah di blah da bling blah, etc. And we’re all confronted with great wonderful advice telling us that we need to walk 10,000 steps a day. Get up two hours earlier (Yeah. Right). Go to the gym. Meditate. So, more guilt over stuff we’re not doing for ourselves (“You’re doing this for yourself!”). Gah.
In terms of actual self-care, here is what has worked for me and other solopreneurs I know:
- Acknowledge what you’re already doing in terms of self-care. Maybe you don’t walk 10,000 steps each day, but you walk to the store and around the store and back. Don’t laugh – Any walking around you do is exercise, and studies show that if you think about that way, it helps more. If you want to pick up another fitness regime try it. If it doesn’t work for you in one way or another, drop it and find something else that does. As event pros, we are often called on to meet our clients where they are in terms of mindset and resources, and we should do the same with ourselves. You are your biggest client. You have to meet yourself where you are right now. If you take an hour to watch Fosse/Verdon or Modern Family, or Us, or whatever, you’re taking the break you need. It doesn’t have to covered in “Ommms” or a thick layer of sweat.
- Acknowledge the work stuff you do, too. You wouldn’t still be in business if you weren’t checking off the boxes. We tend to focus on what’s undone. When you hear yourself doing that, go back and count the checked boxes!
- If you need to do a work thing, schedule it. If you need to do a life thing, schedule it. On the calendar. Tonight is date night because every Friday is date night. Next Wednesday at 8am an alert is going to pop up on my phone that says, “Laundry” because Wednesday is laundry day – it doesn’t matter when I do it, it just needs to get done. If a friend texts me and asks if I want to have dinner next week, I schedule it for a day I know I can go and don’t have 15 pending tasks.
- Don’t ignore real problems. If you are overwhelmed by work, find the help you need to not be overwhelmed any more. If you don’t feel well, figure out what you can do – and actually will do – to feel better. Real problems are not going away until you fix them. And pretty much every situation can be improved or fixed.
So, yes, go easy on yourself. As I’ve said before, you’re doing a lot better than you probably think you are. And, you have all the resources to make things even better than that, if you want. And, of course, if you need any help…you know where to find me.
Have a great weekend,
p.s. – My services bundle deal is back. Two services for $500. Find out how to mix and match here.