Entrepreneurial Wellness is a holistic approach to physical, mental and spiritual well-being for persons who operate or organize a business (typically one they’ve founded). That’s a lot to unpack, but it’s a way for founders to think about wellness – especially with the challenges that can come with being an entrepreneur. After all, wellness for any given entrepreneur looks different from what wellness looks like for someone with a typical 9-5 the way an entrepreneur approaches wellness has to be different.
And here’s one important thing to note: entrepreneurial wellness is important both for the good of the individual and the good of the brand. This is because a healthy entrepreneur is able to be fully present to properly engage in their work. Think of it this way: the entrepreneur is the engine of their brand, and a car without a functioning engine won’t take you anywhere. A functioning entrepreneur is vital for the success of the brand and the business.
How do you identify when it’s time to step back?
We often ignore the signs that it is time to take a step back. Like a car stranded on the side of the road, burnout is what we experience when the daily rigors of work and life become too much for either our bodies or our minds to handle. Like a car, there are nearly always warning signs. The symptoms of burnout can look different from person to person, however, some common signs might include:
- feelings of apathy
- feelings of extreme energy
- memory loss
loss of appetite, or alternately, an increase in appetite.
Being in tune with your body is absolutely key to identifying when it is time to take moments for your wellbeing. Set aside two-five mins in your day to sit and be present in your body while noticing what is (or isn’t) happening within your body. Noticing how you feel emotionally and physically helps create a baseline for yourself.
The truth is that while avoiding burnout altogether might be difficult, it isn’t a moral evil, or a sign of failure either. Instead, give yourself grace when you recognize the signs of burnout. Tend to your wellbeing without assigning blame or guilt. When your body and spirit are looking for rest and comfort, you can avoid a major rundown by paying attention to self. Read on for five tips to give yourself that grace as you practice entrepreneurial wellness.
Five best practices for Entrepreneurial Wellness
- Engage your community. While the current climate of wellness champions self-care, it places the responsibility for wellness solely on the individual. But finding, building, and engaging your community is the best way to practice entrepreneurial wellness. Meet up with friends or fellow entrepreneurs to decompress over lunch. Catch up with others to discuss new and fun interests. Make space for social wellness.
- Set emotional boundaries. Emotional wellness requires you to carve out space for who you are. This can look like verbalizing boundaries with loved ones with regard to your emotional space. Make space for at least one weekly activity that feeds your physical and mental health; like yoga or taking walks.
- Set time boundaries. Yes, your time is valuable. But it isn’t only valuable to your business; it is also valuable for your wellbeing. Entrepreneurial wellness requires that you set time aside outside of your business for yourself. This can look like setting times for breaks during your workday or setting start and end times for your workday. It seems counterintuitive, but time away from your brand is necessary for the prosperity of your brand.
- Identify your core values. Knowing who you are and why that drives you is necessary for your wellness. It is easy to lose sight of the values that are the center of identity. These values are what bolstered you in your entrepreneurial journey and assessing what those are helps keep you on track. Note that your core values can change, so taking time every quarter to identify is recommended.
- Have fun. It sounds simple in theory but sometimes it really is that simple. Have fun with the things you do, the people you talk with and at the places you go. As an entrepreneur, you can take yourself too seriously at times which places a lot of undue pressure on yourself. Have fun with your work and find the joy in the little things.
Your entrepreneurial journey isn’t a cookie-cutter process and it’s definitely what you make of it. Understanding burnout and how to care for yourself during that time of burnout can help you and your brand flourish, and help you overcome any challenges you may be facing. Last takeaway? Take a few minutes after reading this article to listen your body and give yourself a break – you deserve it.