8 ways to look after yourself when you are incredibly busy

Quite often, looking after yourself when you have a busy career or are running your own business, can become the lowest priority in your life.

And it’s not easy, I know, to carve time out to look after yourself.  But if you burn out, then who will look after everything then?  Having been burnt out before, I have learned just how important it is to deal with stress, overwhelm and overwork before it strikes.

When you are burnt out, it can be difficult to achieve anything or find the motivation to do anything – even the activities that you believe are so important right now that you can’t find time for anything else.

And it can take months, or even years to fully recover.

So, if you can, find a way to create some space for yourself so that you can stop yourself getting to that point.  Prevention is much better than a cure in this case.

Make a promise to yourself now that you are going to make your own health and wellbeing a priority in your life!

Here are some tips to help you improve your health and help you to reach a new and improved you.

It’s so important that you prioritise your mental and physical health.  If you don’t make it a priority, no-one else will.  Nothing is more important than your health and it’s not until it starts to decline that you really appreciate just how important it is

Here are some of my favourite ways to nurture myself…

  1. Find time to exercise.  It will make you feel much more alive and ready to take on the world.Do something that you can fit into your day easily. Even if it is only 10 minutes 3 times a day or 30 minutes at the beginning or end of the day three times a week.  It can make a big difference.Do something that feels like fun or makes you feel good.  Go for a walk and get some fresh air, join a Zumba class, play a game of tennis with a friend. I recently started doing Body Groove which is freeform dancing (another way of saying I dance like an idiot in my living room), but it is so much fun, it doesn’t feel like exercise but it leaves me feeling energized and sweaty.  Just find something that works for you.
  2. Eat what feels right for you.  Listen to your body and ask yourself what it is craving.  What makes it feel good and what doesn’t.  What do you feel like eating? And then really enjoy it when you do.
  3. Make sure you take in lots of water. When I first started out working for myself, my tea consumption increased to 13 cups a day and that was all before 6 o’clock! Now I mix it up with lots of different herbal teas and soda water (ala my SodaStream, best investment ever!).  Water will keep you going and keep your brain fresh.
  4. Get together with a friend and treat yourselves.  Every few months I get together with a friend for a posh breakfast at the Shard.  It feels luxurious and it is always good to get together, have a good natter and a laugh together.   It feels indulgent and fun.
  5. Try some alternative therapy practices.  I worked with an EFT coach for 18 months to help me overcome a lot of the negative self-chatter that was stopping me from moving forward (see the burnout piece above) and it was truly life-changing.  It not only helped me finally get out of the funk that I was in, but it also helped me to recognise my own value and change direction in my business.  It was so powerful I have become an EFT practitioner myself!
  6. Treat yourself to a massage or manicure or whatever treat feels wonderful for you.  Even if it’s just once a month.   Take some time out for yourself.  Find a local therapist that you like and book yourself your favourite treatment today.
  7.  Take yourself out into nature if you can – on your own without headphones in or talking to anyone.  Breathe in the fresh air, smell the flowers, work your body.  Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, going for a walk in the woods always makes me feel much better.
  8. Give yourself some quiet time. Women tend to have a lot of additional pressures in their life, kids, partners, friends, community, family, hobbies (we can live in hope!) and often just finding a bit of space to ourselves can feel impossible.  Create some boundaries in your life where you give yourself a bit of ‘me’ time.  Have a bath, read a book, try to find at least 20 minutes that is just for you.

It can feel impossible at first to find the time to look after yourself and I know it can feel really cliched, but it really is so important that you do.  Figure out what really makes you feel happy and relaxed and schedule it in.

I figured out very late on in my business was that I needed to find the time to do this for myself and wish that I had done it sooner.   I would put health goals on my annual goal list but didn’t really commit until my body forced me to pay attention.

So please don’t make the mistake that I made and decide that you are going to prioritise your health now.

Julie Hall

Business Mentor & founder of Women Unlimited

Julie is the founder of Women Unlimited and a business mentor to women who know they are ready to step into their leadership. She works closely with them to help them remove the blocks that hold them back and achieve their business goals. Clarity, Focus, Strategy, Mindset and Marketing.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.

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