Sustainable Entrepreneurship MeansTaking Care of Your Health of Mind and Body
If you’ve never had the bread roll, the chicken rice, the instant noodle diet or similar, you’re not a real entrepreneur.
Bad joke, kind of.
As an entrepreneur, your health and wellness of mind and soul have priority in your life. I’d like to address (stress) the importance of health and wealth as an entrepreneur, and I’ll do so by sharing a personal story that is the typical scene for any entrepreneur:
I start and end my day staring at the computer screen.
What I do in between:
A lot of calling, a lot of building online and offline relationships with potential clients. Some technical-related work on my website, and any work related to existing clients through managing their projects, research, revising and optimizing strategy and results.
What you see:
A 23-year-old Asian female, juggling what seems to be like an impossible list of task.
Some moments you don’t see:
- The moments where I’m dressed in my yoga or sports attire, lying on the couch and being a complete waste of space.
- The “driving to the supermarket to get ice cream” scene, asking myself why I feel so unhealthy and lethargic all the time.
- The obsessive research I do on the App store for meditation or therapy apps.
- The binge-eating moments.
For a part of my entrepreneurial life, I’ve neglected my health and wellness, thinking I needed to spend all my waking hours on work. I regretted it. Majorly.
I never spoke about these moments, and chucked it aside thinking it was unimportant and humiliating to have experienced.
Just like every other entrepreneur, we have our private moments we don’t share. These dark secrets you never hear, and therefore feel alone when you experience it as an entrepreneur.
You’re not alone, but you need to get back on your feet and start placing priority on your health and wellness. You have the personal responsibility to take care of yourself first. Putting the oxygen mask on yourself first to help others. Self-care is never selfish.
You need to catch yourself when you’re sinking into a depressive state.
You need to force yourself to get out there and spend quality time with yourself. It’s not selfish to commit to self-love.
Don’t wait until you’re falling at the seams before doing something about your health of mind and body.
Your health and wellness is incredibly important. Here’s how you can start:
- Find and speak to a therapist on RingMD when you’re crying alone in the cubicle or alone at home, and need someone to talk to. Use the Headspace app for meditation — five minutes will help so much. Join yoga classes, learn a new sport or instrument.
- Rest when you need to. If power naps don’t work, try sleeping early a couple days a week. You don’t need stay up late every single night to prove anything.
- Start choosing a healthier lifestyle. The occasional bread-and-peanut-butter diet is forgivable. Health — food and fitness — is incredibly important and helps sharpen your focus, reduce lethargy, be less impatient with people, i.e., be a nicer person.
- Alcohol is never the solution. Cigarettes are never the solution. Fads are never the solution. Ridiculous fads — juice cleansing, expensive yoga retreats, waking before 4 am — anything that you know is not going to be a sustainable change is not okay. Pick realistic goals. If you have nothing but a slice of plain white bread for lunch one day, then go for it. But don’t make that something you do every day.
- Wellness — yoga, reading, watching a movie, speaking to a therapist on RingMD, or just going to get a pedicure — is a form of self-love and self-care. You don’t have to go “100%, all in on your startup” by sacrificing much-needed personal moments. It’s all about balancing your priorities so that you won’t experience a burn-out, bouts of depression, or both.
Having consistency in health and wellness is key. You can’t expect to live healthy for a week and expect to lose weight, never gaining them back if you should return to you old lifestyle. Successful entrepreneurs also work hard to embrace healthy living. They don’t work long hours just to prove their “entrepreneur” status.
They work smart. They do their best to eat healthy, and put the oxygen mask of themselves so they can produce better work. You should, too.
Cherie Tan (@cherietanjy) helps entrepreneurs build better online businesses. She is also an advocate for more accessible, quality education around the world. In 2017, Cherie spoke about Education Technology (#edtech) implementation at Frontiers and Innovations in Technology, Manila.