One of the benefits to owning your own business is running it on your own time. Of course, the harder you work, the more successful you’ll be. But sometimes the lifestyle of a business owner or entrepreneur can take a big toll on your health. It’s not easy finding time to plan healthy meals or exercise regularly after long days of work. If living healthy isn’t high on your priority list, you may find yourself caught in a brutal cycle of poor habits and lack of regular physical activity that will eventually lead to fatigue and deteriorating health. Especially for small business owners, a healthy lifestyle should be a priority. As a result, your overall mood, energy levels, productivity, and happiness will improve.
Here are three strategies to help build and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Be an early riser
There have been several studies that correlate waking up early with success. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that people who wake up early tend to be more proactive and more likely to anticipate problems and find solutions more efficiently. The quiet morning time can be a good time to organize your work schedule for the day, week, or even month. Goal-setting and planning is essential for a successful business. Of course, it can be difficult waking up early when you aren’t in bed until 1 AM. Give yourself a bedtime and enforce it upon yourself. Going to sleep at 1 AM and waking up at 9 AM is very different than going to sleep at 10 PM and waking up at 6 AM. Although the amount of sleep is the same, sleep experts say that going to bed earlier and waking up earlier helps your body be more in tune with the earth’s circadian rhythms, offering more restorative sleep. Another advantage to waking up early is having the time to exercise before the work day begins.
Be physically active
Exercising on a daily basis will boost your mood and energy levels for a more productive work day. This doesn’t necessarily require you to go to the gym at 5 AM to pump hardcore iron for two hours. Daily exercise can be as simple as a 5 minute stroll around the office every hour or instead of driving to lunch, walk or ride a bike there. Physical training provides benchmarks to hit on a regular basis and creates a backbone in your everyday life. It’s something to fall back on if everything seems to be spiraling out of control – which all business owners experience at least once in their lifetime. Daily activity keeps you physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
Be a stress manager
It may be close to impossible to be stress-free all the time, but maintaining a healthy balance is the key. Stress can be a gateway to problems of fatigue, depression and anxiety. If you aren’t able to manage your stress levels, you could travel down a very devastating path. For some, the stress is chronic and persistent. For others, it fluctuates depending on situations. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are more susceptible to chronic persistent stress because of their dedication to their work and the demands of the business. When you are feeling overwhelmed by your work load, take a moment to understand the problem. Don’t try to ignore or repress your feelings. Instead, take a couple deep breaths and try to relax yourself. Think about the things that need to be done and visualize the outcome. Incorporating any form of meditation, deep breathing, conscious breathing, or sound therapy throughout your day as a daily practice is a great benefit to dampening the stress response.
Habits don’t become habits after one time. You have to keep practicing and training your body and mind to incorporate these lifestyle tips. There are many things that a small business owner can do to better their everyday life, but these strategies are a great starting point to a healthy living.