The benefits of a well-cared for you to your business – and all other aspects of your life – are pretty obvious. Having accompanied my wife in her business for 6 years, I know firsthand some of the challenges and opportunities that can accompany success. Especially in the last quarter, this can be the one of the most stressful times of the year for women in home businesses.
It’s not just the business, of course. Life itself just seems to get more hectic and chaotic in the latter part of the year.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and the entire Holiday season exude joy, togetherness and fond memories in the process of becoming. For too many women, it’s not a time they look forward to anymore. Yes, they love to be with their families and enjoy the meaning of the season. NULL They just find themselves burned out and stressed with all that has to be taken care of: Preparations, events, activities, housekeeping, errands, shows, meetings, etc. And, that’s just the things you have to do. You want to have time for the things you want to do also – and be in a good space so you actually get to enjoy them. Have you ever been somewhere and have so much on your mind you weren’t able to enjoy being in the moment? It’s not a good feeling. You know how precious time with your loved ones is and that you want to be fully present and savor each moment.
I ask my coaching clients a question that usually gets a groan in response: When was the last time you soaked in a hot bubble-bath?
Who has the time for that? Women are simply amazing. They are natural multi-taskers and care-givers. They are capable of doing so much concurrently and give so much to others. Guess who they tend to neglect the most? Yep, you know it – themselves. I frequently remind my wife to take a break and do something for herself. It’s not that she needs me to state the obvious. Like most all the amazing women I have met in this profession, she is intelligent, capable, motivated, empowered and dedicated. She just gets engaged with what she is doing and keeps going and going. How well do you take care of yourself? This really is fundamental. When you look at all the things that you have to do – what is the common factor? You!
If time is your most precious commodity, YOU are your most precious asset.
If you’re spread too thin taking care of everything now, what happens if you get sick? Scary thought isn’t it? Okay, so now, on top of everything else you have to get done, you have to work in time to take care of yourself. Your first thought might be “How can I afford to do that?” My question back would be “How can you afford not to?”
Let’s remember something important: WHY you’re doing all that you do. It’s not to put yourself into an early grave, is it?
One of my coaching clients said that she feels guilty taking time out to do things for herself. I asked her how she was best able to contribute to her family – being stressed or being relaxed? The answer is obvious. Thus, taking care of yourself is one of the most loving things you can do for those you love. The benefits of a well-cared for you to your business – and all other aspects of your life – are pretty obvious. Now we have clarified the importance of taking care of yourself and how it is one of the best things you can do for your family, your business, we’re back where we started – in the busy season. How do you find time to take care of yourself when there is so much extra to be done?
First off, make yourself a priority.
Know that you are going to get everything done that needs to be done. Why put yourself on the back-end of the priority list? Remember also that caring for you doesn’t have to be large chunks of time. Look for the opportunities. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of your day in quiet and solitude to collect your thoughts. Take breaks periodically to do something that you love to do. Listen to a piece of music or check in with a friend, whatever helps you to relax.
Let others help you remember to take those breaks.
Your spouse and your children can be great accountability partners. They’ll remind you that you promised to spend some time with them at a certain time. Know also that you are not alone. Who do you have in your life that could help you have a little ‘you’ time? Or watch the kids to free you up to focus on a specific task? Gaining support can be as simple as asking. My wife, in addition to the qualities I mentioned earlier, is highly independent. Frequently, she just digs into what is in front of her to be done and gets busy. I remind her that I am available to assist her with anything that she needs. She knows it – and appreciates it. If she does not take advantage of my availability, it isn’t because she doesn’t want it, it’s simply her work style is to dig in and do. What opportunities do you have to get more support? Do you have support available to you that you are not taking advantage of? There is only a finite amount of time in each day and there is only one of you.
Make sure that your schedule reflects YOU as your top priority.
Find time to care for you, to recharge yourself and nourish your soul. Give lovingly to yourself so you are fully equipped to do the same for those you love.
Because you deserve it.
Mark Semple CCC