“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”– John C. Maxwell
Busy entrepreneurs need to take care of themselves to keep up with the demands of running their passion projects, their small business. So we’ll share healthy habit ideas that are easy, fun and don’t take major life changes to implement.
#1. Go Offline!
We are online throughout the day, checking email, checking social media, zoom meetings, checking analytics and doing our day to day work on our desktops/laptops/tablets and phones. So during our off hours, are you taking a break from online media or are you afraid of missing out (FOMO)? Don’t use your free time to connect online or peruse social media, instead log off … spend time with friends and family, have dinner with your family, cook a healthy dinner, read a book, take a walk with a friend or your dog, choose a fun & engaging exercise routine, journal, sit on your porch, journal or just listen to the sounds of nature. Make a goal to spend one hour (after work hours) to take a break from all online media and communications. Be in the moment, be mindful and see your creativity flourish.
#2: Take an Exercise Break
Don’t just walk down for a coffee, snack or for a chat at the water cooler. Take a real break at least twice during the work day. Take a light, brisk walk, get outside, do some stretches, core work, or a fun cardio dance workout. They say sitting is the new smoking so get up and get active. Research shows that staying stationary – whether sitting or standing – for long periods of time, can be bad for your health. Our bodies are built to move and doing so for approximately three minutes every hour helps us feel our best. Once you start moving, you’ll notice: Increased energy A clearer mind Improved mood Higher metabolism Increased blood flow Improved posture. Other great ideas is investing in a walking or standing desk as a way to improve your posture and keep your body in motion throughout the day. Recent Study showed: Participants have reported up to a 32% improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using standing desks. Another study published by the CDC found that use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks.
#3 Get a Good Quantity of Quality Sleep per Night
A good night’s sleep keeps you in a better mood, sharpens memory and focus, and helps you learn new things. In the long term, it lowers your risk of heart disease and helps you keep trim. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours a night. How can you get better quality sleep?
- Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Sleep Hygiene. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and phones from the bedroom.
- Eat well. Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime. It’s a misconception that alcohol aids in sleep. It may help you fall asleep faster but people who drink before bed often experience disruptions later in their sleep cycle as liver enzymes metabolize alcohol.
- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
- Manage stress and anxiety. Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
Benefits of a Consistent Good Nights’ Sleep:
- Get sick less often
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
- Reduce stress and improve your mood
- Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
- Less irritability and impatience
- Make good decisions and avoid injuries — for example, drowsy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year.
#4 Be Mindful
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to the present-moment experience without evaluation, a skill one develops through meditation or other training. It can mean meditating or simply stopping to smell the roses. However you do it, studies show mindfulness slashes stress, relieves pain, and improves your mood. And scientists are beginning to understand how. One study found that 8 weeks of regular meditation can change parts of your brain related to emotions, learning, and memory.
How do you practice mindfulness?
Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body. Sitting meditation. Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap.
Tips to better mindfulness:
- Observe your breathing. Take a few minutes from your day to focus on your breathing.
- Go for a nature walk.
- Take mini breaks throughout the day. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste.
- Create a journal. Keeping a journal can be a great way to reflect on your thoughts and feelings in a completely private and safe way.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- **Here are some Free Meditation Sessions: https://teamofgreats.com/free-meditation-recordings/
#5 Stop Multitasking
Multitasking essentially means that you are trying to perform two or more tasks at the same time. Many people mistakenly believe that multitasking reflects a high level of cognitive ability and think that you should multitask to maintain your brain health. This cannot be farther from the truth. In fact, multitasking can lead to less focus, increase fatigue, especially mental fatigue, feelings of stress and panic, increased blood pressure and heart rate. And can lead to depression and anxiety.
How can it impair brain functionality? What our brains are doing when we multitask is rapidly switching between tasks, which taxes our brain and makes us less efficient. And can affect our long-term ability to focus our attention in general, even when we are not multitasking. And according to the Stanford research, multitaskers are terrible at filtering out irrelevant information. That means that there is sure to be some mental cross-firing and overlap between tasks.
How to avoid multitasking:
- Avoid switching between tasks. Make a list and prioritize your tasks: Urgent, Important, Not Urgent, Not Important, and stick to your list for the day. Don’t overschedule and don’t go to next task until you have finished the first one.
- Block out time for emails, social media and returning calls. These activities can really mess with your focus so schedule these tasks rather than checking all day.
- Declutter your workspace, as clutter can distract your brain.
- Practice mindfulness (see above).
- Delegate non-essential or more monotonous tasks.
- Write in a journal when you have a nagging thought or an idea or something you need to accomplish later, so you can write it down and forget it. Then get back to the task at hand.
- Take a walk away from the desk if you’re having a hard time focusing on one task.
- Background noise or music can keep your overactive brain on task.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise. Physical health is brain health.
- Learn the art of compartmentalization.
#6 Drink Water
What? How does that help stress? When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce extra cortisol, the stress hormone, and under chronic stress, your adrenal glands can become exhausted, and resulting in lower electrolyte levels. Drinking sufficient water can help reduce the negative psychological and physiological impacts of stress. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well — and that can lead to stress.
Benefits of Drinking water includes:
Lubrication of the joints, better digestion of food, delivery of oxygen in your body, boosts health skin and improved beauty, water cushions the brain, spinal cord and sensitive tissues and it regulates body temperature. Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning. Water also can help reduce bloating, weight gain because your digestive system needs water to work properly and it flushed body waste.
Ways to Drink More Water:
- Set a daily goal of at least 95-100 ounces per day.
- Buy a reusable water bottle and keep it with you through the day. I use an insulated one (by Simple Modern) that keeps my water cold all day long.
- Set reminders on your phone to drink every 30 minutes.
- Skip sodas, juices, sports drinks and caffeinated beverages and replace with water.
- Drink one glass of water before your meals. (Your body might mistake hunger for thirst and you’ll feel fuller quicker).
- Flavor your water with cucumbers, fresh fruit, or a squeeze of lime/lemon. You can also add a dash of organic, 100% fruit beverage to your water but don’t exceed a 10% juice/90% water ratio.
- Eat foods high in water: lettuce, celery, cabbage, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon.
Tip #7 – Be Kind to Yourself.
Being unkind to ourselves can have a negative impact on our mental health and wellbeing. And, it’s also been linked with depression and anxiety. And being kind to yourself can boost self-esteem, increase happiness and personal satisfaction, copy with stress and improve our resilience. It can be difficult to change a critical inner-voice. But making the effort to talk to ourselves like a friend can improve our wellbeing.
If you have the habit of being self-critical, you can retrain the way your perspective on your life, the way you view yourself, the way you react to situations (good and bad), and also how you treat others.
Ways to be kind to yourself.
- Change your self-talk. How do you encourage or console a friend? Use that same voice on yourself, change your inner voice to encourage yourself, console yourself when things go wrong, and celebrate your successes, even internally.
- Practice gratitude. Write down 5 things a day your grateful for, focus on the positives, and the blessings your received. Don’t be afraid to write down your talents, skills and hard earned achievements.
- Be kind to others. Show random acts of kindness to friends, family and strangers can boosts our inner calm, wellbeing and brightens someone else’s day. There’s no better way to feel better about yourself when you bring joy to someone else.
- Focus on self care. Eat well, with occasional treats, exercise regularly, get a massage, practice mindfulness, read positive books, take walks outside, and spend time with positive people.
- Invest in me time. Whatever hobby that brings you calm or mindful redirection a hobby worth pursuing and making time for. Whether creative writing, cooking, music, dance, drawing or painting, poetry … do the things you love.
- Reflect daily. Make time every day to give yourself some space to reflect on how you’re feeling. Taking some time to write in a journal can help you process your thoughts and feelings and cope better.
- It’s all about perception. Think of ways to rethink episodes of concern, worry, self-doubt into opportunities to learn, grow and rephrase a problem into a life lesson. Meditate on how you can change the way you react to stressful situations in the future. *The more you retrain your brain to think positively, the more automatic it will become.
“If you want to change your world, you need to start cultivating good habits.”– Mina Tadros
Developing healthy habits as an entrepreneur will not only affect you positively personally, but it will greatly impact your business, your employee’s satisfaction, your productivity, your creativity, your stress levels, and help you become more resilient in dealing with stressful or disappointing circumstances. Being healthy is a state of mind, takes practice and is not easy to start but get’s easier over time. Small daily improvements are the key to long-term staggering results.