Off the back of RUOK Day last month I’ve seen a lot of other biz owners opening up about looking after their mental health, and I have to say it’s so positive that we’re having open and honest conversations about this! Personally, I am a big advocate for self-care and balance, so I wanted to share my own take on how I maintain a healthy and happy outlook in my business - yes, even with little ones by my side! Is it easy? No way. But is it possible? Definitely! 

But before you read any further, there’s one really important mindset shift you need to make. In order for self-care to work its magic, you need to make it a priority, and that means getting rid of the guilt we can sometimes feel when we take time out for ourselves.

Here’s why:

Not looking after yourself is a disservice to the people you care about.

It’s true what they say; you simply cannot pour from an empty cup. When you put yourself last, you can’t give 100% to your kids, family, friends or clients - and that’s why you should never, ever, ever feel bad about putting yourself first.

So! Now that’s sorted, these are my tips for maintaining a healthy and happy approach to your biz. They’re not going to change your life overnight (nothing will!) but practicing these steps and getting better at them over time has made a huge impact for me. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Move your body

You don’t need to run a marathon or join a Zumba class, but simply going for a walk around the block or doing some yoga in the backyard can really boost your mood. Each morning after Eddie is at Pre-Kindy, I try to go for a walk with Isla and listen to a podcast to get focused for the day. She doesn’t always love the pram, so sometimes baby-wearing works better! There’s no perfect way to exercise, but find something that works for you and try to slot it into your daily routine.

Make “me time” a priority

We all talk about how important ‘me time’ is, but how often do you really get to have it? Be honest! To really get the benefits of having time to yourself, try to find a way to make it part of your weekly routine  - even if it’s only 30 minutes! 

My tip is to find one small thing that you really love, maybe listening to a certain album, drinking your favourite type of tea or taking a luxurious bath (for me it’s podcasts and painting time) and find a spot in your week where you can carve out that time to spend on you. Then (and here’s the important part) you need to make it a priority just like everything else in your calendar - don’t flake on yourself!

Avoid the Comparison Trap 

I know it’s so easy to compare yourself to others (especially when scrolling through social media) but, I really avoid ever comparing myself or my business journey to others. Why? Because I really don’t know someone else’s whole story. There aren’t many business owners who are sharing all of their struggles, usually we only get to see their highlight reel. 

You also don’t know what that person’s life is like compared to yours, they might not be juggling their business with kids or they might have started working on it 10 years before you did! Cut yourself some slack and just focus on improving yourself each day.

Limit social media time

On that note, I try to limit screen time and time spent on social media as much as I can. Don’t get me wrong, social media contributes so much to my business, and I do love it, but everything is best in moderation. 

When I am using social media, I use my time wisely and focus on the activities that are going to have a positive benefit on me, like connecting with other biz owners and interacting with friends. The rest I simply try to ignore!

Tip: In Instagram, go to your Settings and view Your Activity - this tells you how much time you are spending on the app each day! It’s a little scary at first, but good to be conscious of. You can even set a limit that will warn you if you’ve spent a certain amount of time on Instagram in one day. Try it!

Know that we all have seasons in life

No one’s life is 100% perfect, 100% of the time - including yours and mine! There will always be phases that we need to go through. Having clear goals about where you want to be in the future really helps get through these ups and downs. This way if you are going through a challenging period in your business, you can ask yourself “is this struggle going to help me reach my goals?”. If the answer is no, something might need to change, but if it’s a yes, you can find the motivation to push through it.

There is NO rush

How often do you rush to get something done when there isn’t even a real deadline in place? We’ve all done it, but one of my biggest mantras these days is simply remembering there is no rush. We don’t need to get everything done right this second. Everything will still be there next week or next month.

If you’re like me, you might sometimes feel like you need to get through your whole to-do list before you can relax, but do you know what the problem with that is? There’s no such thing as an empty to-do list! There will always be something new to do each day, so the best thing we can do is embrace it just focus on getting through what truly needs to be done and when.

One tip that can help is using a calendar or planner to record your to-dos against a certain date, rather than just looking at all of them in a big list - which is so overwhelming! Instead, plan out what you need to get done on each day, and just focus on one day at a time. We use Asana in our business, and it works great for this!

We can DO IT ALL. Just not ALL AT ONCE

This is another mindset shift that has been so beneficial for me. It’s easy to feel pressure to be doing so many things; getting involved at kindy or school, business commitments, social events, spending time with your partner - the list goes on… And there’s nothing stopping you from being amazing in all these areas of your life, but it’s not always realistic to do everything all at the same time.

Think about whether you can structure your business differently so it’s possible to take time off and spend more time with your family during school holidays, make a date night once a fortnight with your partner or have a day of the week where you grab a morning coffee with friends. Blocking out your days to focus on one thing at a time can work wonders.

Outsource everything!

Okay, maybe not absolutely everything, but you can outsource both in your business and at home. My tip is to write down three things in your business that you either don’t like doing, aren’t your strengths or take too much time and look at hiring a Virtual Assistant or outsourcing to a professional who can help take over these for you. Then do the same thing with home tasks! This one is usually easier to think of things you don’t enjoy… Ironing? No thanks!

So it turns out I have a lot of tips to share here! If you give any of them a try, please keep me updated on how they’ve worked for you, I’d love to know. 

Happy self-caring!

Cass Deller