Life as we know it has become –– different, hasn’t it? Yep, we’re talking about the widespread impact of COVID-19. It seems as though everyone’s normal routine has been swept up in a tornado and we’re all doing our best to organize the pieces, but boy does it take a toll.
Many entrepreneurs already embrace the WFH (a.k.a., work from home) lifestyle, so that may be less of an adjustment for some. Yet, many of us are now dealing with new challenges (because as entrepreneurs, we didn’t have enough to figure out).
These challenges may include spouses in our home office space, babies who need full-time care, and/or children who need homeschooling, or to the contrary, the stress of isolation can cause a full-body shutdown.
Regardless of your scenario, the stress and anxiety of financial planning and adjusting strategic plans is overwhelming. As a result, it can seem impossible to focus on business growth with your hands tied behind your back.
To cope with downtime, we often find ourselves reaching for what is advertised as “self-care” products and services. We may end up searching for anything that claims to hit that refresh button on our mental health (e.g., those glam facemasks, meditation apps, and at-home workouts).
These certainly help and force you to carve out “me time,” which is a good thing since our hobbies and free time are usually work-related projects. Yet, overall, why is it that a warm bath causes a lingering sense of overwhelm, and the Zumba videos do absolutely nothing but make you feel like a bad dancer?
Because entrepreneurs are wired differently
We thrive by using our brains to solve problems, building our business around our passions in life, and the yearning to create is woven into our DNA. Utilizing these skills, in a way, is our self-care. It’s what makes us feel more like us. We thrive on deadlines and client collaboration, which, for some of us, simply doesn’t exist right now. This global pandemic has robbed us of our ability to activate our businesses in the ways we had planned. Reality check –– it is mentally troubling to us.
The recurring message by which to solve this stress is to focus on self-care. But first, you need to be self-aware of what you truly need to find balance. Only then, can you identify what you need to achieve meaningful self-care habits.
For starters, consider these questions as prompts to discover what’s missing.
Which areas of my business bring me the most happiness?
Prioritize accordingly and work on the elements of your business that inspire you to get you out of bed in the morning. Client projects may not be active, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t countless ways to grow your business right now.
Build the social media presence you’ve dreamed of. Revamp pitch decks and other marketing materials. Connect with competitors, partners, and make plans for the future, or even for right now. Consider the positive things you can do to embrace this time in your life.
How can I embrace creativity outside of my business?
We all have a creative side that yearns to be unleashed. Whether it’s artistic or developing creative solutions to problems, we need to fulfill that desire. This is where dedicating time for hobbies, cooking meals you’d never tackle before, finishing home renovation projects, and getting crafty with your kids can contribute to your mental well-being.
Do I need to contribute to something bigger to feel fulfilled?
Even if you operate outside of the non-profit space, as a business owner, you contribute to a bigger picture. You may not even realize it, but that larger picture means a lot to you. Countless volunteer options can help you employ the skills that others don’t have, even if it’s not an obvious alignment.
For example, event planners are helping pop-up organizations get organized, people of all skills are virtually reading books to children, and musical talent can be broadcasted to bring smiles to faces. You don’t have to physically create masks for hospital workers or donate funds to contribute and make a difference in the world.
How much time do I need to spend on my business daily to feel accomplished?
Some days it can feel like you give 10 minutes to your business, 10 minutes to social media, 15 minutes to distractions at home –– and repeat. The result? You feel like you’ve accomplished nothing.
Realistically, you may not be able to give your business eight hours a day right now. So, what is the number of hours that will make you feel accomplished given other commitments you cannot influence? Carve out that amount of focus time and get it done. Setting realistic expectations for yourself is key to feeling good about the work you’re doing.
How do I stay motivated?
After all is said and done, none of these tips are helpful if you are not motivated. Podcasts, books, checking in with other business owners, and consulting a business coach are great ways to get that fire back. The possibilities are endless to discovering what motivates you to keep going. You simply have to be open to making small habits a part of your daily life.
Self-care is more than a buzzword
The answers to your breakthrough rests in creating your opportunities amid this socially distant reality. Making our own path sounds familiar, right? If there’s anyone who can figure this out –– we can.
Self-care shouldn’t be merely a buzzword. Instead, it’s a holistic approach based on all of the things in your life that make you happy and fulfilled. It takes work to identify these for yourself, but when you do, you can wake up daily knowing that you’re killing. it.
As Founder and Senior Managing Partner of East of Ellie, an events co., Emily Chalk Battaglia spearheads the creative direction for all agency events. For the last 10 years, Emily has worked alongside her legendary clients to brainstorm new ideas and set the direction and tone for innovative event themes and concepts focused on the guest experience. East of Ellie’s clients include Shiseido Americas, bareMinerals, Adobe, and more. Emily and her team were awarded the 2019 Gold Stevie Award for Women Run Workplace of the Year – 10 or Less Employees.
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