As a business owner, I know that as well as working in your business, there is also the task of running your business: forward planning, ongoing training, accounting plus, communicating with your clients, suppliers, and staff. There is no 9 to 5, and hours are erratic and long, resulting in your own wellness getting moved to the bottom of the ‘to do list’. We assume that we’ll eventually get around to looking after ourselves when things ‘calm down’. If we want to handle stress better, have the stamina to run our businesses, be clear headed, calm and make good decisions, we need to be well, both mentally and physically.
Here are 10 things you can do right now to improve your wellbeing:
1. Write down your wellness goals
Take 15 minutes over your next cup of coffee and write down how you would like to feel/look and be, both physically and mentally right now. Be honest with yourself and list anything that comes up, from ‘losing weight’ and ‘getting stronger’ to ‘coping with stress’ and ‘increasing your energy levels’. List as much as possible. Just changing one thing a week can affect around 80% of what you put on your list. Our bodies are interconnected and linked, so moving more will affect not only your body, but also your mind and, have a huge affect on a range of markers in your bloods, from blood pressure to blood sugars.
2. Every hour on the hour
Move for 5 mins every hour on the hour. Set your timer and if feasible, move for 5 mins every hour. Your will increase circulation around your body (moving is the best massage) to help any aches and pains from sitting, standing, or doing repetitive movements. Any consistent movement will immediately use stored fat and sugars for energy and following the activity, feel-good hormones will ‘kick-in’. You will also feel more alert and alive!
Squats, push-ups, lunges, jumping jacks, walking up and down a flight of stairs, jogging on the spot, all count as movement. Make it as low impact as you need.
3. Conscious breathing
You can lower your heart rate and sooth your nervous system in 60 seconds with conscious breathing.
Every-time you wait for something: the kettle to boil; standing in a queue; sitting in traffic; waiting on the phone, try conscious breathing. Inhale for 3,4 or 5 breaths and exhale for 3,4 or 5 breaths. Equal inhale and exhale. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the nose or mouth. Feel your body relax. Try it now – set your timer for 1 minute and breath consciously. You will improve focus and energy.
4. One healthy meal a day
Make one meal a day the most nutritious, tasty, and healthy meal that you can. What we eat will affect our guts, our brain, our mood, and our energy levels, for hours afterwards. Choose wholefoods, no added sugar, good fats, a protein source and make this meal colourful and varied.
5. Improve your posture
Improving your posture is so simple and can have life-changing effects. Many small business owners complain of lower back pain, neck, and shoulder pain. Improving your posture can give you a pain free day. With a stronger core and back, you’ll also breath better so you’ll feel better. You need a workout that focuses on your core: this could be online or at a group class or one-on-one with a professional. Choose from yoga or Pilates or a combination of both. Find an online free 30 minute session to do during your lunchtime.
Take mini naps/rests during the day and don’t try to ‘push through’. Instead of stimulants, such as coffee, tea, and sugar to keep your going, just lie down for 5 minutes and close your eyes – give yourself permission for 5 minutes to relax and switch off. If you need a guided experience, find this online – there are lots of free 5 to 15 minute guided relaxations. Your body will love being in this rested state and will reward you with more energy and focus. If you fall asleep within 10 minutes of lying down, then you needed it.
7. Book a session with a professional
Find someone who will help keep you accountable and make sure you are sticking to your wellness goals. This could be a personal trainer or life coach etc. Don’t rely on your own willpower and commitment, make it a professional appointment each week and schedule this like your other sessions. Invest in yourself and make sure your ‘coach’ knows your goals/ambitions/concerns and helps you to stay ‘on track’ and achieve them.
8. Get a morning routine
If your morning is chaotic, this will impact on the rest of your day. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it as much as possible and everything else will slot into place. For example, wake up and take part in a 30 minute online yoga class followed by 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups; drink coffee whilst checking emails and social media; take a warm shower followed by a 10 second cold shower; make your one healthy meal and pack into a lunchbox, eat it or prep for later. Our bodies and minds love routine – make your routine about your wellness. What you do first thing can never be taken away and will set you up for an awesome day.
9. Engage your staff/friends or family in a wellness activity
Try something completely new that is not related to work but is related to wellness and does not involve going to the pub! Book a private yoga session or try a new fitness class.
Try a guided meditation or a ‘wild dip’. Get a nutritionist to visit your workplace and discuss how to improve your snacks, meals and health. Book mini massages for everyone at the office and a stretch session! There are loads of ideas out there and each month you could try something new.
10. Hydrate more and cut back on added sugar
Up your hydration to create more energy, better digestion, improved focus and clarity and better skin. If you are peeing every two hours – that’s perfect!
Know how much added sugar you have in your diet and limit it to 30 grams a day, as recommended by the government. Just keeping this figure in mind will help you make better choices. Check the nutritional panel and stick to 5 grams or less per 100grams.
We now know that wellness is not one thing, it’s many things. As business owners (I work with my husband Jack), we’ve had to adapt, add and take away several things over the last few decades in regard to our diet, fitness, lifestyle and eating regime to ensure that we still have the energy, drive, stamina and resilience to be ‘in business’. We have worked for ourselves for 20 years, across 3 businesses and it’s become a way of life. Looking after ourselves means we can look after others without feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Doing well in business is fantastic, but having both a successful business and good health is definitely possible and should be considered a priority because ‘you are the business’.
For information about Heat Fitness, visit heatfitness.co.uk or contact email@example.com
Read the full TALK edition here: