Self-Care for Business Owners: The-World’s-On-Fire Edition
So it’s been…roughly six years since January 1st, right? As if the past year—oof, the past four years—hasn’t put us through the ringer enough, there has been so much change in less than a month, it feels like we’re living in a whole different world than we were when we gleefully watched Anderson Cooper get drunk on TV and celebrate the end of the dumpster fire that was 2020. (Not just us, right?)
At times like this, it can be hard to focus on business. Seriously. Maybe you’ve batched your content and scheduled your social and delegated as much as you can to your VA, but even if your business hums along beautifully without you…are you taking the time to take care of yourself?
Aftercare is a critical part of any intense interaction, whether it was an emotional conversation, a new tattoo, minor surgery, or some particularly involved role-playing. It’s what we do for ourselves and each other to feel safe, cared for, and able to heal. And it’s something a lot of us forget we need.
We’ve been in a pretty much sustained state of worldwide trauma for nearly a year at this point. It is okay to not be okay. For those of us who are running our own business, it can be extremely difficult to turn off the constant hum of, “You need to work more. You need to work harder. You need to post more frequently and write those emails and schedule that webinar.” And yes, all of that is important brand-building stuff that helps us to sustain ourselves. But it doesn’t matter if you’re doing everything right to sustain your business if you’re burning yourself out in the process.
So to that end, here are a few things we like to do when we find ourselves feeling a little bit, um, tender:
- Take a nap. Sometimes, shutting down for a little is exactly what we need. Sleep, drink some tea, dance it out, let yourself watch something really mindless on TV. It’s okay to just…be.
- Step away. Knowing when it’s worth engaging and when it’s worth preserving your sanity is a critical life skill. Learn it. Use it. Love it. (And remember: internet comment sections are almost never worth the headache.)
- Redirect your energy. Sometimes, there’s so much going on in your life, it’s impossible to step away without finding an outlet for all the pent-up feelings you have. You might use that energy as fuel for a project you really want to finish, or to motivate you to work on something intended to change whatever it is in the world that has you feeling fired up. Maybe it’s an unrelated creative pursuit or a new hobby. Whatever works for you, don’t sit there in your emotions and let them eat away at you forever.
- Build it into your business. This may sound complicated or scary, but acknowledging that your business exists in the real world is actually a good thing. Taking Fridays off as a mental health day is allowed. Skipping that marketing email you were planning on sending out in the middle of, say, an attempted coup is actually a much better move than pretending everything is normal. Now, there’s no reason to shut down shop until the world calms down. There will always be a fire somewhere. But in the middle of a major crisis—personal or historical—it is okay and probably better if you just allow yourself some self-care. We’re building authentic connections here, and not acknowledging the reality of the world around us is unrealistic and inhuman. And that is the last thing any of us wants.
This weekend, we’re looking forward to a heady mélange of sheet masks, art projects, house cleaning, and staring into space until our brains* aren’t on fire. What will you be doing to care for yourself? What will make you more effective as a human and a business owner come Monday morning?
We’d love to hear about your aftercare. Shoot us an email and let us know if you have anything you particularly like—we can always use some more tools in our kit.
*Ha, who are we kidding? We share a brain, despite the 3,000 miles between us!