I used to see all these posts being sprouted on the interweb about looking after yourself, self care blah blah blah and wonder why it actually needed to be a topic to talk about at all???
And then I went back to work after having the twins, I started my private practice and I grew TAD and well, I still have 4 kids. Then I started saying we are allergic to QLD because we never got this sick in Canberra and then it started to dawn on me, maybe the 5-6 hours of sleep I got of a night time wasn’t quite enough and the rushing around literally from the time I opened my eyes until the time my head hit the pillow at around midnight-ish wasn’t quite enough for me and that I actually needed to take ownership of my own health and prioritise my own, need I say it, self care.
For each and everyone of you, being a business owner means so many things. Some people have more patients than they know what to do with and not enough time in the day to see them, some dietitians we work with take really long lunch breaks so they can manage their workload better. Some dietitians take home their work at the end of the day, others get it all done during clinic hours. Everyone operates differently and self care is no different. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another but the one thing that is not debatable is that having insight into your own needs is what is going to serve you best. Being able to recognise when we need to step back and allowing space around us to breathe.
Some of my dietitians in our facebook group, BTW you can join here (hyperlink), it’s for any dietitian out there who runs their own gig, shared with me some of the things they do that helps them to prioritise their own sanity so I thought I’d share them with you and add in a few of my own too.
How many times have you heard patients say they need to exercise for their own peace of mind? You are no different. In our busy worlds, what time of the day is going to best suit you to move your body and clear your mind? Exercise looks different to everyone. Do you know what you enjoy? What works with your budget, where you live/work, time constraints, family commitments etc? Exercise doesn’t have to be pounding the pavement all day. It just needs to be something you like and enjoy because if you don’t like it and enjoy what you are doing, you won’t stick to it.
2. LONG HOT SHOWERS WITH THE DOOR LOCKED
The sound of the water blocking everyone and everything out so it’s just you and your mind to plan ahead the day that is to come. I find a long, hot shower better than meditation!
“My self care is putting me first. I always do me first in the morning. Coffee, shower, breakfast. Then I will do the kids.” Mum of two, business owner, dietitian.
3. FUN ACTIVITIES
It might be going to the movie or going on a dinner date or meeting a friend for breakfast (all the fun activities involve food and meal times right when you are a dietitian?) or strolling the markets or hitting up the local shopping mall.
4. ENJOY A NICE MEAL
Like I said, it all comes back to food right? Sometimes sitting at a café people watching and mindfully drinking a hot drink or savouring a delicious sweet can bring back your awareness of where you are in the day/week/life.
When your brain can’t think anymore, what better way to turn it off/slow it down than chilling on the couch and making your way through the latest Netflix series you are getting into?
6. CLEANING / COOKING
There is something to be said about procrasti-baking and procrasti-cleaning. No one can cook or clean like a women trying to avoid work right?
7. SWITCHING OFF
Turning the computer off of an evening and NOT feeling guilty about NOT working 24/7.
8. PRIORITISING SLEEP
Fundamental component to health is sleep. Is it going to bed earlier for you or pushing out your first appointments of a morning so you start late if you are a little slower at rising of a morning?
So from someone who is in the middle of exhaustion/burn out/overworked, I hope you can learn from my mistakes and that you can at least reflect on what your life looks like right now and how you feel about that.
Is your business where you want it to be?
Are you struggling to take it to the next level?
Do you want to work less and earn more money?
Is it more flexible working hours you desire?