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A Self-Care Primer for Overwhelmed Entrepreneurs


Succeeding as an entrepreneur doesn't mean devoting every waking moment to your business. One survey showed that most small business owners suffer from anxiety, depression, sleep problems, or low self-esteem.

If you burn the candle at both ends, you'll eventually burn out and be of little worth to your company or anyone else. The following guide from the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce examines ways you can keep self-care in its rightful place.


Find Timesavers for Your Work

You can't add an hour to your day, but you can make more time for yourself with improved efficiency. Don't multitask. Handle one assignment at a time with your entire focus on finishing items expediently. Digital calendars make keeping your appointments and deadlines easier through synchronization across your devices. Link your calendar with other team members to alert them to times when you're unavailable.


Improve communication with your employees and contractors using other cloud-sharing tools. Make notes and suggestions to files by compiling project documents and images into a single PDF. This method can minimize prolonged back-and-forths over email by assembling multiple photos and text in one easy-to-find location. A PDF editor tool lets you highlight, draw, add sticky notes, or add text on top of the layout without altering the original design. And these tools are free and easy to use.


Take Purposeful Breaks

Your mind operates similarly to a muscle and cannot sustain perpetual work. Learn the power of flow state to maximize your mental efforts and take breaks every couple of hours to refresh. Make the intervals intentional so you don't get sidetracked into mindless activities that waste precious time. Your breaks can be a creative indulgence to reinspire you. Try these activities for 15 or 20 minutes:

  • Writing poetry

  • Playing an instrument

  • Taking a nap

  • Dancing

  • Walking


Tie Up Loose Ends

Fight procrastination and complete tasks that make your business official and protect you. Any tax liabilities or legal action against your business can target your personal property if you run everything as a sole proprietor. An LLC in Virginia offers limited liability and pass-through taxation benefits. You maintain the flexibility to change your management or operational structure with less paperwork than a corporation. 


Save on lawyer fees by filing the documents yourself. If the process is overwhelming, a formation service is very reasonable. In fact, ZenBusiness is currently offering to set up your LLC at no additional cost other than required state fees. However you go about forming your entity, ensure you follow the rules for the state you're filing in before proceeding.


Disconnect When Off Work

Don't stay "on" 24/7. When you're socializing with friends or relaxing with family, silence work notifications and be fully engaged with your loved ones. Put devices in a separate room during dinner if necessary. Set your phone to airplane mode or use digital wellness apps to remind you to take a mini digital detox.


Practice Breathing Exercises

Taking a deep breath to calm down is still good advice for dealing with stress and anxiety. Improper breathing interrupts the correct flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body, inducing fatigue, anxiety, and panic. Investigate various breathing techniques to create calm and peace during high-pressure moments.


Drink More Water

When you're dehydrated, you cause immediate discomfort and open the door to longer-term illnesses. Start the day with a glass of water and keep a bottle with your daily intake as a reminder. Buy a fruit infuser to add flavor if you get tired of plain water.


Use Your Time Intentionally

Running a business takes a lot of work, but you don't have to forego self-care in the name of commercial success. Take steps at work to increase efficiency, like changing your business structure and using PDF editing tools. Freeing up some time at work will give you more time to invest back into yourself through activities like breathing exercises, journaling, and purposeful tech breaks. Don’t overlook your self-care practices or you’ll find yourself burnt out quickly.