Being in business isn’t easy. In fact, most of the time it’s hard and can be a lonely place, particularly in start-ups and small businesses. It requires heaps of attention and dedication to keep things ticking over, and even more hard work to make the business a true success.

Many business owners struggle to find a balance between working on their business and working on themselves. But, as the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

If you want your business to be the best it can be you also need to be the healthiest version of yourself. Otherwise you’re likely to experience stress, depression, anxiety or burnout – which not only affects your overall happiness but also affects the success of your business.

So here are some tips for business owners to stay physically and mentally fit during business life…

  1. Schedule non-negotiable ‘you’ time
    This is time out of your day to do something purely for you. We’re all so busy juggling tasks and to-do lists we can often forget to make time for ourselves. Whether it’s exercising, meditating, having a coffee in peace, reading a book – anything that puts you in a positive state.

    Experts recommend ‘you-time’ is best done first thing in the morning as it can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try going to bed earlier and waking up earlier so that there’s still time for everything else that needs to be done in the day.

  2. Eat healthy
    The food you consume has a direct effect on your mind and body. Aim to nourish yourself with plenty of water and nutrient-dense foods so that your brain can function optimally. Opt for healthy fats and protein and stay away from carb-heavy lunches to avoid the afternoon slump. Additionally, planning your meals means you don’t end up reaching for unhealthy convenience foods that have negative long-term affects.
  1. Get outdoors
    Whether it’s a hike in nature or a quick stroll around the block, going for a walk is a great way to break up the day and get out of your head. Many of us spend most of our day sat at a desk. If hitting the gym is too much, walking regularly can get the blood pumping, burn a few calories and boost productivity.
  1. Go on a social media detox
    While social media has made it possible for many businesses to operate, excessive use can be toxic. Too much social media scrolling is unproductive and can also cause negative effects such as anxiety and depression. Instead, try going on a digital detox by allocating certain times of the day to check your feeds and unfollow accounts that cause you to self-sabotage or compare yourself.
  1. Human interaction
    If you run a business from home, you may find that the only human interaction in your day consists of your family or the postman. It can get lonely being at home all day and it’s not healthy to be on your own for long periods of time.

    Try to get out every now and then. Either by catching up with clients, attending a networking event or working from a different environment such as a co-working space or coffee-shop. It’s a great way to boost creativity and make you feel, well, more human.

  2. Sleep more
    Sleep is often classed as a luxury when you run a business and business owners with a ‘hustle’ mentality will strive to work as many hours as possible to make their business a success. While drive and ambition is healthy, severe lack of sleep is not.

    Sufficient sleep is crucial for business owners to function at their best and feel energised. It’s very common for lack of sleep and depression to come hand-in-hand. We’re essentially giant batteries that need to re-charge to re-focus so aim to get 7 hours of quality sleep a night.

  3. Manage stress levels
    This is easier said than done when you run a business but it’s vital you try to manage stress effectively so that you can perform your best within the business. Stress is the biggest cause of all disease.

    Ask yourself, is this really worth me being stressed about? Additionally, do what you can to make life easier for yourself: outsource what you can, manage your time better, take rests when needed. There’s plenty of apps like Calm and Headspace that can help you relax and reduce stress levels.

    While somethings in business need urgent attention and warrant a reason to be stressed, many of us sweat the small stuff. Instead, aim to have more of a relaxed and positive outlook on life. Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t spend your days worrying about what might be. Being in business has its fair share of pressure but try not to take life too seriously. Everything can be figured-out and positivity breeds positivity.