When you’re busy building your empire, you don’t have time to worry about self-care, right? Take-away meals, endless late nights, working weekends and an unhealthy attachment to coffee are all part of the hustle.
There’s just one problem – that “all work, no play” thing is a false economy. Because if you’re not feeling your best, says vitality coach Nikki Fogden-Moore, you can’t do your best work.
It’s why plenty of companies have introduced corporate wellness plans for employees – and why Nikki thinks entrepreneurs need one too, even if your business is just you and your laptop.
“If you keep on pushing without a well-balanced mindset and approach to your personal health, stress is going to get in the way of making great decisions,” says Nikki in her new book, Fitpreneur: How To Be the CEO of Your Business and Your Life. “Stressed-out decision making is dangerous – it’s when you don’t think strategically or with initiative, and instead operate on a fight-or-flight mentality.”
Setting up an official corporate wellness plan is an excellent way to ensure you invest in your business’ most important asset: you. Here’s how to get yours off the ground.
1. Keep it simple
Sure, a wellness plan sounds like a fancy perk you probably can’t afford, but it doesn’t have to mean an expensive gym membership and weekly massages. It can be as simple as blocking out 15 minutes in your calendar every day just for you. Nikki suggests using the time for a quick body-weight workout, a yoga session, a walk around the block, or to give a friend a call – and don’t even think about skipping it. It’s only 1 per cent of your day, after all.
2. Design your day
When work is your No.1 focus, it’s easy to let everything else in your life come a distant second. But prioritising your wellbeing and happiness doesn’t mean you’ve lost career motivation. “Being a fitpreneur is not about stopping the passion, drive and love for what you do in business,” explains Nikki. “It’s ensuring you’re able to enjoy the journey.”
“If you keep on pushing without a well-balanced mindset and approach to your personal health, stress is going to get in the way of making great decisions.”
To create balance you need structure, so take some time to design a daily routine that’s tailored to you. Are you naturally a morning or evening person? What food gives you energy? How much sleep do you need to feel refreshed? What activities do you actually enjoy? “A key element of leading yourself and others is inner wisdom and knowing when to relax, listen to your body and get the best out of your day,” Nikki says.
3. Take nano breaks
There are plenty of benefits to a twice-daily, hour-long meditation practice, but we’re guessing you don’t have time for that. Instead, try implementing what Nikki calls “nano breaks” – mini mindful moments that quickly refresh your mind and body. Set alerts on your computer or phone that remind you to pause and step away from your screen, grab a glass of water or simply close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
4. Upgrade your office
An inspiring and comfortable working environment is part of the wellbeing package. If your current “office” is the kitchen bench or a cluttered study, consider levelling up. “Go back to basics and look at how you set your office up,” says Nikki. “How can you be more efficient? What can make it more inspiring? Where is there an element of a personal touch, a sense of energy and vitality, to where and how you work?”
Maybe you’d work better surrounded by other entrepreneurs in a shared office space, or you’d feel more inspired with a Pinterest-worthy desk set-up. You might want to invest in a standing desk if you find you’re chained to your computer, or keep a yoga mat handy for impromptu stretch sessions. Whatever it is, make it happen: you and your business deserve it.
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