World Health Day (7th April) is focusing on universal health coverage. The day is a chance to celebrate health and remind world leaders that everyone should be able to access the health care they need, when and where they need it. Advocacy events are being held around the world to fuel the momentum of the #HealthForAll movement and to highlight the World Health Organisations (WHO) goal of achieving a fairer, healthier world. You can find out all about the work the fantastic work the WHO do here.
On World Health Day it’s also a timely reminder to start up and small business owners that keeping healthy is an essential part of success.
Unfortunately, when you’re setting up a business the pressure to succeed can lead to exhaustion, or even burn out while you are in the throes of running your small business.
But taking a few simple steps to get back in control of your mental and physical health and wellbeing when you’re starting a business will help you reframe your goals.
Start by taking a look at how you sleep. Bad habits are easy to get into, but resetting your sleep routine will bring a host of benefits. Remind yourself of the golden rules for good sleep: get a minimum of seven hours, avoid heavy meals before bedtime, make your bedroom a calming space and don’t forget to banish your phone!
The next step to improve your wellbeing will be painful for most of us…switching off your phone once you’ve finished your day’s work. While the ‘always on’ culture seems to have crept into UK business, a separation between your professional and personal lives is far more beneficial.
To demarcate between work and leisure, you do need to carve out time for yourself. Get it in the diary like you would any other appointment. The important thing is to get in the flow of something you enjoy, whether it’s binge-watching a tv series, walking or meeting up with friends.
It’s exercise that works for me. Since starting 40 health and fitness related challenges to achieve during my 40th year, I have truly enjoyed the slow but incremental improvement in my fitness and overall wellbeing. I won’t lie…the first run was challenging! But now I’m running most days and haven’t looked back, apart from a minor injury set back in February!
Experiment with something you enjoy, be it swimming, yoga or an exercise class. Or try a fresh approach to your existing regime – a new running route or an exercise buddy to keep you motivated.
The key is small, steady progress so that you can look back and be proud of what you’ve achieved. If I can do it, anyone can!
A healthy diet is a must and a part i find the toughest. Don’t make it a punishment regime – start with making some simple healthy swaps, so swap white bread for wholemeal, butter for olive oil margarine and crisps for popcorn. It doesn’t have to be painful! You can also get more inspiration on the NHS healthy swaps page.
Once you’ve mastered the art of self-care, you should find that your mindset is refreshed and the concept of small, steady steps and achievable goals translates into your professional life.
Hold on to the idea as you take a fresh look at your business goals. Instead of huge ambitions to achieve in unattainable timeframes, try breaking them down into stages.
It makes sense that success follows success, so enjoy your new lifestyle of nurturing every aspect of your life – mind, body, soul…and business!