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Hey y'all! Yesterday, I spoke with a young entrepreneur who admitted to struggling with stress and thinking about giving up on her dreams because of lack of support from her family. This conversation, caused me to change today's topic to the importance of taking care of YOU. I cannot stress this enough: take care of you and do so FIRST. Understand when I say this; you cannot be your best self for your business or family if you don't first pour into and nurture yourself. There are some things that you have to learn to be selfish about and I can't think of a better reason other than YOU.
The key is to incorporate things that calm and relax you. Meditation, shopping, reading, listening and/or dancing to music, walking or driving, exercising, cooking, spending time with your family or significant other, binge watching tv, bird watching-do something! With the day to day advancement of technology there are apps, ebooks, playlists and podcasts, etc that are available to assist with your de-stress sessions. Also, understand that seeking professional help does not make you weak or less than. It's a resource available to you, sometimes for free and should be used because we all need some help sometimes. Remember to NEVER put more on yourself that you can handle. Take baby steps, pace yourself with work, and take mental breaks as often as necessary-but don't neglect your responsibilities. Both chronic depression and stress lead to other health issues that can turn fatal and the world need you!
Transparency Moment: Two .years into business, I worked every waking moment. Whether it was meeting a client at the local television station, helping them in their establishment, even running their business behind the scenes, on top of managing my own, I was BEAT. It took for me to watch my significant other be admitted to the hospital for a week for bought on by stress for me to understand the importance of work-life balance. In that week, because I was not available in my usual pressed-to-thin capacity, I lost two clients. Don't get me wrong, initially I was upset, but eventually got over it and felt better about that decision. No client will ever be worth your mental health and stability. That situation forced me to take a hard look at my schedule and how I operate my business and frankly, my life. Now, I work five days a week from 11pm-8am, occasionally meeting clients and prospects during the day. However, I am FREE and experience very little stress and I love it.
In terms of support and expecting it from others, STOP IT! You cannot and should not expect for everyone to support you, be in your corner, or be your own personal cheerleader. This includes your spouse, children, parents, business partners, friends, etc. Some people don't, won't, and can't understand your journey. Everyone will not celebrate your successes and can't take this ride with you. Once you grasp this concept, you'll never stress about the levels or lack of support. There's really nothing else to expound on. Don't do it! Join social media groups of like-minded business owners and professionals, read motivational quotes and books, listen to podcasts and Ted Talks, Adopt an "I can, I will, why not me attitude" and you'll be on your way! Don't give up. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Celebrate yourself and successes no matter her small. Whatever you do, don't stop living your dream(s).