In Part 1 of this article, we took a brief glimpse into the Myth of American Entrepreneurship and saw some of the reasons why it’s vitally important for business owners to pursue holistic self-care. In Part 2, I provided a personal story from my own journey that taught me how important being the healthiest version of myself was to the success of my business. You can find these articles here and here.
Today, I’ll equip you with some simple, practical applications for self-care that have been provided by Dr. Jerome D Lubbe, a functional neurologist practicing in Atlanta.
Before we get to the practical applications, it’s important to note what Dr. Lubbe says is the difference between “self-help” and “self-care”. Generally, self-help refers to a short-term solution to seemingly simple problems, and usually adherents are looking for other people to resource them to quickly correct problems. Self-care, on the other hand, needs a lifetime of self-awareness and is understanding that most issues are part of a larger picture. It’s a marathon of steady improvement. It’s important to realize that we can become healthier versions of ourselves, but realistically, we are looking at 3-5% improvement every year, and not a simple 60 day turn around. But if you were told that your business’ health/prosperity would grow 3-5% every year, wouldn’t that be something you wanted to invest in? How much more so should we make this investment in our own health?
6 Simple Ways to Becoming a Healthier You –
- Sleep – According to Dr. Lubbe, 100% of the patients he sees would see a 50% or more improvement of most of their symptoms if they simply got a full night’s rest for a month straight. You should be getting in between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night, and it is preferred that your sleep schedule parallels the sun going down and coming up. It’s much healthier to sleep from 10pm to 530am than it is from midnight to 730am.
- Water – Drinking a healthy amount of water in a day is key to promoting health. Generally, you should be drinking about half your bodyweight in water each day (in ounces). So, if you weigh 180 lbs, you should be drinking at least 90 ounces of water in a day. Alcohol and coffee don’t count.
- Movement – It’s important to maintain regular movement each day. 15 -17,000 steps is ideal, but unfortunately that’s not possible for everyone’s schedule. Dr. Lubbe recommends that you make it a priority to walk at least 1,000 steps per day. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise. Just move.
- Rest – Dr. Lubbe says that “rest is not a time to USE fuel, but to REfuel.” Ideally, we have 30-60 minutes of intentional downtime each day. No phones, no emails. Just rest. If you are unable to find that time in your schedule, try and take periodic 5 minute breaks where you allow your mind to go to a restful place and disconnect from the busyness around you.
- Nutrition – According to Dr. Lubbe, it’s healthy to eat 3 meals a day – with the biggest meal being lunch and the smallest being dinner – while having small, healthy snacks in between to keep your metabolism going. Don’t work through the day and forget to eat. Your mind and your body will be more productive if you provide them with the fuel they need.
- Breathing – Try regulating your breathing. Often when we are on the verge of burnout or exhaustion, our breathing becomes shallow. Try taking intentional breaths to restore balance. Counting helps. Breathe in for 1, breathe out for 2 (or double that). You will be amazed at how simply controlling your breathing can help fight anxiety and restore focus and clarity.
As you can see, most of these practical strategies are common sense, but it takes intentional and consistent practice to implement them. Pick out two of the strategies above, and try implementing them consistently for the next 30 days. See if you notice improvements in your overall physical, mental, and emotional health – and therefore in your effectiveness as a business owner.
Remember, a healthy you = a healthy business.