If you made it through the busy holiday season with your body and sanity intact, congratulations are in order. But it takes more than congratulations to keep you healthy! Without a regular self-care routine, your mental and physical health are at risk. Entrepreneurs are prone to negative psychological effects like anxiety, depression, traumatized nervous systems, and more. Food entrepreneurs in particular are at risk of physical health issues! Standing on your feet all day, and consuming unhealthy foods at odd hours while working, can have serious consequences.

It’s easy to neglect yourself when the business is demanding your attention. But with some easy lifestyle adjustments, you can better prioritize yourself. Make 2019 your year of self-care with these 5 tips!

Boundaries

Establishing boundaries is always easier said than done. Employees, customers, and vendors constantly need your attention. Social media notifications and emails come every second. And when you’re always connected to the internet, a portion of your brain is thinking about those nagging red circles.

But no one is going to just give you the time and space you need. You have to create it for yourself! Whether you set rules around phone and e-mail use, block off “me time” in your calendar, or remove yourself from the office, the important thing is to respect the boundaries you set. Rules only work if you follow them!

Practice being present

You’ve had problems in the past, and you’ll have problems in the future. But the only problems you can actually do anything about are right now. Give yourself the gift of letting go! Focusing on the task directly in front of you is a form of mindfulness that can actually help you be more productive. Whether you’re cooking your product or just doing payroll, remove everything else from your brain. What’s coming will come, and what’s happened is over.

Eat right

Food entrepreneurs should pay particular attention to their diet and nutrition during times of stress. We all know how hard it is to eat well during a long production day. And if you’re in a shared kitchen or co-working space? Unhealthy treats abound. Meal prep can help you get those essential nutrients in your diet, and it doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. Simple salads and sandwiches are still a better option than cookie dough or, worse, a skipped meal.

Charge your worth

This HoneyBook article has it right – a surefire way to increase your stress level is to be overworked and underpaid. Though you may not be at the point of paying yourself, ensure that you are charging enough for your product that your time spent producing is worth it. Don’t set yourself up for burnout with a financial model that requires you to work endlessly for free, forever. Financial security is self-care!

Build community

it may sound counterintuitive, but one way to care for yourself is to be part of a community. Interacting with other makers – whether it’s online, on social media, or at a meetup – will help you feel less alone and bring energy to your business. Your local incubator, SBA, or shared kitchen may have programming relevant to you and other makers. It can be hard to drag yourself into the world after hours of cooking, but it’s worth it to make connections!

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