As creatives and business owners, one of the biggest mistakes we make is putting ourselves second (or even farther down the list) and not devoting enough attention and time to our wellness and self-care. But the truth is that taking care of yourself regularly will make you a better creative, business owner, colleague, partner, and friend. When we get wrapped up in the busy season or a big project, it’s especially easy to start letting things go. This can look like getting greasy takeout for dinner rather than cooking at home, skipping your cycling class to squeeze in one more hour at the computer, or staying up until 2:00 am to tackle a never-ending to-do list. What’s the first thing you neglect when you are short on time? I know for me it’s sleep. I’m a night person, so when I have a lot of work to do I am tempted to eat something quick (and usually not healthy) for dinner and stay up extra late working. Here are five wellness tips that I personally use to take care of myself throughout the year, especially during the busy summer wedding season:
1. Take the next day completely off.
We’ve all heard of the term “event hangover” to describe the exhausted, can’t-get-off-the-couch feeling the day after an event, even though you haven’t had a drop of alcohol. That’s why you should take the day after the event completely offer. (Or, for those of you like florists that work the day after an event, take the second day off). Spend the day recharging by doing something that relaxes you, such as binge-watching the latest episode of Real Housewives, getting a massage, having your nails done, or going out to dinner at your favorite restaurant. By completely turning off from work the day after the event, you’ll let your mind and body rest. That way, you’ll feel great for the next event and your next clients will get the event-pro you instead of the exhausted version.
2. Get enough sleep.
It is so easy to stay up until midnight or get up at dawn to try to fit in all your work. But eventually, this catches up with you, usually by the end of wedding season if not sooner. So, decide bedtimes and wake-up times and stick to them. With enough sleep, you’ll feel refreshed and ready for the day. You’ll be able to give each event your full attention rather than being groggy and sleep-deprived.
3. Don’t work after work.
Once you are done working for the day, be done. This means no checking your email, no browsing Facebook, no checking out Instagram pics, no replying to work text messages. It can all wait until the next day—nothing after 7:00 pm can’t wait until 8:00 am. So, give your brain a break from work and your eyes a break from the screens.
Since you won’t be working, you can now give your attention to the people and activities you love. By giving yourself this break, you’re creating quality time that you need to survive and thrive at your job. To take this one step further, be sure that your clients know what your business hours are and that if they contact you after business hours, they will need to wait until the next day for a reply.
Find something you like to do that gets you moving. I personally love to be outside—I’m not sure what it is about being in nature, but it always makes me feel refreshed. When I take my dog for a walk in the cool evenings, everything feels so calm in our neighborhood. It’s a peaceful way to end a full workday. During the week, I go to workout classes. I really love classes because I work at home alone and this gets me around other people. Whatever form of exercise you choose, it’s an amazing stress reliever and another opportunity to turn off your brain.