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“Self-care” might be a newly-coined term that’s associated with the influx of Insta-celebrities relaxing at spas and chilling by the beach in Bali with hashtags such as “#MeTime”, but the concept is something we should all care about, especially founders.
Simply put, self-care is any activity you do to take care of your mental and physical health. Luckily for busy founders, this does not necessarily mean spending weeks at yoga retreats or jetting off to exotic places and leaving your startup to take care of itself. As a founder, you definitely deal with a whole lot of stress. And while a little bit of pressure is good as it motivates you to get things done, too much could be debilitating. Not only could stress cloud your judgement, but it also could lead to physical health problems such as chest pain, fatigue, heart disease, and diabetes. Self-care helps reduce your stress levels and empowers you to better deal with the crises that always arise within a startup. Following our simple guide starts with the fact that you’re reading this article. Good job so far!
1. Drink Enough Water
If you’re actively running around tying loose ends at your company, meeting clients, and attending conferences, chances are you’re dehydrated. There are so many health reasons why you should drink enough water every day, but a major reason for founders is that staying dehydrated prevents headaches and reduces fatigue. The good news is that you don’t even need to remember to drink water nowadays as technology can do that for you. From apps such as WaterMinder that sends you reminders and tracks your water intake to bottles like Hidrate Spark that glows to remind you to take a much-needed sip.
As scary this word sounds to some people, exercising doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym or doing fitness classes that leave you sore for days. A morning jog or taking up a sport like tennis can help boost your mood and reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Worth the 30 minutes, don’t you think?
3. Don’t have 30 minutes? Go for a short walk
Walking is a reasonable alternative if you don’t want to join a gym or a sports club but still want to keep your body moving. It’s not too physically demanding, but it works out many muscles that would grow weaker if you sit on your desk all day. Plus, you can easily fit a 10-minute walk into your daily schedule. Make your coffee run a little longer, or walk home from the office and reflect on your day.
4. Meditate for 10 minutes
If you’ve watched the new Netflix docuseries, The Mind Explained, then you know that meditation is scientifically proven to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety. If you’ve watched the show then you definitely have enough time to meditate for 10 minutes a day. There are several apps such as Calm and Headspace that teach you how to meditate and block the outside world for just a few minutes.
5. Get enough sleep
As a venture debt provider, we see a lot of founders wearing so many hats in their companies as they try to get their businesses through the initial hump. Doing a 10-person job can sometimes mean working as hard (and as long) as 10 people. But these all-nighters they pull come at a price. An adult should get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Less than that and your sleep deprivation could reduce your decision-making ability, cause memory issues, and affect your concentration. If you absolutely have to stay up late, try taking 10 to 15-minute naps during the day. This trick works for so many employees in Japan.
6. Build a routine
Our bodies love having a routine. Since humans are creatures of habit, you should establish an easy-to-follow routine and do it every day. Maybe take a few minutes to put on your night cream before going to bed or have a quiet morning coffee at home before rushing to work. Your new daily ritual could also be listening to a podcast every day on your commute to work.
7. Cut yourself some slack
You need to think three steps ahead to make sure you’re following the right trajectory when you’re running a startup. Having worked with many startups, we know how easy it is for things to go south in the early stages. That being said, it’s necessary for you to take a second to reward yourself for the hard work you put in. And while Bethenny Frankel said “work hard because most people don’t” in her Money.com cover story, you need to know when to pause, take a deep breath and allow yourself to offload some of what’s on your plate before taking on more work. Pampering yourself every now and then will help motivate you to power through rough patches and recharge your energy to focus on what you need to do.
And if what you need to do is secure extra capital without diluting equity, we can help you with different growth capital options including SR&ED Financing and MRR loans. We’re here to help founders like you find venture debt to suit your needs. Contact us now.