Self-care special

As the business owner you are expected to look after everybody else from clients to staff and even fill in and unblock the drains if required. But who looks after you? As a nursing mother I remember being told to look after myself or I wouldn’t be able to look after my baby. Sometimes what feels selfish isn’t selfish so here are a few ideas for looking after number one.


  1. Make sure that you’re eating properly. Even when busy try to stick to healthy snacks. Working from home I try to make sure that I plan my lunch in the morning so that I have no excuse to drift down to the fish and chip shop.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep. I don’t know about you but I can’t function without sleep. Driving when tired can be as dangerous as driving after a few drinks.
  3. Get some fresh air each day and whatever passes for sunshine. There’s vitamin D to be had as well as just feeling good. Even if it’s just a walk around the block in your wellies (rubber boots for any non-Brits reading) and waterproofs.
  4. Have a hobby and make time for it. These should bring you peace and joy or just a distraction. I have a season ticket for Bristol City which isn’t always joyous but certainly stops me thinking about work when I have to focus on willing the ball into the opposition’s net.
  5. Build in rest days. Especially if you’re an introvert who needs to recover from the energy expended in social interactions. I try to book a day off after any conference although it’s easier said than done.
  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously. People are probably not looking at you as much as you think they are.
  7. Forgive yourself your mistakes. Yes, spend time putting it right and working out how to prevent it happening again but, after that, put it back into its box.
  8. Learn from your mistakes. If we’re going to make them we may as well get some benefit.
  9. Forgive others. Why wouldn’t you?
  10. Take risks and don’t fear failure. See points 6-8.
  11. There is a season for all things. It is ok to move on when things are no longer working for you.
  12. Value people above things. Easy for somebody who moved house every 6 months and so has minimal possessions but do focus on the people in your life.
  13. Help others but don’t be a doormat. It is ok to say “no”.
  14. Celebrate your successes. It will help you to remember them in moments of self-doubt. I keep a list of all my successes for when I feel that wave of Imposter Syndrome.
  15. Don’t worry what people think about you. As long as your conscience is clear you don’t necessarily have to justify your words or actions.
  16. Be yourself. If you’re young you may still be figuring this one out but don’t worry, that’s normal.
  17. Learn how to argue properly. Listen as well as speak and be prepared to change your mind.
  18. Surround yourself with good people who will encourage you to be your best self.
  19. Surround yourself with good people but understand that they probably have weaknesses too, you just can’t see them
  20. Feel free to break these rules. Just because people put me on a stage doesn’t mean that I’m always right!