Let’s face it, as entrepreneurs, we’ve all raised our hands and opted into a life of workaholism. Not only do we put in long hours with our clients, creating products, attending networking events and conferences and sorting through piles of paperwork that flow our way, we also spend nearly every waking moment thinking about our businesses.
Inspiration strikes at the most inopportune times…in the middle of your friend’s wedding, in line at Starbucks, or just strolling through the park with your dog. When your business stems from your passion, off-hours don’t technically exist.
Unfortunately, this level of high attention to building a business based on your heart and soul can lead to burn out, fatigue, lethargy and a very cranky entrepreneur.
Not to worry, though…entrepreneurship doesn’t have to result in being chained to your business. The secret to a thriving business and a thriving entrepreneur is to increase your energy so that you can physically, mentally and emotionally handle the added stress of running a business.
Here are my five secrets to skyrocket your energy so you can get everything done in your business and still have energy left over for the fun stuff!
1. Eliminate nutritional stress – There are two kinds of stress, the good kind that comes from challenge and competition, and the bad kind that comes from fear, worry and distress. You can’t always eliminate all of the bad stress from your life, but you certainly shouldn’t contribute to it. Processed foods that are denatured in nutrients – think convenience foods like chips, candy bars, and other pre-packaged snack foods – are difficult for your body to digest, meaning you actually use more energy to digest these than you end up receiving from the food.
Action: Consume whole, nutrient-dense foods that are easy for your body to digest, especially green, leafy vegetables.
2. Schedule in exercise – Moving your body floods it with oxygen and helps your lymphatic system to flush out toxins. Just 30 minutes of stretching or walking in nature can clear your head, decrease stress and boost your energy, but as entrepreneurs, we often neglect our own selves, putting clients ahead of our personal welfare.
Action: Schedule in 30 minutes of exercise daily, whether you sit down with a yoga DVD, take the dog for a walk in the park or go for a quick jog. Make sure you’re moving your body!
3. Boost your digestion – You’ve heard the old adage “you are what you eat,” right? Well, that’s not exactly true. Really, you are what you digest. If you aren’t breaking down your food and assimilating the nutrients, you’re not getting the full benefit of the food you put in your body, no matter how healthy and nutritious it is. Your body needs enzymes to break down food. Cooking food at temperatures higher than 115 degrees fahrenheit destroys the enzymes, so your body will draw from its own stores. Unfortunately, your body’s supply of enzymes is limited, and if you’ve been living on cooked, processed foods for most of your life, you have probably torn through your lifetime supply pretty fast.
Action: Take a plant-based digestive enzyme supplement to aid in the breakdown and assimilation of food. These are available at most health food stores and vitamin shops.
4. Drink plenty of water – Even slight dehydration is correlated to decreased coordination and reduced memory. Your body needs water for virtually every cellular function. It’s not optional. Essentially, we are giant, walking bags of sea water, and when we dry up, it severely impairs our health.
Action: Get your 8 glasses of water in each day (and by water, I mean water…not juice, soda, coffee, tea, etc). To help your body absorb the water more easily, you can add a pinch of Celtic sea salt and make your own designer electrolyte drink.
5. Don’t short yourself on sleep - Sleep is essential. There is no “catching up” where sleep is concerned. With increased stress levels from traffic, computers, electronic devices and more, our bodies more than ever need time to recover. As entrepreneurs, we can only offer our best service when we are feeling our best, and one of the easiest ways to do this is make sure we get enough sleep.
Action: Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Going to bed at the same time and having a “pre-bedtime routine” can help you to wind down and fall asleep more easily.