You’re about to launch a new product or program. Adrenalin is coursing through your veins. Ideas are flowing. You’re swimming in your creative juices.
You know the feeling? I call it the Entrepreneurial Surge (minus the “protector”). It NEVER lets you down. That is, until . . . the launch is over, the article is written, the book is published, the website is complete….fill in the blank.
That’s when you begin to notice something is off.
For some, it’s simply the sniffles. Others experience a grouchy disposition or
the makings of a migraine. In extreme cases, adrenal exhaustion or thyroid issues show up. Sad but true.
I know. I’ve been there. That’s why I do this work. I have a built in accountability system called “Practice what you preach.” My formula for success in the self-care area is pretty simple: Eat, Play, Sleep.
Entrepreneurial Surge Protector # 1: Eat
The body needs to know it can count on you to feed it. Food. Real food. Nourishing food. Three times a day. This doesn’t have to be difficult. When you know you have a project coming up that is going to take a tremendous amount of energy and time, put “nourishment” in the project plan and before you begin, prepare yourself and your fridge.
It’s easy to say, “Sure, I can do this!” My clients are successful entrepreneurs. They have the best intentions. The struggle comes in the follow-through. Sound familiar? Before I shower you with “tips,” I’ll tell you a little story.
Several years ago I was preparing for knee surgery. I have a pretty picky palate and I knew my husband would take very good care of me during my recovery. I also knew he wouldn’t be preparing green smoothies and homemade vegetable soup. I spent a couple Sundays making soup, smoothies, and green juices and placed them in the freezer. I filled jars with my very own antioxidant-rich “off-the-trail” mix. I made sure I had some really fine chocolate on hand. I stocked the refrigerator with greens, farm fresh eggs, and plenty of pears. (Essential when you are facing the binding properties of painkillers.) I was prepared. I now use the same action when I’m headed into a major entrepreneurial endeavor or launch. Works like a charm.
Entrepreneurial Surge Protector # 2: Play
I recently returned from a six-week visit with my aging father whose health is rapidly declining. My first thought was, “What will happen to my business if I put it on the back burner for six weeks?” My second thought was, “What will happen to my heart and psyche if I put my dad’s comfort and care on the back burner while I run my business?” Pretty soon I was managing his care in much the same way I run my business: full steam ahead. (Old habits die hard.) Knowing my all work-no play persona doesn’t serve me, I made sure to schedule in some PLAY. Yes, some of us need to “schedule” our playtime.
I like to schedule a mini MEcation every single day. First, write down all the things that make you happy and take very little time. For me, a visit to an organic market where people whisk you through the aisles proudly displaying the latest gogi berry concoction is pure bliss. Perhaps for you it’s a phone call to a friend, a walk in nature or taking a dance break. Be creative. But please, put it in your schedule.
Entrepreneurial Surge Protector # 3: Sleep
This is, in my humble opinion, the most neglected health, beauty and vitality strategy in our on-the-move culture. I have a keen ear for comments like: “I can get by on 6 hours of sleep a night,” or, “I just don’t need a lot of sleep.” More often than not we’ve altered our natural body rhythm by introducing artificial stimulants throughout the day to keep us going and we have no idea how much sleep our body truly needs. There is a causal link between disrupted or short sleep time and obesity, and it seems more prevalent in women than in men. Sleep is when the body does its restorative maintenance work—when our cells take the time to heal and detoxify, refuel and recharge for the day ahead.
Try my ten hours in ten days challenge. That’s right, for ten days I’d like you to power down and climb into bed with the intention of being at rest for ten hours. That means no iPad, no cell phone, no computer—no electromagnetic waves allowed. You can, however, read a good book until you get sleepy and nod out. Are you saying, “No way!”? Just give it a try and see how close you can get. I PROMISE you, your productivity will skyrocket.
After all, your body IS your business.