Last year was my first full year of business and if I could describe the energy of the year in one word it would be intense. Today as I was preparing to write this post it hit me that in the span of 12 months I traveled and lived in 8 countries, fell in love, enrolled in 5 personal development courses, became a certified Energy Editing® professional, launched 5 programs, and coached hundreds of women. I feel tired just writing that out!
While I’m super proud of myself for pursuing my dreams and creating a profitable business that helped me leave my corporate job and travel the world in such a short period of time, I’m not so proud of the fact that my health and wellbeing went on the backburner as a result (way way back).
Somewhere along the way I created the belief that as a female entrepreneur with big dreams I had to sacrifice my health and my sanity to “get there” (wherever “there” is). Unfortunately and also fortunately, my body could not keep up and I’ve spent most of this year healing my adrenals and reclaiming my energy and health again. I’ve had to take a conscious step back and work on creating a sustainable business model that supports the lifestyle I really want.
My inner wise woman tells me these days that I can actually up-level my business without sacrificing my well-being in the process. In fact, she tells me that by up-leveling my self-care I can actually grow my business and make a bigger impact with less hustle on my part.
If this sounds too good to be true I get it, because a lot of what I’ll share next does require you to let go of the need to struggle in order to be successful. Letting go and surrendering to a new way of being and doing can be challenging at first, but I promise you it’s worth it. Your time, energy, inspired ideas, and the impact you can create with your life’s work are well worth it!
Here are 5 ways you can actually up-level your self care and your business at the same time:
#1 Discover and declutter your major energy drains
Have you ever noticed that certain people, places, habits, and experiences leech your energy and leave you feeling meh and uninspired? Often when you feel unmotivated to create it’s less to do with being lazy and more to do with who and what you’re allowing to be an energy drain in your life. What’s an energy drain you ask? It’s anything that keeps you from feeling aligned and inspired to do the work you feel called to do.
When you identify what’s draining your natural well of inspiration, creativity, and energy you can then take conscious steps to declutter those things from your daily life. This is easier said than done, yes, but it’s well worth the effort. You may have to have a difficult conversation around boundaries or even let go of people or ways of doing things that no longer serve where you’re going and that’s okay.
Every person who has reached any level of success has had to do this more than once on their journey. I like to think of it as spring cleaning for my wellbeing.
#2 Create your ideal work schedule
When you’re fitting your life into your work vs. the other way around things are bound to go haywire in your energy levels. It’s simply not sustainable to work all hours of the day without any real “off” time. This is something all entrepreneurs struggle with at some point or another, and the major turning point in your productivity doesn’t often come from overwork but rather when when you create a work schedule that honors your natural energy cycles.
For example, if you’re an introvert and you have your schedule wide open all week for clients to book in with you you’re going to end up feeling resentful and not on your A-game during your sessions. If you’re waiting for permission to work with clients just 2 days (or even 1 day!) per week, here it is sister.
You have to do what works best for you or you can’t do your best work.
Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day, week, and month and check in on whether the tasks and events you have scheduled honor your needs. If they don’t, it’s time to make some tweaks. You may not be able to overhaul everything at once, but you can definitely start somewhere. One of my favorite things to do is create theme days so I can focus on just one type of task at a time. It’s how I work best, and it’s definitely leaving me feeling more inspired these days!
#3 Simplify your to-do list
One of the things I struggled with for a long time in business was trying to do all the things every single day without any real plan. I was basically running around like a chicken with its head cut off, because every time I attempted to channel my focus into one item on my to-do list I would immediately go into “fight or flight” mode thinking about everything else I had to get done. I couldn’t focus and my productivity levels plummeted.
Women pride themselves on their ability to multi-task, but is that really such a good thing? For me that thinking did nothing but tax my adrenals and leave me feeling like a failure when I couldn’t do everything I had to do.
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “what feels urgent is often unimportant, and what is important rarely feels urgent.”
When I read that the first time it hit me that my to-do list was not a true reflection of my values and the impact I want to make with my work. Getting clear about where my focus goes every day has changed the way I do everything, and I now start with just 3 intentions for the day. When I complete those, I’m free to do more things if I have time but I can feel proud of what I accomplished because I did what I said I was going to do.
Freedom is in the follow-through, and it’s an incredible confidence and happiness booster. When you simplify your to-do list, your ability to blow your own damn mind rises. It’s good stuff!
#4 Protect your time & energy
When you’re doing work that creates a real impact on the people you touch, it can feel as if you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. It can feel as if you need to walk a mile in everyone else’s shoes in order to do the work you came here to do. This is not true and, in fact, it only limits your capacity to serve.
It’s important that you create sacred space around your time and energy so that your needs are always met first before trying to help others. You’ve probably heard over and over again that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s a cliche for a reason. It’s the truth!
Energy protection is even more essential if you’re an empathic or highly sensitive person and you tend to take on everyone else’s stuff.
So how do you protect your energy? It’s really easy actually!
Close your eyes and imagine a white light surrounding your body. Set the intention that this light is clearing any attachments to others’ stuff you’ve picked up along the way. Ask that your energy field be protected today from anything that doesn’t serve you. You can even imagine that you have a big bubble that goes with you everywhere you go and nothing can get through.
I encourage you to try this even if it feels a bit too woo woo for you. Do it at least once/day for 7 days and notice how you feel.
#5 Create a mini daily practice
I’ve saved the best for last! The one thing that has transformed my life and business the most this year has been my commitment to a daily practice. No matter what kind of day I have planned, I’m able to follow through because I’m flexible with how I approach my practice. Of course, I love it when I have 1-2 hours to do yoga, meditation, and journaling but that doesn’t always work with my schedule. Rather than being too structured, I’ve created a menu of options for mini practices I can do in 5 minutes or less so I can’t use the excuse, “I didn’t have time.”
My daily practice keeps me grounded and connected to my inner wise woman. I respect myself more when I follow through with it even because it's an easy thing to place on the back burner. I find others respect me more too, because they can feel that I value my needs and my truth.
When you show up for yourself, you show up for the world.
I suggest creating a mini practice to get started. What is something you can do that would leave you feeling more centered and grounded as you go about your day? One of my favorite things to do is take a drop of an uplifting essential oil, rub it over my heart center, and breathe in the scent. As I’m breathing in I say to myself, “I love you. You are meant to be here. You are worthy.”
As you can see, up-leveling your self-care creates the inspiration and the motivation to get your best work out there. When you’re showing up as the most powerful version of yourself, your business (and everything else in your life) up-levels too.
Give these 5 practices a try and see how it transforms your work week.
And if you need more support with this, I’ve created a FREE 5 day virtual retreat that walks you through each of these practices step by step. You can sign up below!