I am a workaholic, a people person and an ideas driven, creative person so perhaps one would wonder why I would set myself up to be a entrepreneur. Believe me, I ask myself that quite frequently, especially when it gets to 9pm and I have once again forgotten to have lunch, haven’t spoken to a single other person and haven’t been to the gym. This inevitably is followed by a lecture from one, or all of my caring friends, significant other or ok yes, my mum. I am notoriously bad at self-care, but today, that changes.

I have read a lot of content lately about self-care being tantamount to loving one’s self and if you don’t self-care, you don’t love yourself. This is simply not true. I know that I get wrapped up in my work and when I am enjoying that work, it just flows. I don’t need to struggle and fight with myself to develop the content and my mind is not occupied by things that just don’t matter, there’s no time for procrastination, because time flies by, properly utilised. Doing work I love IS self-care. Doing the work I love makes a difference; I am nurturing my soul and using my expertise to raise self-awareness in the world.

I read a lot, well I used to before I started workaholic-ing for myself. Now I study for many, many hours on many topics instead, broadening my knowledge and my skills base all so that I may offer a better degree of service. This is self-love, as well as love for those I serve. Every day I learn something new about myself, as well as something new about people, sometimes I end the day wishing I hadn’t learnt anything at all that day.

I am my business’ sole resource at the moment and my health and wellbeing is of paramount importance to my business and the needs of my clients.

I have created some self-care rules for myself which ensure I am not just focusing on work, but am genuinely taking care of myself:

  1. Every morning I plan my day and do not leave “work” until I have completed the tasks I set for myself, this is another incentive not to procrastinate or engage in mindless activities.
  2. I journal about my day, future plans and goals and whatever comes to mind. My journalling is a series of bullet point notes and random thoughts; it doesn’t have to be of the “Dear Diary” variety. If this interests you, check out a video on Bullet Journalling here or visit the website here.
  3. I work at my proper desk, not in the lounge, this helps me to remain focused on work. Working in other areas of my home is distracting and disturbs my frame of mind and messes with my back.
  4. I use MyFitnessPal.com to track my nutrition and water intake. I keep meals and snacks healthy. Mmmmm carbs.
  5. I limit my caffeine to two cups of coffee per day (no sugar); then I drink only water. Wine and work do not mix; you will just create more work for yourself.
  6. I set up non-negotiable gym appointments for myself, which are blocked out in my calendar – this time is non-bookable.
  7. I allocate parts of my day to working in total silence and other parts to the type of music required to create the mood I require, to be fair I did this in Corporate too.
  8. I stand up, stretch and walk about every 50 minutes; this ensures I get movement through my body but also that I fill my water bottle.
  9. I take Vitamin and Mineral supplements to aid my body in coping with the demands I place on it and my brain.
  10. When the aches and pains start to set in, I have a massage. I prefer a sports massage but not everyone does – try them all, I do. Shiatsu, Sports, Thai, Aromatherapy, Myofascial Release, Lymph Drainage, Hot Stone, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Reflexology (a firm favourite)
  11. I sleep for a minimum of 8 hours; if I don’t get 8 hours sleep well, let’s just say it’s not very good for those around me.
  12. When my state of mind is veering off elsewhere, I meditate. I use guided meditation as self-guided meditations just lead to me thinking about my next action point. Try the FREE “Insight Timer” app, available on iOS and Android.

By implementing these rules, I am better able to serve my business, my loved ones and my clients but I also leave work happier, more fulfilled and with my health in tact.

What work lights your fire? What type of activities do you get lost in? What does your self-care routine look like? Comment below and join the conversation.

Coach, FitnessVictoria Canham, founder of Ahead Together, is a coach, mentor, writer, learning and change management specialist. With a background in many industries and a wealth of skills as diverse as her experience, Victoria is a dynamic survivor who sees the best in you, even when you can’t see it yourself. Victoria grew up in Cape Town, South Africa where she studied Food and Beverage Management and Adult Education. Having lived in London for 12 years, Victoria has had the opportunity to work as a contractor in many different styles of industries and locations, most recently Compliance within Financial Services. Victoria is an iPEC accredited Certified Professional Coach and a member of the ICF. Victoria is also a Mentor for the Prince’s Trust, helping young people get into work and develop their potential.
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