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Op/Ed

Self-care for entrepreneurs: Why you should take time out for yourself

(EDITORIAL) There is intrinsic value held in taking a little bit of time for self-care to keep you at max productivity (and generally, in a good mood).

Person at the end of a dock representing self-care and alone time.

Recognizing the need for self-care

Sometimes, when I’m at my grumpiest, it’s not because the world is my enemy, it’s because I’m stressed. The person who checks me out at Walmart doesn’t take any more time than she did two weeks ago, but I’m in a hurry, so I get frustrated. I’m tired and don’t want to wait for the train to go through. I get angry when I have to wait at the doctor’s office.

Ever felt like everything makes you irritated?

Bet you need a vacation

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When you’re self-employed, you cannot just take a vacation. It’s even hard to take a day off without worrying about your to-do list on your desk. The reality is that without time away from your workload you will get burnt out.

Self-care is more important than ever when you are the boss, the employee, and everything in between.

Self-care is a common message in today’s work environment, but the struggle is real. We’re sent mixed messages. As adults, we’re supposed to work hard, meet deadlines and perform at our highest level. When we’re off work, the expectations don’t end.

Many of us have to be on call for work after hours or have family obligations.

So when exactly are we supposed to take care of ourselves?

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Planning self-care

Self-care improves mental health and boosts productivity. It increases creativity and improves clarity. We cannot ignore it, but making time for self-care is difficult. Here’s what I do:

  • I plan time for my favorite activities. On Friday mornings, I clear my deadlines to be able to go get coffee at one of the local coffee shops. Sometimes, I schedule something, like a massage or museum day just to clear my head.
  • I purposely turn my phone off at night. It’s on airplane mode until I turn it on in the morning. My phone does not run my life, even though sometimes I do feel addicted to it.
  • I set boundaries. Sometimes, I say no to something, even when I know I can do it. Before I say yes to something, I try to give myself time to really think about whether I want to do it or not.
  • I plan at least one day every week without deadlines or work.

Whether you’re self-employed, a student, or work for “The Man,” you need self-care. Take some time for yourself this week, and next.

Trust me, you’ll be more productive and feel better.

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Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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