Lessons in staying healthy for the self-employed

We’re not sure what it is, but there’s something about being self-employed that makes you more prone to an all-nighter than any student ever was. Now that you reap the rewards directly, the harder you work, the more successful and profitable your business becomes, so there’s little wonder we tend to burn the candle at both ends. But overdoing it can cause total burnout that will leave you little use to anybody and that is why it is more important than ever to take care of yourself when you’re at the Helm of your own business. Give some of these tips a go.

Assess your desk situation

The day will come when you decide your hours but in the meantime, you’ll almost definitely be spending more time at your desk than you do on your sofa and in bed combined. Getting the desk situation right will provide an array of benefits, from keeping your posture in check to keep colds at bay. Invest in an ergonomic chair, keep your mouse and keyboard clean, and look into a laptop table to save strain on your neck. Yes, we know we sound like your mum but you’ll thank us after an 8-hour stint at the screen.

Get some fresh air

Humans weren’t made to spend hours upon hours sat down at a desk indoors and the easiest way to offset the damage is to take regular breaks and get outside. Start your morning with a ten-minute walk (we highly recommend our Drop The Anchor podcast for company) or arrange a lunchtime meeting at the coffee shop up the road and walk there. Fresh air does amazing things that even caffeine can’t and that’s really saying something.

Stay hydrated

Speaking of caffeine, keep your consumption down if you’re prone to bouts of anxiety and stress. Caffeine is known to exacerbate symptoms, so replace a couple of cups of coffee a day with water instead. It’ll help you hit your recommended eight glasses easier and you’ll sleep much better with a caffeine cut-off early afternoon.

Get enough sleep

When you’re the only one bringing in the bacon, there’s a temptation to scrimp on sleep, however getting a solid 7-8 hours a night is absolutely crucial to giving the body time to heal and replenish its energy stores. Have an early night at least once a week, start to wind down an hour before bed and remove distractions like mobile phones from the bedroom for really good quality sleep.

Eat a healthy diet

The call of the golden arches is never louder than when you’re running on empty and working to a deadline is it? However, your body can’t function on fast food alone and you need nutritional meals if you’re going to have the energy to keep up with the demands of running a business. Eat your fruit and veg, fill up on protein and make sure you’ve got some healthy snacks in your desk drawer for when hunger hits.

If you’re struggling to maintain healthy habits when working from home, give co-working a go. Helm isn’t just a shared office, it’s a supportive work space for businesses, start ups and entrepreneurs designed to help you collaborate and create your best work. Come and see what it’s all about.

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