Seems like a big conversation among entrepreneurs that we are all tired. Goodness knows, I am! We've all had to step it up to meet the new ways of doing business over the past year. No longer do we network locally, hand out business cards personally, and use printed brochures as our main way of advertising. In the past year or so we've needed to gain a fair amount of expertise in several major areas:
- Marketing effectively on the Internet
- Finding out how to use social media to gain visibility and credibility for our businesses
- Realizing that the new way of doing business is radically more transparent than in the past
- Coming to terms with a market that is non-local for many entrepreneurs (rather than serving only geographically close customers)
- Gaining the understanding that entrepreneurs who are great business owners are also constantly working on themselves.
All these are vital, and are on top of the role most of us play in caring for family and having at least some semblance of a social life. Add in the upcoming holiday months, and it's not hard to see why “entrepreneurial fatigue” is just under epidemic proportions.
I've spent the last 14 years owning a business whose business it is to help people relax and rejuvenate, along with my Confident Marketer coaching business. What I know is that we can do some pretty simple things, consistently, to help with fatigue. Here are the steps to take to help yourself out of fatigue, things that will support you and your business.
- Wean yourself off Diet soda and go to water or herbal teas as much as you can. Even if you aren't willing to wean yourself off soda, follow it with a glass of water and you'll feel better in 48 hours. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
- Vitamin deficiencies and mineral imbalances often contribute to both fatigue and chronic pain conditions. Check your levels and correct them if they are imbalanced.
- If you are sensitive to foods (or allergic to them) and you eat them anyway, you burden your body's systems. Some research shows that reactions to artificial sweeteners are common. One of my teachers, Judith DeLany, says “what food do you crave or not want to give up? That very one can be the culprit!”
- Figure out how your blood sugar runs during the day and work to stabilize it. One way to do this is to balance your meals among complex carbs, protein, and a small amount of fat. (If you need to know more about this, I highly recommend expert Sheila Wagner.)
- I've been taught for years now that 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day are best for most people. But the very latest research and classes I've been to now say that sticking to 3 meals a day without snacking in between is better for our bodies because our leptin levels stay more constant. (Leptin is a hormone that signals hunger to the brain.)
- If you are not moving your body throughout the day, that is a major contributor to making you stiff and sore toward the end of the day. Movement increases the oxygen in the blood, and conquers afternoon sleepiness.
- Oddly enough, fatigue can actually make it harder for you to get restful sleep. If you've been having troubles with sleeping (which can happen from any of the above) you are putting yourself at risk for obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Most people need 8 hours, some need more. Turn down obligations and give yourself a good half hour to relax and get ready to sleep. Jumping up from the computer or TV and getting into bed doesn't facilitate restful sleep.
My true confession is that the past two years have been incredibly fatiguing for me, and I've not done a very good job of leveling off my obligations both personally and in my business to get the downtime I've needed. Getting through 3 surgeries in 7 months (two within 3 weeks of each other) stressed my body to the maximum, and I didn't have the reserves I needed. Recuperating for months and months with limited mobility left me stiff and bored enough to overeat. Now, my work needs to be on me just as much as it does anything or anyone else.
I hope that these tips will help you with your entrepreneurial fatigue, and in the coming months we'll all feel more energy and more ease in our businesses, too. If you need support with your business and your self, consider joining my 6-week brief mini-mastermind group. Before the end of the year, both you and your business will be performing better.