Thank you to Ricola® Herb & Throat drops for sponsoring this post as part of an ongoing campaign with Socialstars. #swissherbs
Over the past couple years, I’ve been working hard to promote self care – not only for my AnneTheRD clients, but also for myself.
Owning your own business is awesome and I love what I do, but it also means it’s hard to stop working. A couple years ago I was basically running myself ragged. I had WAY too much on my plate, and after spending client sessions talking about slowing down and being more mindful, I felt like a phony.
I remember one night back in spring of 2013 Matt and I were hanging out at home and I randomly burst into tears. Intense, can hardly breathe, not cute tears. “I’m just so overwhelmed,” I said in between sobs.
The next day, I knew it was time to stop crying and do something about it. I decided to stop teaching once the semester finished out (I taught the Basic Nutrition course at George Washington University in the spring of 2013). I decided to leave my gig as a sports dietitian with an outside organization. I started a waiting list for my own nutrition counseling private practice, and raised my prices. I became more selective about which corporate wellness presentations I accepted. And I started to get better at saying no.
Saying no to opportunities was really hard for me, especially at first. When you’re an entrepreneur, I think there’s this sense that you should take EVERY opportunity that comes your way because you never know if you’ll get another one. There’s also this sense that since you work for yourself, and no one really knows what you’re doing all day, you have to do even more just to prove yourself. But then you keep adding and adding and adding and before you know it, you’re not saving any time for yourself, and you’re doing everything just okay vs. doing a few things really well – and not even enjoying the job you worked so hard to create.
After my meltdown, in addition to removing responsibilities and being much more careful about which opportunities were filling my time, I also started intentionally adding a couple small things that would help me to take better care of myself. One of those things was to start getting a massage once per month. At first, I felt bad about this – how indulgent, right? But then I decided – no, Anne, you’ve worked hard to afford this and you should do something nice for yourself. It’s not only okay – it’s smart to treat yourself well. Another thing I’ve done? Making sure I get to yoga at least once per week, if not twice. As I wrote about in my Why I Love Yoga post, I notice a big difference in my attitude and feelings when I do yoga – it makes me calmer and happier.
I’ve also started allowing myself to occasionally take random “call in well” days, where I take a morning or afternoon or even a whole day off from work. I took one of these “call in well” afternoons a couple weeks ago – my monthly massage was scheduled at noon, so I worked for the morning then got my massage, treated myself to lunch, and went for a walk/run with a friend. It was simple but awesome, and I’ve realized there’s no reason to feel guilty about taking time for myself. If anything, it makes me better at my job because I’m calmer and more focused when I am working!
For these reasons, I loved it when I saw that this month’s theme for my Ricola post was around their “Call in Well” sweepstakes. Since sick days are few and far between when you employ the soothing powers of Ricola, they want to know how you’d spend a day if you called in well instead of sick. What would you do with the time? Let them know, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win $500 – and the grand prize winner gets a 4 day, 3 night trip for two to Switzerland – the birthplace of Chrüterchraft. How awesome would that be?! You guys know I’m obsessed with Switzerland – home to some of the best, most beautiful hiking ever.
Good luck – and have fun!
I’d love to hear your answers over here in the comments section, too – how would you spend your ideal call in well day? Mine would include a hike or swim with Matt, a delicious dinner with family, a massage, a good book read in a hammock in 70 degree and sunny weather, and a long, laughter filled chat with good friends. <3
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