The following article is a guest post by Milissa Harding, a certified holistic health counselor who works with busy entrepreneurs. You can find more about Milissa here.
Before I became a mom over three years ago, I was working full-time outside of the home. My schedule was fairly predictable each day-eat breakfast, head out to work, make dinner, work from home, exercise, etc. Although I experienced overwhelm and tiredness (like many people who commute to work each day), there was a rhythm to each day, and I could always count on getting things done by the end of the week.
Once I had my daughter, things changed.
If you’re a mom, you probably know what I’m about to say next. Predictability, structure and a sense of routine quickly flew out the window! Cooking, laundry and other errands took place any day at any time, and I was simply exhausted at the end of each work day. The thought of having to spend even more energy once I got home each day was quite difficult to cope with.
Shortly after returning to work from maternity leave, I was bitten by the “entrepreneurial bug”, and the nagging feeling that I needed to explore something new just wouldn’t leave me. The thought of working from home, setting my own schedule and experiencing more family time really excited me.
Although I wasn’t in a position to make a complete leap from working outside of the home to working from home, I was strongly determined to take baby steps each day to make it a reality. Building my business has (and continues to be) a work of love. There are many challenges to building a business, but there is such a huge learning curve of personal development along the way, as well.
One of the biggest challenges I experienced in this journey was finding ways to ensure that my health and well-being continued to be a priority in my life, no matter what. I’m the kind of person that can get so easily absorbed and swept up in the excitement that comes from doing something I love, that I wouldn’t even notice if my home was catching fire!
I have learned how vital it is to treat my self-care as the single most important building block of my growing business. Without feeling nourished from the inside out (through eating well, exercising, time to myself and connecting with others), I simply cannot bring my best self to the work that I do. Without water, sunshine and air, a flower cannot grow. Without a self-care routine, I cannot grow into the type of wife, mother, and entrepreneur that I want to be.
One of the ways in which I prioritize my health and well-being is with a focus on uplevelled thinking.
To me, uplevelled thinking means to saturate my mind with positive, abundant, hope-filled thoughts, which eventually help to drown out any negative, heavy thoughts that come my way. Beginning each morning with prayer and inspirational reading is a key part of my day, because it sets the tone to how I manage my thoughts, interactions and intentions as the day unfolds. Another important aspect of my day is to allow the voice of God (Universe, Spirit, Inner Self) to speak to me throughout the day. Knowing that I’m not alone provides a tremendous sense of comfort and peace during my busy (and sometimes frazzled) days.
As a working mom and business owner, it can be a challenge sometimes to remember that I am not what I do. Yes, I have many hats to wear each day (and I absolutely love all of my hats!), but there is an inner person who longs to be expressed and listened to, as well. Finding some quiet time to myself each day (even for a few minutes) is so important to me.
I actually crave some time each day to escape the mental chatter, the demands and the expectations from the outside world.
In addition to having a few moments of quiet each morning to pray and read, I anxiously look forward to those hidden opportunities (taking a shower, going for a walk, evenings after my daughter falls asleep) where I can really force myself to tune in and connect with that inner person.
Other ways of doing this can include: deep breathing, meditation or journaling. These moments of stillness and quiet definitely count as food for the soul, and although busy moms like ourselves may not have as many of these moments as we’d like in our day, it’s imperative that we take advantage of them when they come around as much as we can. Even better, planning when we’ll take time for ourselves each day ensures that we’re putting ourselves on our daily schedules.
Whether you work outside of the home or run a home-based business, remember that having a strong and healthy foundation is key for being a success at what you do. I would even suggest that your overall level of satisfaction as a working mom/entrepreneur will greatly depend on how nourished you are in body, mind and spirit. Treat your health and well-being as a tender seed that needs care, attention and love, and you will be amazed at the beautiful flower that will emerge. Making sure that you are well taken care of will allow you to give more and be more to the people and things that you love most in your life.
Guest author bio: Milissa Harding is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who teaches busy entrepreneurs how to maintain the healthy energy levels they need to grow their business and create the lives they truly desire from the inside out. Visit Milissa’s site here to receive your free copy of “6 Steps to Become a Healthy and Energized Entrepreneur”.