When it comes to self-care and staying healthy, I’m sure you’ve heard the advice to eat healthily, take regular breaks and get outside more. These three steps form the basic level of any good healthy self-care regime. But as a work-from-home entrepreneur, it pays to have a more rounded self-care strategy in place.
As a Virtual Assistant you’re used to managing the needs of your clients and your own business – and this makes you even more prone to juggling never-ending tasks and struggling to switch off from work once your working day is over. Throw in the fact that most work-from-home Virtual Assistants are also mums, you’ve got even more to juggle on a daily basis!
Why you need a good self-care regime in place
But this is why it’s so important that you have a self-care strategy in place. Your online and offline worlds are often fueled by stress and the need to be constantly available for others. Your working and home worlds can often blur together and overlap, just when you don’t want them to. You find yourself naturally taking breaks, going outside and eating when needed – but this alone isn’t enough to constitute a good self-care regime for your needs.
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to mental health issues and one in four of us will experience mental health issues during our working lifetime. [If you want to read more on how to look after your mental health, check out this guide from Mind.] It’s therefore crucial that you learn how to look after yourself physically and mentally – and having a good self-care regime in place will pay dividends in both areas.
Top ten tips for a great self-care regime
A good self care regime will equip you to deal with the demands of working for yourself, as well as helping to reduce your stress levels, boost your creativity and help prevent burnout. So here’s our top ten tips for a great self-care regime.
#1: Change your views around self-care
If you want to implement a self-care regime that works for you, start by changing your views on self-care. It isn’t something that’s a ‘nice-to-have’ – it’s an essential element of working for yourself. Without it, you’re on a slippery slope to all the problems you want to avoid – burnout, stress, anxiety, tiredness and overwhelm.
#2: Work on your beliefs around money and work
This is another area where your mindset is key. Our work patterns and ethics are often linked to negative beliefs about money and work. These include:
- work is hard
- there’s never enough
- there’s no gain without pain
- money doesn’t grow on trees
- if you want anything done – do it yourself
- there’s never enough time to get everything done
If you work on your negative beliefs around money and work, you’ll help alleviate the stress and free yourself to be a little less hard on yourself.
#3: Honour your own boundaries
It’s often the little things you can change, that impact on your self-care the most. One common boundary many VAs need to honour more, is sticking to a set working day. If you have to work outside of your normal working hours, charge a premium and have this factored into your agreements.
#4: Switch off on a regular basis
VAs spend so much of their time online, but it’s important that you step away on a regular basis. Implement daily screen-free time, turn off your phone and if you need to, ditch the social media apps!
#5: Learn to say no
Another important element of self-care is knowing that you can’t do everything. It may not come easy and it’s bound to leave someone disappointed or annoyed, but sometimes you just have to say no.
#6: Schedule in your ‘me’ time
We all know, if a task isn’t scheduled in your calendar, the chances are it isn’t going to get done! It’s the same with your ‘me’ time. Having time alone to relax, read, go for a walk or even have a date with yourself, are all essential elements of self-care – so schedule that time into your diary to ensure it happens.
#7: Practice gratitude
When we practice gratitude we not only train ourselves to focus on what’s good in our lives, we also become more observant and reflective. Get into the habit of writing down three things you’re grateful for, before you go to bed each night – you’ll sleep better and feel more positive as a result.
#8: Be kind to yourself
There’s no greater act of self-care than being kind to yourself and it impacts on every area of your life. Be kind to yourself over your achievements and the lessons you need to learn. Be kind when you’re experiencing emotions and feelings, as well as when you’re talking about yourself and to yourself.
#9: Open up and connect with others
Working alone at home can be lonely – it can be a big stumbling block for many solopreneurs. So build yourself a support network of like minded people you can interact with. This is one of the reasons why my VA: Be Awesome Club is so popular – it’s full of VAs like yourself, who are on a similar journey and who want to have a successful business and life. It’s a chance to get the training, support and advice you need – whilst giving you the right space to connect and open up when you need support.
#10: Journal daily
Journaling not only gives you a chance to clear your head and gain perspective, it also helps you better understand your thoughts and feelings, so you can better understand yourself. It’s a great way to notice patterns and triggers that affect your self-care, whilst often helping you come up with solutions and opportunities to grow yourself and your business further.
As a Virtual Assistant you’re used to managing the needs of your clients and your own business. But your online and offline worlds are often fueled by stress and the need to be constantly available for others, so it’s crucial that you implement a good self-care regime that looks after the most important asset in your business – you.
Running your own VA business can be hard work, there is so much to do supporting clients to earn an income. It can feel like you are permanently juggling or walking a fine tightrope, with no one to turn to for advice or help. That’s why it’s so important that you use the tips above to create a self-care regime that works for you. And if you’re looking for a membership that’s designed for VAs and enables its members to support one another, gain insight into other business models, share resources, build a community and get advice in real time from people who not only understand but who have been there too – check out the VA:Be Awesome Club – you’ll be glad you did!