If you’re self-employed or working in small business, time is a precious commodity. In the chaos of the daily grind, you may be wondering where to find time to even think about your own wellbeing, let alone develop a plan.
You may be surprised at the number of things you can do that require minimal effort or time to contribute to your wellbeing, simply by taking advantage of the mood boosters that exist in your current environment.
To save you time, we’ve put together a list of easy, proven self-care strategies that you can start acting on today:
Step outside: There is a growing body of evidence that being in a natural environment can boost your mood, and may also improve your capacity to think more clearly and creatively.
It doesn’t need to be long – even a minute or two can be revitalising.
If you’re in an urban environment, going for a short walk is great for your mind and your body. Can you take a “walking meeting”? Can you walk to your next appointment?
Take a “mindful pause”: If you already work in an outdoor environment, try taking a mindfulness moment to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Take a mindful pause of 30 seconds to feel the sun on your skin or the stability of your feet feel on the ground. Notice the breeze. Focus on the sounds in your environment. Notice how you’re breathing and the sensation of air filling your nostrils and lungs. Then, slowly, allow yourself to re-engage.
Enhance your surrounds: Have a look at your current work environment. How is the lighting? Are there sounds? Smells? How is the air quality? How physically comfortable are you in your workspace?
Introducing just a few small things that make your work environment more pleasant can improve mood and focus, making you more productive and protecting you from future risk. For example:
Connect: Are you working in an isolated environment? If so, what can you do today to stay connected? Working solo can sometimes feel like a lonely endeavour, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with your immediate surrounds – you could consider working offsite every now and then, perhaps in a café or co-working space.
Are there professional communities you can tap into or maybe there is someone you look up to who might take on a mentor role (formally or informally)? This would create opportunities for regular meetings or interactions.
Check out our article on Connecting at Work, which has some great suggestions for people working in isolation.
Other useful resources and apps:
A step-by-step PDF guide to conducting walking meetings, developed by Victoria Walks.