Every single day startups are created. People are eagerly working to bring forth a vision that is just on the realm of existing. We typically think of startups as companies with lots of funding that experience growth, but startups exist in virtually every sector and and every walk of life. Every day people are deciding to start something up, whether it is a nonprofit, a side hustle, or a social media group. More often than not, you might find yourself in a startup phase of your life especially now as we navigate things like the Great Resignation.
During the startup phase it is super easy to burnout. You are moving fast and trying to make it happen and that can be exhausting. Do you abandon your wellbeing and mental health during this time? What if there was another way to think this? What if there were simple things that you could do during startup phase to build a foundation of wellbeing that will keep supporting you once you reach your intended destination? I don’t think that you can wait to start to prioritize wellness until your thing is finished. Focusing on wellness sooner rather than later helps you to stay the course and give give you added doses of creativity to see your project/idea/mission through. Creativity and innovation are linked to rest and relaxation. Think of an inventor getting an idea in their sleep or a writer taking a retreat or the random idea that comes while someone is riding a bike.
Here is how you can navigate your self care while you are in “startup mode”.
- Breathe. We overlook just how easy it is to breath and the effects that it has. Right now take a deep breath in and then exhale. Note when your breathing is shallow and remember to breathe throughout the day. Find an app to remind you to take deep breaths throughout the day.
- The power of 5 minutes. Take 5 min breaks periodically during the day. A break might be to walk outside or put your phone on do not disturb, or draw. You can completely shift your energy in 5 minutes.
- Plan for an extended break. Think about what it would take for you to have an extended break/vacation and plan backwards. Instead of thinking it couldn’t happen, get into problem solving mode and think about how you could make it work
- Plan time off incrementally. It can be challenging to take time off when you are moving things along. Work your way up. Start with taking an hour off. Then, take half a day. Then increase to a day or two days. The key is to get started. If you work for a startup company–this is time that you have accrued so take advantage of something that is yours!
- Be honest. Be honest about what is or is not working for you. Examine processes and ways of doing. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and design the life that you really want.
- Schedule emails instead of sending in the middle of the night. Sometimes startup mode means you are up in the middle of the night. Before pressing send on an email, schedule it to actually send in the morning. This ensures that you check it off your to do list and ensures that you don’t get responses that might break your focus.
- Embrace the lull. There will be moments to rest that happen before things get busy. Rest during those times so you can be ready for the growth that is about to happen.
As you navigate startup phases in life make sure to center your wellbeing. Having energy and being well really is the gift that will keep on giving as you move through creating the life that you most want.
Are you in a startup phase in life? How will you practice self care during this time?