When I was practicing full time as a Holistic Nutritionist a few years ago, both in a women’s gym as well as consulting online, I saw that my own health was beginning to take some rather alarming turns…
- Unrelenting fatigue and zero energy – except to shuffle my fingers over my computer keyboard
- Poor quality sleep – lots of hamster-on-the-wheel at night
- Lack of focus, foggy thinking, and in a constant state of WTF just happened?!
- Gaining several pounds, especially in the midsection, and curating a flat posterior – from sitting on my arse all day
- A significant decrease in motivation to socialize
Well, as many of my nutrition clients at that time had been offered the suggestion that these symptoms were likely due to hormones, and poorly functioning adrenals (which they were, in part), my health was also being greatly impacted by “Building-your-own-business Syndrome”.
Running your own health-based business can sink your sanity – and your health!
Unfortunately, there’s much truth in this statement, and many healthpreneurs, including myself, will readily attest to it.
It’s that feeling of being a slave to your business — focusing on nothing else except mastering that new list building strategy you just read about OR perfecting the art of the sales page OR churning out that gotta-be-published-today piece of content otherwise the internet might break! (or was that just me?)
While I truly felt that all of those mental gymnastics moved my wellness business forward, all of that “busyness” came at a steep price – physically, emotionally and a whole lot mentally.
You see, I came to realize that there was no longer that distinct division between me and my business anymore, especially in the online space – which was new to me, and such a difference to running only a physical business.
That meant that if I wasn’t feeling on my personal game (body + mind), as an entrepreneur my whole business was getting sidetracked.
With this in mind, and feeling certain that YOU can very likely relate to how I was feeling – I propose that we step up our respective games with a few healthful course corrections in this business-building road trip we’re all on!
5 Tips to Put Your Own Health First When Building Your Health & Wellness Business
Here are 5 tips that I hope you’ll adopt as “non-negotiables” in your combined personal + business life. I know they were game changers for me personally, as well as in my business.
Let’s do this!
Tip 1 | Set clear boundaries & limits – get comfortable with saying NO!
It is imperative that you set limits of what you’re willing and perhaps more importantly, not willing to do in order to get ahead in your business – without feeling pressured to please everyone all the time.
Don’t want to work past 6 pm because the evenings are family time? Don’t do it.
Not feeling comfortable taking on that new client, because it doesn’t feel like a good fit? Turn them away…with kindness, of course.
Don’t want to work for less than X dollars per hour – or per client session, or per group program duration? Don’t waver. Set your rates, and stay firm. Get paid for your expertise and for your time – and get paid on time too!
Tip 2 | Regular exercise leads to greater productivity – and less flat butt!
I’m not going to bother to go into detail about why daily exercise is essential to optimizing your health, because you were already well aware of that!
But, did you know that regular exercise leads to more productivity at work?
A recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management reported that people who exercised during their workday were 23% more productive on those days than when they didn’t exercise.
I’m sure this finding comes as no surprise to you, and there’s little doubt that you’ve started to feel the negative effects of sitting in front of your computer for extended periods of time as well.
Physical issues from sitting too long are headaches, eye strain, neck and low back pain, and poor circulation – especially in your legs.
However, were you aware that sitting is considered the new smoking, and that it’s associated with other more serious health concerns like high cholesterol, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
Tip 3 | Eat (and drink) like you would advise a client to
Just because you’re a health & wellness expert doesn’t mean your own nutritional routine couldn’t use a little upgrading! And much like the clients that you’re counselling – you’re human too, so cut yourself some slack.
On the other hand, just as getting regular exercise is to optimizing our health, eating foods that nourish and fuel our bodies (and minds) is equally, if not more important.
Tip 4 | Better sleep hygiene = healthier adrenals
An entrepreneur’s day is rarely your typical 9-5, so I understand the impulse to want to work into the evening hours. However, I’m not a fan of working at night having suffered from adrenal dysfunction, partly due to working long irregular hours.
I now prefer to get up really early and get into “the zone” before the rest of the family is up.
As you can image, the habit of working late at night often leads to disrupted and poor quality sleep. So, if you are compelled to work at night, try to at least cut down on the blue light exposure that we accumulate from our various devices.
Tip 5 | Self care is NOT selfish!
SELF-CARE is the regular activities that balance out the effects of both emotional & physical stressors – things like we’ve already covered: daily exercise, fueling our bodies with health-optimizing foods, good sleep hygiene, and even yoga & meditation or other similar practices like deep breathing exercises.
From the article Self-Care for Health Professionals” by Dr. Ajiri Baro, MD & Health Coach, self-care is not selfish or an indulgence, nor is it even an option in our daily lives – it is paramount to our well-being and to thriving in our businesses.
Running an online health & wellness business can be incredibly difficult because you’re trying to be a good health role model, and key support person, to so many other people while trying to maintain your own health – all while etching out your own piece of the gluten-free online business pie.
That said, I personally wouldn’t trade running my online business for the world, and I’m sure you’re not throwing in the virtual towel anytime soon either. At least I hope you’re not!
After all, you’re building something that touches so many other people’s lives in a number of ways. So, I hope you’ll adopt these 5 “non-negotiables” for the sake of your own health (and your sanity), while building your own wellness business.
Let us know in the comments if you have your own non-negotiables to keep you focused and on-track in your business.
About the Author
Krista Goncalves is a Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Business Copywriter who lives in Kelowna BC with her husband and two young kids. When she’s not writing, she’s outdoors hiking, paddleboarding or doing bootcamp in the park or on a beach!
While Krista enjoyed her combined 10 years as a Fitness Trainer/Bootcamp company owner & Women’s Health Expert, she’s now incredibly passionate about helping other Health & Wellness Pro’s to “juice up their online businesses” with her web content writing and coaching resources at Making Lemonade
Feel free to connect with Krista on her Facebook page: @MakingLemonadeHealth