028: Self-Care To Boost Business Performance
Do you have a self-care routine? Have you let it slip over time? Or are you at a stage where you really need to bring in some practices that will support you, your wellbeing, and your business growth? If so, you're in the right place. Let's dive in.
Hi, I'm Jo Ingram. Welcome to Action Taker Tribe. Today we're talking about self-care - particularly the question I was asked recently, which is what do I do for my self-care? How do I support my motivation and energy levels so I can keep building my business at a pace I feel really excited about? It's interesting because as a heart-centered entrepreneur we're all fascinated by self-care and so it should be, because our vibration or energy is so important when it comes to how we build our business.
Anyone who's been in a dip and has felt unmotivated and lacking in energy, knows that as an entrepreneur or a solopreneur that's going to affect your business. You're not going to call in the clients. You're not going to be able to put yourself out there and show up for your business.
Ultimately, it's going to affect your income. It's going to affect your impact.
It's a great question, what do I do for my self-care, and it's interesting because when I worked in a corporate job, I got into a rhythm of doing a certain amount of self-care, and I found that I had the time to do that. I would take a lunch break and go to a yoga class. I started to really build it into my day because I was so stressed in the corporate environment.
I knew that I had to do the self-care to support myself.
When I transitioned into running my own business, I kept that up for a period of time, but I found that when I was about six months into it, I had all but let the self-care drop by the wayside. My perception was that I was just too busy - I just wanted to take action, action, action all the time. I wanted to get to my desk as quickly as possible in the morning and work until late at night, wanting to do all the things.
You'll know that when you start building a business in the beginning, there are so many things that you have to do - unless you establish all of these things, you feel like you can't really build a business - until you learn the tech, until you establish ways for people to get to know you. I filled my days with hours of this and let the self-care fall by the wayside. That was until I fell into a dip and became a bit burned out.
Suddenly I felt like, OK, I seem to have got this wrong. I need to get back to the self-care. I need to let inspiration flow through me. I need to stop pushing so hard.
That's when I revisited all of the self-care practices that I had done in the past. I started to think about what supports me and what I need to do the most. Right now, at the time of recording this, I am extremely motivated by my self-care, and I spend about an hour a day on the different methods that I have that support me and my wellbeing. I'm going to talk you through them because you may be interested in exactly what I do.
Before I do that though, I just want to let you know that if you feel any ‘less than’ listening to what I'm doing right now, don't - because as I've just described, I go through phases in my life when I'm doing more and phases when I'm doing less, and you may find that what I do doesn't serve you in the same way. However, if I can inspire you in any way to start a self-care regime or add something that supports you and your business growth, that would excite me greatly. So, here I go.
First of all, this might come as a shock, but I track what I do.
I love a spreadsheet, and this is going to sound really weird, but I have spent some time in the Tony Robbins school of thought, and he talks about how you can't manage what you can't measure. I come from a background in corporate where I was very, very into spreadsheets, so this is a very natural thing for me to do, but I thought to myself now, what exactly am I doing? If I state an intention that I wish to exercise, or I wish to meditate, how will I know whether I'm actually doing it or not unless I track it? - so I created a simple little spreadsheet where I put all of the things that I intend to do in a week, and I actually tick off each day whether I've done them or not.
By the time a week is over, have I actually meditated three times? Have I actually written in my journal five times? Have I avoided meat for the number of times that I want to do so? For me, I have gone over all of the different aspects of my life that I have an intention for, that I have a vision for, and if it's important for me and I know how to evaluate it, I've popped it on my spreadsheet.
The things I'm currently doing every morning - well, most mornings, particularly the days I take the kids to school – start with dropping them off, before I head straight into the forest. I'm really fortunate that I live right next door to beautiful Epping forest in London. I take my journal with me - I'm really into journaling outside.
You might’ve seen the photos that I've been posting on social media - it just really inspires me. It doesn't matter what the weather is - I've sat in the rain under an umbrella, I’ve found different shelters from the wind. Of course, I adore it when it’s sunny. Ideally, I just like to get outside and do my journaling.
I was never a big journal writer in the past and I find writing page after page a bit disconcerting and off-putting, so I create really simple prompts for myself.
I might ask myself what is going right for me right now and just write a nice list of what I'm appreciating, what's good in the moment.
I might ask myself what my intention for the day or week is. I write things that I really want to manifest, things I really want to come into my life. It could be anything from, ‘I want to be really patient and present with my children today’, to ‘I really want to call in a new client for my business’. Whatever it is, I just go with my intuition and allow myself to write perhaps only half a page, sometimes a couple of pages. Then I like to do a meditation. I haven't found a single meditation that's absolutely the one that I always go to, but I have a variety of ones that I like to listen to.
I have trained as a Pranic healer, very basic training, but I'm really into the twin hearts meditation. Stephen Co leads the US branch of Pranic healing, and he’s recorded the twin hearts abridged version, which is on YouTube. It's absolutely beautiful and it always makes me feel loving and compassionate. I've also recently done a Heidi Stevens program - she does law of attraction, so I might listen to one of her meditations.
Always when I feel like I need to feel pumped up and motivated, I love listening to Tony Robbins - Priming. If you've never listened to it, go onto YouTube and look it up, because it covers all of the different aspects in about 10 or 15 minutes. When I say that, I mean you get a bit of appreciation, you can visualise your future, you can do a little bit of breathing - it just really gets you started in the morning, so I'll do something like that, but only for about 10 minutes. I'm not well-practiced in meditation, so I do find it hard to properly get into my mind and do it for a long time, but I feel that that 10 minutes gives me a really good grounding for the day. It takes away any tensions that I might be feeling that could carry over into the rest of the day and my work.
Once I'm in the woods, I walk and listen to a podcast at the same time.
Sometimes I listen to business podcasts, but often if I really need that spiritual grounding, I will listen to a law of attraction podcast. At the moment I'm listening to Abraham Hicks daily podcasts, which are about 10 minutes long, and I'm finding them incredibly fascinating. I find they always give me inspiration. If I listen to one before my journaling, I often find the prompts kind of flow through me because of something I've just listened to.
At the moment I'm walking around the woods, but in the past, I was running. That's something that I really want to change for the future. I feel like during COVID, I've become a lot less mobile. I spend a lot more time at my desk and a lot less time moving around. When I worked in corporate, I would commute every day into central London. I'd walk up the escalators. I'd be moving around between meetings and offices. Now I’m not. I literally move from the bed to the desk, to the fridge, back to the desk, make a cup of tea, back to the desk. Apart from this moment where I go out in the woods, it could be very easy for me to not be mobile, so this morning ritual is my time to get mobile and get myself moving. I know that I need to start running again. I used to really enjoy it, but I've become less confident, so that's something that's on my tracker that I’m not really ticking off.
Something else I do at home and with my husband most mornings is do the Wim Hof breathing routine.
Again, it's on YouTube. It only lasts about 10 minutes, and it takes you through guided breathing. You do three rounds of breathing - you exhale, and then hold your breath for a period of time. Apparently, it really resets your nervous system and helps calm you down. It's something that we've just built into our routine and I think that breath work is so important.
When we finish that, we do a really quick 5–10-minute yoga routine, just going through some basic movements to wake our bodies up in the morning and try and counter some of that stiffness from sitting at our desks too much.
All in all, I guess at the moment I'm probably doing about an hour and a half a day, which is insane. When I say that, I can't believe I'm even doing it, but I keep reminding myself that the whole reason I want to work for myself is so that I can create the lifestyle that I want, and my dream is to have a lifestyle where I walk in the woods. One day, I want a dog. Hopefully, my husband will be relaxing into that idea soon, and a little puppy will be called into our lives.
At the moment I am living the dream.
Every day I get up and get to go to the woods to meditate, write in my journal, walk around, and enjoy the wildlife and solitude, I'm living part of my vision and for that I'm so appreciative.
I'm also finding that as I'm building in more self-care, the intuition is flowing through me more. The pushing and the striving that I was feeling in my business is less of a feature. Now I'm just allowing myself to be inspired.
I’m leaning towards things that I'm enjoying and simply trusting that my business is building and that it's going in the right direction. That what I'm sharing and putting out in the world is landing in the right people's laps. They're hearing me, I'm helping where I can, I'm serving, I’m giving value and that's coming more and more as I'm leaning into looking after myself as a priority too.
Something I've really got into last thing at night that is so simple, but so incredibly effective, happens as I go to sleep. As I turn into that comfortable position - you know, the one that is your sleeping moment, when you know that you're going to go to sleep - I close my eyes and I just start remembering all of the things that happened today that went well, that were in my favour, that made me feel good. I just run through them in my mind. Oh, there's that smile my daughter gave me. There’s that moment where I was patient, where in the past I might've been frustrated. That great conversation I had with my client where she felt so great when she came off the call and so did I. That really nourishing meal I enjoyed that my husband made me. Remembering that I feel loved and appreciated. Remembering that I really enjoyed my walk this morning because the sun shone.
We're not talking monumental things. We're talking simple everyday moments that are so easy to brush over and forget. Instead at night I just love to run through them.
Sometimes I only think of one and I'm already asleep, but my understanding is, as I'm listening to a lot more of this law of attraction stuff, that if you go to sleep thinking about great things and get on that high vibration, you actually have a much higher chance of waking up in the morning still feeling great and having a higher vibration. Who doesn't want to wake up on the right side of bed?
I know that when I wake up in a grump, the day is so much harder, and although I still push forward with my self-care, it's almost like I don't want to do it.
Look, I'm going to be transparent - some days I don’t. Particularly when I hit a weekend, I don't want to get out of bed - I just want to mill around and have a really easy day. Sometimes I really need that. I think it's important for us to be compassionate with ourselves, but sometimes we suffer for it, and I'm a little grumpy later on. I might snap at one of the kids and actually think to myself, you silly girl, you should've gone to the woods. You should have done your care because you would have felt better for it. We're all on a learning curve. Live and learn - learn what works for you and keep leaning into anything that makes you feel good.
The bottom line is, the better you feel for yourself in your own energy, the better you're going to feel about building your business and the greater energy you're going to bring to your clients. Ultimately this is going to support you and your business growth.
I hope you've enjoyed this episode today. It is my ambition to grow my podcast - it's a big focus for me. I adore recording it and my vision is that it will help as many people who are first growing their businesses as possible. If you do know anybody that would appreciate listening to this episode or any of the others, please do hit share and send it along to them. Don't forget of course to subscribe so you get each episode downloaded directly into your podcast app.
Thank you for listening and supporting my podcast. Have an action filled week. Take care.