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Don’t Wait until You’re Sick to Take Time Off

Self-care begins when you are healthy!

Think of it as a vacation—Judy King, my mother

Yep. That’s me on November 20, 2016, snuggled by my kitty who rarely left my side during the affliction.

My weekend started out ideal: time off with my partner, enjoying the outdoors together, having a bonfire, a peaceful dinner together, a movie…

Sometime during our Saturday woodfest (clearing out the fallen trees and brush from our property), I started to feel a little off. I brushed off the ill-feeling as imaginary or possibly driving myself a little too hard but still hydrated myself and limited food intake on the precautionary side.

It didn’t work. By Sunday morning, I had a bad case of the Creeping Crud. When my mother called in, she responded with one of her favorite lines, “I know you hate being sick, Krissy, but think of it as a vacation.”

My typical reply, “This is NOT how I would spend a vacation!”

Earlier this year, I wrote, Entrepreneurs NEVER Get Sick! The message at that time was how to take care of yourself and business when you do get sick. The message today is to take time for self-care to limit sick days. Yes, there will be days we’ll get sick, but the more you take care of yourself now, the shorter the duration and severity your sick days will be in the long run.

Just as with starting a business, many people believe that self-care and good health must start at an early age. The lesson I have learned as an exercise physiologist working with cardiovascular patients and as a business owner are similar:

The time to start is NOW!

Being a business owner makes it extra critical to begin healthy habits as you pursue your entrepreneurial journey. Here’s why:

  • You’ll have the physical, mental, and emotional well-being to make it through the highs and lows of running a business.
  • You’ll have more energy to keep up with the demands of business ownership.
  • A nutritious diet will fuel your body better than a not-so-healthy diet. (I’m not one to go to dietary extremes: I really love chocolate!)
  • Varying your exercise routine is as important to creativity and free-time as is not getting caught in a rut in your business: run a treadmill indoors during uncooperative weather; head outside as often as possible. Same with bicycles and stepping machines (find a school stadium and climb those stairs!)
  • Stretch, stretch, stretch! Ideal for mental focus and clarity. This is the most overlooked, and easiest form of exercise and very few people stretch other than that first morning stretch as we get out of bed. Take 10 to 15 minutes a day to stretch your major muscle groups. Combine your stretching with meditation and get a 2-for-1 bonus. Remember to stretch your shoulders, neck and back as well; most of us spend a lot of time at our computers—this will help minimize strain in those areas. Who cares if you can’t touch your toes—you’re still getting the same stretch as those that can.
  • A daily exercise break offers an opportunity to step away from the office and clear the mind. You’ll find ideas and solutions pop into your head faster than stewing over a computer screen.

While a blog or e-newsletter takes a while to gain traction with your readers, your body and mind will benefit from exercise every day. A daily exercise routine is the perfect way to keep from going viral!

Kristen Edens
Kris the Scribbler

Originally published at kristhescribbler.com

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