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  • Writer's pictureQuoka

How To Practice Self Care As An Entrepreneur

Not all self-care is created equally 😆

One out of every three entrepreneurs experiences depression which is a major cause of suicide. As September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month, I’m putting together a list of self-care tips specifically for founders.

  1. Aromatherapy: Keep something that smells delicious on your desk. Smell it throughout the day. Rub it on your hands, shoulders, and neck. There are many benefits to aromatherapy, and you can tap into them depending on the scents that you use.

    • Lavender is great for relaxation, stress management, and reducing headaches.

    • Peppermint can help improve your focus and mental functions

    • Rose reduces anxiety

    • Rosemary can aid tension and energize you

Once you get into aromatherapy, you realize that it can be used for other things too, like cleaning and even skincare. Make sure to find one that is all-natural and not watered down. Doterra is one that I trust, and it’s easy to find a local small business owner in your circle that has access.

Digitally Declutter: A lot of self-care lists tell you to detox digitally. Unplug. But for an entrepreneur, even the thought of this can cause further anxiety. While that may be an indicator of technology addiction, or lack of proper business structure, trying to solve that problem is an entirely different challenge.

Start small. Recognize that this does not treat the root cause of the problem, but it can help you move towards getting to a place where you eventually can do a digital detox. How do you digitally declutter?

  • Delete apps and think twice before downloading new ones

  • Turn off non-essential notifications for apps (email is not essential)

  • Unfollow people on social media, or consider having different accounts for different reasons to curate your content

  • Stop bringing your laptop everywhere you go

  1. Learn how to say no: Not every opportunity is a good one. As an entrepreneur, it’s natural for you to want to help others, solve problems, and take on new challenges. But getting involved in the wrong situation can distract you, cause stress, become expensive, and, worst of all, damage relationships. Sometimes a great opportunity can present itself, but it’s with the wrong person. Self-care in these situations is about learning how to say no with kindness. Be thoughtful. You do not have to say yes to people immediately. Ask yourself these questions:

    • Does this fit with my long-term vision?

    • How will this change what I’m already working on?

    • Do I need to do this right now, or will the opportunity be available later?

A good rule of thumb is if the opportunity doesn’t excite your entire body, you should pass. Experience tells us that things always take longer than we originally planned. The risks associated with taking on projects when they are not in alignment are not worth it. Practice saying no. Here are some samples: “I love what you’re working on, but I don’t have the bandwidth to take this on.” “Thank you for thinking of me! I don’t know if I’m the perfect fit, but I can make some introductions for you!”

  1. Take Care Of Your Temple: Self-care gurus will tell you to eat right and exercise. Let’s be realistic. Many entrepreneurs have an unhealthy relationship with food. We look at it as fuel, forget about it completely, use it as a coping mechanism, or simply replace it with caffeine and/or alcohol. Working out takes precious time and even though the end result is energizing, getting started and keeping it up is exhausting. You can start small with body self-care and build up to a more holistic routine.

    • Invest in a pair of blue light-blocking glasses

    • Download programs like f.lux, which is free

    • If you have the budget get a Massage Envy membership. If not, you can get a $30 Theracane. Keep it by your desk and use it throughout the day

Remember, no one is perfect. We all have our guilty pleasures and tricks for managing stress. Small things you do now to take of your body will bring peace of mind. With the goal that eventually, you start that workout routine and enjoy three meals a day. 😅

  1. Affirmations: Members of QUOKA have been participating in a 21-day challenge during which they came up with affirmations. This practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment is a simple action that can have a huge impact on your day. Here are some actual examples from members:

    • I believe that hard work pays off

    • I deserve what I give out

    • I am proud of the people that I've helped advance their careers

    • I choose to go over giving up

    • I will make the world a better place

    • I choose independence over stress

    • I am proud of my ability to bounce back during times of stress

    • I deserve to give and receive love in its fullest expression!

    • If I connect to my power and embody it courageously, I will spread it to others in need.

    • I am a positive influence in this world.

    • Being a kickass leader will help me lead a successful team and startup

    • I am TIRED AND TOO OLD FOR TODAY! But seriously excited! 😊

Feel free to use these or come up with your own. It only takes a few minutes to say your affirmations. You can do them all at once or break them up throughout the day. Write them down on small pieces of paper and tape them strategically around your space.

  • Place one on your bathroom mirror.

  • Place one on your laptop

  • Create one as a reminder on your phone

  • Customize your alarm to be an affirmation

  • Put one on the door at eye level

Self Care Is Part of The Journey

Self-care is not something that happens overnight. Just like building a business, it takes time, and your investment in that time will be worth it. If you find yourself unable to focus on solutions to the problems that you are facing, reach out.

QUOKA is an anonymous text message with other entrepreneurs, and I’d love to have you join and share what you are doing for your own self-care. Visit to get started.

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