- Posted by Lily Hills
- On January 23, 2017
- 0 Comments
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
~ The Buddha
If you’re a typical entrepreneur, chances are good that you already possess the unique combination of qualities that traditionally define the members of this particular “club”; passion, vision, risk tolerance, determination, confidence and a strong work ethic. And as you navigate the often turbulent waters of entrepreneurship, you’ll be calling upon each of these invaluable characteristics on a daily basis.
But while most entrepreneurs possess these “high performance” qualities in abundance, the one trait that will be most elusive for the majority is “balance”…balance between pleasure and productivity, downtime and crunch time, physical activity and mental activity. Let’s be honest, if you are a fledgling business owner, you’re far more likely to downing your 4th cup of coffee and pulling an all nighter than silencing your cell phone and spending some quality time with yourself in a beautiful and tranquil garden setting. And who can blame you! There are very few things as exciting (or as nerve wracking) as watching your business vision become a reality.
However, without balance, an ability to step back, relax, reassess, regroup and nurture yourself, your passion for making your dream a reality can take a big toll on you physically and mentally over time, impacting not just you, but your family, co-workers and any random stranger that passes your overworked path. Passion fueled by worry can turn into obsession, and the slide into workaholism can be steep and sudden.
What we ambitious entrepreneurs often forget about in our quest to create a successful business is, as the Buddha puts it, our “duty” to take excellent care of our bodies, the one we are going to be sleeping with for the rest of our lives.
Have you ever been bedridden for an extended period of time with a severe ailment that wiped you out? It can’t be qualified as a good time in any capacity. Without a healthy body, and the clear mind that comes with it, it is impossible to maintain the pace and deal with the pressures of a new burgeoning business, especially during the first two years. So how can we best care for the miraculous and mysterious gift of our bodies, our “ride” through life, as we navigate the heavy workload and responsibilities that accompany a start up business? Here are 4 wise tips for budding entrepreneurs that the Buddha would most certainly endorse.
- Guard your sleep like a castle – I know, I know, it’s often one of the hardest health habits to practice, but studies show that chronic sleep loss can contribute to a myriad of health problems including high blood pressure, weight gain and a decrease in the immune system’s power. So make it a priority to clock in as many z’s as you need to feel fully rested when you awaken in the morning. Don’t underestimate the power of this life extending ritual. Remember, sleep deprivation is a torture tactic…honor your body’s need for rest.
- Spend time hanging out with Mother Nature. Between our homes, our cars and our offices, the overwhelming majority of us are spending most of our time indoors in confined spaces. This is flat out unnatural, and a fast track to depression. Study after study show a direct and dramatic connection between spending more time in the natural world and increased overall health. So, whenever possible, take your breaks outdoors rather than in front of your computer. Mother nature provides healing and inspiration for anyone wise enough to seek her company.
- Create a natural high through exercise…Studies show that exercise is as important as what we eat when it comes to our overall health! Give yourself the gift of that lovely cascade of delicious endorphins that accompany getting your heart rate up…and if you can workout outside, you’ll get compound interest on your investment in yourself!
4. Stand up for your health –A 14 year study shows the death rate for those who sit 6 hours per day is 40% greater than those who sit 3 hours or less per day! Forty percent! Just like on a pack of cigarettes, there should be a warning label on every chair we purchase; “Warning…sitting can be hazardous to your health!” So every hour, set your alarm on your watch, phone or computer and get out of your chair and onto your feet for even a few minutes. And remember, you are extending your life with every standing ovation you give yourself!