Mums in Business: Wellbeing & self care for the self-employed

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Ola! So I’ve had a small sabbatical from my Mums in Business Round-up whilst I’ve been dealing with mental overwhelm. For a while now things just haven’t been feeling right and I literally couldn’t put my finger on it. But once I STOPPED, read a book, took a deep breath, binge watched a lot of random stuff on Netflix, started walking, putting my phone away, colouring in all these things either by myself or with the children and I started to see things a little differently. For a while now I’ve felt like I’m on auto pilot, running on a hamster wheel churning out the same day, week after week. I got a copy of Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet for my birthday, it looks at how all consumed we are by technology, social media and phones and how this eventually effects our mental health. There are tons of super examples in the book but here is one of my own, My Facebook page has 2,960 followers and literally EVERYDAY I keep inviting/sharing/joining threads desperately trying to get 40 more likes so I hit 3,000. It’s literally all I can think about and although I know my life isn’t going to suddenly be any better it’s hard to rationalise these feelings (*cough* in case you were interested my page link is: facebook.com/joannedewberry.co.uk).

Mums in Business now make up 14% of the overall UK solo self-employed population according to The Association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed (IPSE) report there has been a significant rise in the number of self-employed working mothers with figures reaching 594,000 in 2017. As Mums in Business we are so busy working and being a mum we NEVER nearly provide ourselves with time to do nothing. Doing nothing is good for the soul.

6 Self-Care Tips & Activities :

Reading a Book: I’ve been reading a lot this year, both fiction and non-fiction. I absolutely forgot how much I love getting absorbed in reading. Nicola Says list of 10 self-care activities looks at how cheap reading is too, you can do a book swap with a friend, join your local library, buy books second hand or use a kindle where sometimes books are under £1.

Community: There’s a super post from Nila Holden, 5 daily habits of successful entrepreneurs. “Check in with friends, regularly. I have one or two close business friends who I’m sharing the journey with. We regularly check in with each other, by phone or skype or meet up for coffee. Just to rant or offload or especially, to celebrate the wins. This helps to keep me accountable, makes me feel less isolated and lonely and the mutual sharing and support is a life saver. It’s great to talk to my husband, or my school/uni friends but its only my business friends who truly understand and empathise with what I’m going through and know how to kick me back into shape.”  Building your support network/tribe is really important

Writing Things Down:  Suzannah Butcher, suggests keeping a journal. “Writing down your issues helps you to see them for what they really are so you can let them go. By writing out your deepest thoughts and feelings, you’re also releasing the tension and stress from within you.” I love writing and doodling in my journal. I try to write one thing down in my diary (next to all the numerous appointments and deadlines) that was good and do you know what it’s crazy how something so simple can change your outlook on life.  In this technological age we don’t do enough physical writing (she saying tip tapping away) but remember when you were at school at you wrote down all your revision notes instead of just reading them? Writing things down helps your brain to process them.

Get Outside: Nature has healing properties and being outside is something we take for granted and do very little of.  In April I visited Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest site and took part in some Forest Bathing there are so many parts of the Forest Bathing ideology that you can take home and add into your daily life. I love sitting in my garden, drinking a coffee, phone free for 20 minutes of the day. Sounds simple but realistically when was the last time you did this?  Being outdoors has restorative properties, such as increasing your short term memory and reducing stress. Nature provides natural distressing properties for free! 

Meditation: “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour” ~ Zen Proverb. Syma from CoastalVAs post on winding down is really key, we move from one full on activity to the next never stopping to catch a breath. How many times are you literally typing away furiously, clock watching how many minutes you have left until school pick up, then you jump in the car, grab the kids and drive over to their evening activities, cook dinner, eat dinner, homework and bed. It’s a never ending circle, meditation is a great way to calm down and relax. Looking for a meditation app then check out Headspace. 

Going For Walks: I started this year a monthly Netwalking Group whereby women in business meet up, go for a 30 minute walk in the New Forest, have a 30 minute coffee stop and then walk 30 minutes back.  It’s a great way to network with other women in business, get out of your office, engage with nature and get some fresh air.  It’s not an old wives tale because getting out in the fresh air really does clear the cobwebs away. Walking increases your heart rate, reduces fatigue and increases circulation.  Walking increases your energy levels, metabolism, self-esteem and ultimately improves your mood. Walking really is magic! And if you can do it with friends, natter, network and have a giggle it makes walking even more better! 

If you have any top tips regarding Wellbeing and Self-care do share them in the comments below.  Next month’s theme is Blogger Outreach. Please do tweet your blog post links to @CharlieMoos.

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About Joanne Dewberry

Joanne is a 30 something coffee lover living in rural Dorset with her long suffering partner and three children Charlie (2007), Megan (2008) and Olive (2011). Joanne is owner, designer and creator at Charlie Moo’s specialising in handmade fabric party bags. She also writes a small business blog, is a Sage Business Expert and author of Crafting a Successful Small Business. In 2010 Joanne was named Dorset Business Mother of the Year and has numerous accolades and awards to her name. In her spare time she likes to eat and watch crime dramas sometimes at the same time!

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1 Comment

  1. 12 November 2018 / 15:13

    Going for a bath! Def one of my favourite self care activities! Just about to go and like your Facebook page too so hope I can help you get to that 3000!! At least Facebook isn’t like Instagram where followers fall off all the time! That’s probably one for another post! Have a lovely day x

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