Small business owners are known to run themselves ragged. It’s one of the great and exhausting things about running your own business. I recently had the unpleasant experience of being taken down by a muscle spasm in my back. While recovering, I was rendered virtually unable to do anything but lay still. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on whether I was managing my health well enough to properly support my business. Sure, everyone gets sick or injured now and then, but I needed to review whether I was doing everything I could to prevent this from happening again.
Here are some of the key takeaways I had from my injury to make sure it did not affect my business.
- Have BackupsÂ One of the great things about running Eli Rose is working with some other great people who help us to manage our workload. Typically, they help us out on assigned projects while we manage the bulk of the workload. Occasionally, they pitch in with an increased workload when we travel for work, take vacation or when we get sick. Having backups means that when you go down, your business doesn’t.
- Watch Your PostureÂ My back injury had many contributing factors. However, one of the things I realized is that I was doing my back no additional favors. At night, I often work in bed or on the couch in order to be closer to my husband. I write blog posts and answer emails with a laptop balanced on, well, my lap. This means I’m constantly positioned to look down. In order to make sure that I’m doing the best for my body, I need to start working at a desk more often than not.
- Get Regular ExerciseÂ This seems like an obvious statement but as a small business owner (or a busy person of any kind) it can become easy to keep putting exercise off untilÂ tomorrow. But as we know,Â what you do every day matters more than what you do once in awhile. While I’ve been better at making sure that I get out and move my body at least a few times a week, strength training, flexibility and balance are also important contributors to your body’s health. Making sure to mix it up helps your body and your life overall.
- Take a BreathÂ You can’t be all stress all the time. Taking a breather from your hectic schedule – whether it’s to read a book, have date night, or watch HGTV – can help you to stay healthy in many ways both physically and mentally. Plus, it’s a great way to help you return to your work with renewed focus.
This is a topic I’m sure I’ll return to again and again. Nothing in life is ever static and work life balance is something that needs to constantly be flexible and change based on the circumstances currently occurring in your life. However, the opportunity to examine the factors that contribute to my health and the health of my business is always something I’m grateful for. I just hope it will be less uncomfortable in the future.
What do you do to make sure you’re less likely to be away from work for health reasons?