Your physical and emotional health matters, writes wellness expert John Fell, Co-owner of RISE Health and Fitness.
I was genuinely fascinated by OnDeck’s research that found that only one in two (50%) SME owners have taken a holiday in the last six months. Over one in four (26%) haven’t had a break for at least four years. A small minority (6%) say they have never taken any time off from their business.
It is vitally essential for SME owners to take a break from their business. It doesn’t need to be a massive break – just taking a long weekend here, and there can help owners recharge.
Maintaining wellbeing between holidays is critical too
The energy of the owner drives the energy of the business. Having structured rules in place around turning off mobile devices and spending time investing in relationships can help SME owners avoid being always reactive to work.
The long hours SME owners devote to their business can have serious health impacts. Poor dietary choices and low levels of physical activity are contributing factors to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A constant focus on work can even impact personal relationships. More sleep is another element that is crucial to better health.
However, if we prioritise our work over everything else, it probably means we’re not moving enough, doing sufficient structured exercise and often when we get tired, we make poor dietary choices. Usually, this means grabbing for high-fat and sugary convenience foods, which taste good but make us feel terrible and sluggish and contribute to weight gain.
The importance of good sleep
If you’re sitting up late at night answering and writing emails, you are missing out on essential, restorative sleep. In order to ensure you have better sleep, aim for 7-9 hours a night. Your sleep cycle is influenced by your circadian rhythm which matches the active and restful cycle of the day with the night. To ensure good rest, aim to wake and go to sleep at the same times every day.
Also minimise the amount of light your eyes are exposed to after sunset. Light elevates the levels of cortisol, a hormone that keeps us awake. After dusk, we need to aim for more darkness, which produces melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. To reduce the light in your home, use light dimmers, and aim to get away from your smartphone or laptop screens at least 2 hours before bedtime.
To initiate sleep, your core temperature needs to drop to help you sleep. So, set your evening thermostat for 18-20 degrees for a restful slumber.