If there’s one thing I know, owning a business is no walk in the park. It’s more like tripping in a pothole and getting back up, over and over. So it’s vital that the ones taking care of the business are taken care of themselves. Heck, we preach this often to our clients, don’t we? We ought to follow our own medicine or at least try.
Usually, when I ask others what they do to take care of themselves, I get hit with the same thing: “Well, I would do this but it costs…” Sure, time and money can be a difficult thing to spend, but you’re making these tradeoffs for good reason I’m sure. I’d hope you would include yourself within your own investments as well.
Besides going down the rabbit hole of all the excuses we may tell ourselves to resist self-care, perhaps it’s the best medicine is to get creative. Maybe it’s time self-care we’re taken in a different direction.
The Present-Future-Action Exercise
Some time ago, I tried an exercise that was not only different but surprisingly enjoyable. As business owners, we dream about the future and eventually take action to grasp it. But for those who have been going non-stop, maybe it’s time to dabble back into that dream mode again to remind yourself why you dreamt it up in the first place.
This is a simple three-step system:
Draw your present
Literally, take a white sheet of paper and draw what your present looks like. It may be you surrounded by loads of work. It may be drawing yourself with a massive sized head from feeling overwhelmed. Make it true to how you perceive your present reality at work. Focus on where the stress is. Get creative with it.
Draw your future
Flip over that sheet of paper and draw what you’d like your future to look like. You did this before and your business came to fruition because of it. Now it’s time to redesign that future a bit more to fulfill those newer needs. Again, get creative.
Draw your action
This step could cause some apprehension, but the point of this is to draw out actionable steps in order to make that alternative route for the future you had just redesigned. Heck, you may even want to skip this step because drawing your future was enough to satisfy the moment. But make sure to go back eventually to complete this task, if you wish. Your self-care may depend on it.
And there you have it. Besides doing the same ol’ routine of self-care such as vacationing at the same spot or filling your life with things that aren’t so helpful anymore, maybe it’s time to focus on where the stress stems from. Yes, I’m suggesting the dream you dreamt of owning a business might have given you more than what you can chew, for now, that’s is.
See what happens if you try this exercise. Maybe you’re okay with your new normal, or maybe it’s time to create a newer one. Or maybe, just maybe, shifting things around in your current business plans could do the trick. Maybe not. But hey, what’s the risk of you never trying it in the first place? I’d bet money your time doing this exercise is definitely worth the risk. Good luck!
Jacob Kountz is the founder of Kern Wellness Counseling, a mental health blog, in Bakersfield, CA. His works have been featured on USA Today, Thrive Works, Fatherly, Martha Stewart Weddings, Thrive Global, and is a Practice of the Practice monthly contributor. His blog has also been ranked as one of the top 60 Mental Health Blogs and Websites to Follow in 2018. Currently, he is a therapist for a local non-profit clinic where he provides therapy for individual adults, couples, and families. He is also in the process of becoming an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. He aspires to one day open a private practice in Bakersfield, CA so he may continue to serve his local population. The opinions expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the clinic.