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5 Tips For Work from Home Women

5 Self Care Tips for the Work from Home Woman

5 Tips For Work from Home Women

I’ve been working from home for the last 2.5 years, and it has been one of the biggest blessings, like ever. I loathe schedules and commitments – there’s no better way to take the wind out of my sails than by putting a bunch of rules and restrictions around something.

I mistakenly used to participate in some negative self talk about being lazy. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to start my own business that I realized I wasn’t lazy at all – just stubborn. I’m not sure that one is any more commendable than the other, but I do want the record to note that when you’re not feeling your work or when you’re buried under so much compliance and so many office politics that you can’t see straight, it’s a lot easier to stop caring.

Once I transitioned into my new business and got over the initial “OMG, I don’t need an alarm or pants” phase, I dove into my work full-force … and I forgot to come up for air.

There is too much of a good thing. When you love something, it’s easy to spend your time and resources fully engulfed in it. Unfortunately, there are also a few problems with that mindset that caught me totally off guard. The biggest one was that I stopped taking care of myself. Eventually, I was able to bring myself back to center (well, sort of… I’m not sure that I was ever really centered), but in order to do that, I had to start being really intentional with my time. The thing that I hated about having a job in the “real world” was the same thing I had to find a way to work into my new, no-pants-wearin, girlboss life – s t r u c t u r e.

Is it normal to struggle with balance?
Am I selfish for complaining?
Do other people find themselves experiencing these things?

Girllllll, I’ve been there. You’re not alone. And you don’t ever need to apologize for any situation that you find yourself in. Some people won’t get it – that’s okay. You are never required to justify your feelings to anyone. You’re a badass, and just like any badass, you’ll have successes and struggles. So no, you are not selfish for having the same problems that everyone else has in some way.

It took me awhile, but once I was able to start implementing these 5 tips, my world went back into balance. Since I have so many fellow girlboss friends, I thought some of you might find these tips helpful as you navigate through your own at-home businesses.

Brush your teeth and your hair – every day. This should go without saying, right? One would think. On more than one occasion, I’ve realized at noon that I hadn’t brushed my teeth for the day yet. I like to drink my coffee before brushing my teeth – toothpaste coffee is the worsttttt. Ultimately, I get caught up in what I’m doing and find myself hours later with unbrushed teeth and a cold cup of coffee, trying to figure out what happened. Even though you don’t have to leave the house and most days, people don’t see you, taking care of yourself will make you feel better (and be healthier, because… cavities). You don’t need to go crazy and shower – that’s for the weekends -amen? But, take the 5 minutes to brush your teeth and undo the bed head, even it it gets replaced with a top knot.

Get moving. I’m fortunate that I work in health and fitness, so a daily workout is part of my job. However, I know many women who work in other fields and struggle to make time to for exercise. I get it – it feels selfish to take 30-60 minutes for yourself. However, exercise releases endorphins, which makes you happy, and in the words of Elle Woods, “happy people don’t kill anyone”. Or, to paraphrase, happy people run happy businesses. Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others. Remember to get up and move around every hour, even if it’s just to warm up your coffee or grab fresh water. If you need to, set an alarm on your phone or Fitbit to remind you.

Set business hours. I mentioned earlier that it’s easy to get caught up in your work when you love what you do, because often times, it doesn’t feel like work. The problem with this is twofold. First, you’ll eventually burn out. No one can work 20 hours a day and maintain that long term. Hopefully, your career will last you a lifetime, and you don’t want to be sick of it after the first year. Remember that you chose this type of work for a reason, and it probably wasn’t the actual work. So don’t forget to be intentional with your time. Work like a boss during your business hours, and leave your phone in the other room during the other times. Being present with your family, friends, and the rest of your life is so important.

Pursue and uncover your hobbies. Unfortunately, our culture teaches a lot about purpose and contributing, and not very much about fun and play. As we get older, we learn that hobbies are only meant for those who have accomplished all their work and proved their worth – and that mindset is killing us. We were created to do a multitude of things – not just work. By taking some time each day to pursue the things that bring you joy, you’ll be healthier and happier, and it will be easier to focus on your work when you return to it. If you’re like me, you might not know what your hobby is or what you even enjoy doing. This is a good thing – it means that your life is a blank slate, just waiting to be filled with activities. Try some of those saved Pinterest projects that have been collecting virtual dust. Read for fun. Join a small group at church. Organize your basement (I swear, I’m like Monica from Friends). It doesn’t have to be an “official” hobby to produce joy.

Remember that life exists outside of your work. Again, it’s SO easy to forget that what we’re doing isn’t our entire existence. When we become business owners, our work shifts from work to a piece of us. Our accomplishments and failures can become who we are, not what we’ve done. It takes a special type of person to launch a business and believe in it. These people typically have wonderful qualities like drive and dedication – but sometimes that comes with the ability to obsess and worry, be a perfectionist, and want to control. GUILTYYYYY. Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company or you’re a 1 {wo}man show at home in your sweats, your work does not define you. It can be an incredible part of your life, but your life is incredible with or without it. I love my work and have a huge passion for it, but I had to learn the hard way that there are other things outside of it that deserve equal amounts of my attention, love, and care. Try to remind yourself of this throughout the highs and lows that you’ll undoubtedly experience. This will make it a lot easier to press forward with the grace and self-love that you need and deserve.

Even though having a business from home is a dream come true, it can feel kind of isolating. We’re all in this together – community over competition. Isn’t it time we start supporting each other, in spite of our differences? The thing that’s always confused me is that fear and envy is typically the culprit behind criticism and judgement. Instead of supporting each other, we attack each other for our differences – the differences that ultimately keep us out of competition with one another. If we were all exactly the same, life would be a never ending competition. Instead, we get to embrace our differences, realizing that our uniqueness is what allows us to live in a world full of dreamers and doers, builders and buyers, emotion and logic, and endless opportunity.

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