As entrepreneurs, it?s easy to forget to show ourselves some love and care. In 2019, self care is the new black. 🙂

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Let?s face it. It?s in our genes to over-schedule, over-prepare and over-work. I don?t remember the last time that I?ve taken some time for myself and I bet you feel the same way. Why bother with me-time or self-love, you?ve got things to do right? Sure, you?ve got a million tasks to accomplish and there?s only 24 hours in a day. So you skip meals, skip dates, stay up late to answer emails and sleep with your phone in your hand. But entrepreneurs have to change the way we think or it?s going to cause us to burn out faster than those little tea light candles you should be putting by your bath. In fact, research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shows nearly 40 percent of all workers today feel overworked and intense pressure to the point of anxiety, depression and disease. If you don?t take care of yourself, there won?t be anything left to take care of your business, or more importantly, your family.

Let me intercept right there. It?s time we all take a break, no matter how hard that might be. And because I know you just a little too well, I?ve catered tips for self-love with our tendency to need to over-plan. Here are five tips for scheduling a little me-time into your work routine.

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Tip 1: Get your Zs (and your broccoli!)
Okay, we?ve heard it to the point where we have all learned to just simply ignore it. But studies constantly show that the best way to work at an optimal level is to ensure that you are getting plenty of water, a balanced diet and solid hours of sleep. Now, I know what you?re thinking: I barely have time to eat lunch, I can?t live without coffee and I?m never in bed by 2 a.m. Here?s where it changes. In your calendar, I need you schedule in your food and sleep. It sounds silly but I know you won?t do it if it?s not written on your pad. Write in an exact time for lunch each day and step away from your computer and phone to go eat. It doesn?t help your digestive track to scarf down your food, so really take your time, rest your brain and eat. Remember, everyone in the world is probably eating at the same time as you, so odds are you?re not missing a thing. And make sure to consume calories that matter- protein, healthy fats, nuts, fruits and vegetables. They?ll keep your engine running more efficiently. Remember when I mentioned water? It may have went in one ear and out the other but I want you to drink a water bottle in between each conference call. Now if you?re on the phone back to back, I?ll settle for half. By the end of the day, you?ll have consumed the proper amount of water for the day and you?ll still have time for wine! Make it a habit and you won?t even think about it. Lastly, you can have to go to bed in enough time to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Being sleep deprived can wreak havoc on your immune system and your body. Keep your room cool and dark with no lights from the T.V. or phone. And make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Your body works best when it?s on a schedule.

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Tip 2: Set Hours and Stick To Them
This one is going to hurt a little but just think of it as a band-aid—once you rip it off, you?re good to go. A lot of entrepreneurs answer calls and emails way into the night. This is not good for you or your boundaries. All of that constant communication can make you feel like you?re always on call and have no chance of separating work and personal life. You have to set work hours and stick to them, no matter how hard it will seem. The reason is that you?re walking a close line of losing your true self completely. If you tie all of your energy up into your work, what happens if your business goes under or what if you lose that job you?ve worked so hard for? Without having a strong home life to fall back on, you take the risk of putting all your eggs into one basket, which never works well when your basket gets too heavy. It may be hard to do at first and you might even catch a little attitude, but in the end, everyone will get used to your hours and only ask for your help during that time. (Save time by organizing your legal life, here.)

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Tip 3: Learn to Unplug
What in the world did businesses do before the cell phone? Well, they had meatloaf, read the paper and maybe even gardened a little. The constant communication is handy in times of need but if you?re not careful, it can begin to consume your entire life and then before you know it you?ve had your cell phone in your hand from the time you got home until the time you go to bed. Make sure you take time to turn off your cell phone! You?ll be amazed at how much you get done each day and you?ll finally feel a release from the outside world. And please, no cell phones at the dinner table. (P.S. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, check out these tips to unwind.)

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Tip 4: Find a Hobby
You need to find something that takes your mind completely away from work and gives yourself a break from the tension and anxiety that you may feel each day. Whether it be a dance class, horseback riding lessons, a workout at the gym, a spa day or time with a good book, you have to find something to do a few times a week that?s just for you. Always wanted to take Karate or a cooking class? What?s stopping you? Sign up, right now. Go ahead, I?ll wait.

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Tip 5: Take a Vacation or a Workcation
It always surprises me how many entrepreneurs simply think they?ll vacay later in life. You should take a week off of work every few months. As scary as that sounds, you?ll make up for in creativity and productivity what you?ve given up in time. Take the whole week and go somewhere. And it doesn?t always have to be to Cancun. Think about camping or visiting your hometown or staying in a cabin with your girlfriends. Any place that gets you away from your computer (your home one too!) is the best place to get some R&R. Go ahead and put all your weeks on the calendar now. It will give you something to look forward too and let everyone else plan around your dates.

By making your home a retreat from the office and filling your calendar with dates for your own relaxation, you?ll be doing yourself the ultimate favor. Showing self-love is hard as an entrepreneur but it?s something you?re going to have to do so that you can last for the long race. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint and you truly do only live once. Make sure to make it count!

Join the workcation.