When Your Side Hustle Becomes Your Main Hustle: How to Make Time for Wellness as an Entrepreneur
Black Women are no longer waiting for a seat at the table, we're creating our own spaces and opportunities, and as the fastest-growing entrepreneurs in the country, we are a force to be reckoned with.
The conversation is at the forefront of pop culture, as black buying power increases in the United States of America.
In an article published by Forbes "there are 2.4 million African American women-owned businesses in 2018, most owned by women 35 to 54. Black women are the only racial or ethnic group with more business ownership than their male peers, according to the Federal Reserve." In terms of reasoning to pursue our endeavors the same article mentions, "What's more, a catalyst for making the leap into entrepreneurship, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City report said, “often was poor treatment and the perception of being undervalued in the workplace.”
The Amex report echoed this, noting that "higher unemployment rates, long-term unemployment, and a much greater gender and racial pay gap have led women of color to start businesses at a higher rate out of necessity and the need to survive."
Contrasted to the startling statistics is how much the process is glamorized. Yet, entrepreneurship can be challenging, especially, for those who have a day job. That's why learning how to unplug is a necessity as you pursue your passion.
So what does self-care look like for the black woman entrepreneur?
Whether you've already made the leap into full-time entrepreneurship or straddling the fence between a regular 9 to 5 and moonlighting, recharging is a must.
While we think self-care is all about bath soaks and lighting candles, there are some other ways to ensure you are functioning at your best.
1. MAKE Time for Self-Care
This may sound easy, but when you're constantly on the go performing your entrepreneurial endeavors, it can be hard to pause, and that's why you have to prioritize setting time aside for yourself. Similar to how you would plan work, planning your personal life is just as important. I like to keep a weekly planner and include activities such as spa trips, exercise, and anything else I've deemed as "Me Time".
2. Find New Things that Bring you, Joy
I'm a believer that finding new hobbies or events of interest to get involved in is a great mode of self-care. Try something new like cycling or yoga. Maybe you've always wanted to learn how to do it. Now is the time.
Even when your work brings you happiness, you can still experience burnout, so to avoid that, engage in something that doesn't require a ton of brainpower, and brings you joy outside of work. Hobbies and seemingly "random" activities can have therapeutic results and may even help you find you find inspiration for your business!
3. Practice Creating Boundaries
This can be scary for some of us, particularly those who are natural nurturers/empaths or work in service-oriented industries. A part of self-awareness is knowing your limits, and creating boundaries is the way to ensure that you can build and maintain healthy interactions with people. It could be as simple as saying "no" to an obligation or opting to stay home as opposed to attending a social gathering. In turn, practicing boundaries with others helps us to be mindful of our mental health, and teach others how to treat us.
4. BE PRESENT
Learning how to live in the moment allows us to practice gratefulness and other modes of being. There were times in my own life where I had to learn to be in the moment and not look ahead or behind me. This practice can help us maximize opportunities on our entrepreneurial journey, and also show up as our full selves. When engaged in conversation or working on a project a good way to practice this is by unplugging from electronics. Give yourself a break from distractions like social media and watch how focused you can become.
The best part about self-care is that it's subjective.
Just like your business endeavors are unique, so is your self-care routine.
As your needs change, make adjustments so that you can find new, creative ways to pour into yourself and your needs.
While on the journey of financial freedom, keep that same energy in your efforts towards wellness.