Prioritize Your Well-being

As the saying goes, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others, and that includes helping your business grow. Get expert tips on how to take care of yourself.

"Avoid too much sugar. Sugar wreaks havoc on our brains and blood sugar and is a major contributor to anxiety, which can undermine your decision-making and performance at work and outside of work." - Jules Anderson, integrative health, nutrition and wellbeing specialist and owner of Feel Glorious.

"I journal. I try to write down a few things I’m grateful for, and the rest is more about who I’m going to be today versus what I’m going to do. Today I’m going to be curious. Today I’m going to be powerful. That helps with self-awareness and how you respond to the things that will present themselves to you throughout the day." - Michael Saloio, founder of The New Company.

"When I started meditating, the thought of spending 40 minutes a day doing it felt daunting. So I started off with 10 minutes. Then I realized that my ability to be present is my ability to be an entrepreneur, so the 40 minutes became an opportunity. Spending 40 minutes a day getting present is way more important than 40 minutes staring at my calendar or responding to emails." - Michael Saloio, founder of The New Company.

"Embrace fats, oils, and good proteins. These are essential if you want to focus, concentrate, and have stable energy levels through the day. Focus on good quality fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, grass fed butter, oily fish, and quality proteins such as fish, chicken, grass fed meats, eggs, quality cheeses, nuts, and tofu." - Jules Anderson, integrative health, nutrition and wellbeing specialist and owner of Feel Glorious.

"The more self aware you are, the more things present themselves as opportunities or possibilities versus roadblocks. One way that I build self-awareness is through my meditation practice. I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes. It’s the first thing I do in the morning after I put coffee on, and again in the afternoon." - Michael Saloio, founder of The New Company.

"Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and free of devices. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day—even on weekends. Getting natural sunlight in the morning and keeping screens turned down at night will also improve your sleep." - Jules Anderson, integrative health, nutrition and wellbeing specialist and owner of Feel Glorious.

"Any time you feel rushed, stressed, tired and wired, try a simple breathing exercise. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose slowly for a count of two, hold your breath for a count of four, then breathe slowly out for six. Focus on the breath coming in and out. As you practice this more, lengthen the time of each count. Just focus on the feelings and sounds of your breath." -
Jules Anderson, integrative health, nutrition and wellbeing specialist and owner of Feel Glorious.

"Take screen breaks. Set your phone to remind you every 60 to 90 minutes and get away from your screen for five minutes. Walk around, drink water, stretch, and breathe deeply." - Jules Anderson, integrative health, nutrition and wellbeing specialist and owner of Feel Glorious.

"One way to keep caffeine from building up in your system and affecting your sleep is to drink a lot of water. It helps flush your system. For every cup of coffee you drink, you try to drink at least one cup of water. If you try to sleep when there’s too much caffeine in your system, that’s when you toss and turn for hours." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"Deep sleep is highly restorative. And throughout the night, you’re supposed to cycle between lighter and deeper stages of sleep. When you have too much caffeine in your system at night, you stay in those lighter stages throughout the night and never get the deep sleep that you need." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"The reason meditation is important for overall stress is that it helps you manage your stress response. A regular meditator will still feel stress, but their resilience is higher and they recover from their stress response faster than someone who doesn’t meditate." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"If you’re new to meditation and you’re not sure what’s supposed to be happening, it’s normal to notice your mind wandering and feel like you’re not doing it right. But that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. Thoughts are going to come and go, and the whole point is to see those thoughts over and over and understand whether they’re useful or not." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"If you’re going through a stressful time, remember to drink water and find ways to break a sweat. Both are great ways to flush out the excess stress hormones in your system. Aim to drink 12 ounces of water every two hours and find a form of exercise you look forward to doing when you’re feeling stressed out." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"Myofascial release balls are a great way to relieve sore upper back muscles that can contribute to the overall feeling of stress. They’re basically lacrosse balls, and you can get them on Amazon. Sit with them behind your back so you’re constantly massaging out any tense muscles in the upper back and spine area. It changes your physiology, which helps change your state of mind." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"If you want to start meditating, start small. Aim for as little as 1 minute a day. You want your practice to be sustainable, so don’t start with a 20-minute daily meditation. You want your meditation to be something that you look forward to, and you have to cultivate the habit first. So start small and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to meditate for longer periods of time." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

"I generally recommend stopping your caffeine intake around 2 p.m. You want to get as much caffeine out of your system as possible by the time you go to sleep, and caffeine has a long half-life, meaning it lingers in your body a lot longer than you realize." - Marina Kirik, certified health coach.

Stress can lead to issues like muscle tension, headaches, insomnia, stomachaches, and more. And the worry caused by these problems can lead to even more stress, creating a vicious cycle. Exercise can break that cycle, because in addition to releasing endorphins, physical activity helps relax muscles and relieve tension.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

"As soon as I wake up I write down three things I'm grateful for. Then I set three intentions for the day, and I choose things that I feel are going to be particularly challenging, like "offering and asking for assistance" or "making healthy choices". The more grateful and purposeful I am the happier and more motivated I get and manage to take on bigger and more challenging tasks." - Gokce Gizer, founder of Onkaro Consulting.

Deep breathing exercises can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response. The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper. When you breathe in deeply through your nose, your lungs fully expand and your belly rises. This helps your heart rate slow, allowing you to feel more peaceful.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Exercise is an effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts mental and physical energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Anything that gets you moving can help, but you’ll get a bigger mental health benefit if you focus on your activity instead of zoning out.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment. It can help combat the anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking. There are several methods for increasing mindfulness, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and meditation.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Procrastination can cause stress. Get in the habit of making a to-do list that's organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list. Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as multitasking can be stressful, too.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Not all stressors are within your control but some are. You may need to say "no" more often, especially if you find yourself taking on more than you can handle. Juggling many responsibilities can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Being selective about what you take on can be a good start to controlling your stress levels.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Social support from family and friends can help you get through stressful times, and one study found that men and women with few social connections were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a non-profit promoting greater awareness of mental health challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety.

"We are human beings. We are not robots, we are not machines. We need sleep, we need water, we need food. When you build this into your day, every day, you’re going to be able to do a lot more." - Dillan DiGiovanni, integrated identity coach and certified integrative health coach.

Watch a funny video. Cue up clips of your favorite comedian or funny TV show. Laughing is good for an anxious mind. Research shows that laughter has lots of benefits for mental health and well-being.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a nonprofit promoting greater awareness of mental-health-challenges like stress, depression and anxiety.

"If there’s no you, there’s no startup, there’s no business, there’s no nothing if you run yourself into the ground. It’s done. Build in the relief sooner to play the longer game. Build in the rest and relief and then you’ll have more energy, more focus, more endurance, more resilience so that your turnaround time will be faster and faster." - Dillan DiGiovanni, integrated identity coach and certified integrative health coach.

Follow the 3-3-3 rule: Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body. This will help center your mind and bring you back to the present.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a nonprofit promoting greater awareness of mental-health-challenges like stress, depression and anxiety.

"The biggest thing is understanding you and your work habits and what you need. At the end of the day, you’re the lifeline and if your employees see that you’re unhappy, at such a small company, everyone can sense everything. So it has a negative impact on the business and the mood. You have to get yourself right as you build and scale your team. I think that’s the thing that founders most neglect." - Greg Castro, founder and CEO of Sparky + Hollywood.

Ask for a second opinion. Call or text a friend or family member and run through your worries with them. Saying them out loud can help you see them for what they really are.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a nonprofit promoting greater awareness of mental-health-challenges like stress, depression and anxiety.

"Take persistent action and then when you know you’re tired, you have take some time off. Because otherwise you’re burning yourself out. You can achieve incredible success and take time off. And in fact you’ll enjoy what you achieve more, and you’ll achieve more, when you take time off." - Dillan DiGiovanni, integrated identity coach and certified integrative health coach

Fact-check your thoughts. Don’t fixate on worst-case scenarios. To combat your worries, think about how realistic they are. Rethink your fears to come up with a rational way to deal with your anxious thoughts.
Tip provided by the Do No Harm Foundation, a nonprofit promoting greater awareness of mental-health-challenges like stress, depression and anxiety.

"Allow yourself to be still and bring your attention to your breath. Let your breath flow effortlessly. Inhale fully into your abdomen and exhale from your abdomen. Each breath should last for about six seconds. Let go of your thoughts and the other things you have to complete that day. Allow yourself to be still and just breathe for a few moments." - Kyle Somersall, founder of Innerglow, on mindful breathing.

"Choose something natural around you and focus on watching it for a short while. This could be a tree, flower, insect, person, water, the clouds or something else in your immediate environment. Observe this thing with curiosity and let yourself be consumed by its presence. Relax into harmony with it for a few moments." - Kyle Somersall, founder of Innerglow, on mindful observation.

"Consider something you do everyday, like turning on a light or opening your laptop. At the moment you turn the light on, stop to acknowledge your hand’s ability to turn on the light, your eyes’ ability to perceive the light, and the fact that you can access light at the flip of a switch. At the moment you open your computer you can appreciate the ability of your hands and your brain’s capacity to understand how to use a computer." Kyle Somersall, founder of Innerglow, on mindful awareness.