Chances are you’ve glanced at your calendar recently and been shocked at the date…how is summer racing by so quickly? Between navigating our reintroduction to social gatherings, the delight in getting kids into camps, sports, and playdates, the days pass by in a flash. Before we know it, we’ll be shopping for school supplies and signing up for fall activities…and we’ll be wishing we had grabbed a few more moments to enjoy summer.
In the whirlwind of summertime plans and obligations, it’s important to capture the fleeting simple pleasures of the season. A team of psychologists with PsychologyToday.com conducted a study on the impact of simple pleasure and proved that these tiny moments have a significant impact on your motivation to tackle your goals. “Our study suggests that simple pleasures have the power to restore…feelings of positivity and happiness, giving you the energy and perspective you need to pursue the difficult but important things in life.”
You won’t be surprised to hear that running a small business extracts an intense mental health toll on almost all owners (and we know it’s even tougher on mom entrepreneurs). Thankfully, you can exert some control: when you consciously implement self-care, you can mitigate the negative impact.
Entrepreneur.com confirmed that self-care is essential for long-term business success. We have both intuitive and empirical evidence that giving your brain a break is critical for productivity - Ferris Jabr writes for Scientific American: “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.” It is SO hard to allow ourselves the space for self-care because it feels like an indulgence (and moms traditionally struggle with this!) so let’s flip the switch and consider self-care an investment in your business and its future. Entrepreneur.com explains: “Not only does cash stop flowing in if you can’t work, PriceWaterhouseCoopers found each dollar spent on workplace health meant a $14.50 return on productivity benefits.” So do it for the bottom line!
In addition to personal self-care, you can apply some self-care to your business practices for a similar dose of dopamine. Here is a twist on five simple summertime pleasures for your business:
“Go to the Beach” becomes “Work by the Water”
Technology can be both an angel and a demon, but one of the heavenly pleasures of today’s technology is the ability to work anywhere. Grab your laptop or a pen/notebook and sit by the water (lake? ocean? pool? your pick!) while getting it done. Know yourself: you may find yourself inspired by the water and that’s when you bang out that blog post you’ve been procrastinating. Or it may be easier on you to tackle your more tedious tasks while listening to the waves (or pool filter…whatever works).
“Take a Walk” becomes, well, “Take a Walk”
All of the physical & mental benefits of taking a walk + opportunity to focus your mind = win. Want to brainstorm? Use a dictation tool. Want to learn about a topic? Listen to a podcast. Want to network? Make a call (or invite a new contact to join you!).
“Have a Garage Sale” becomes “Clean Out Your Files”
I know, I know…this doesn’t sound like a lot of fun but the end result is so rewarding. Leave any physical files for wintertime; in summer, take your laptop outside, grab a fruity drink, and organize your files. Organize your folders, file your loose documents, synchronize your naming conventions, and don’t forget the power of the delete button. Does organizing give you hives? Consider some true self-care and invest in a virtual assistant – Pepperlane’s member directory offers several!
“Take a Road Trip” becomes “Explore a New Path”
Nothing is more quintessentially summer than cruising an unknown road with the windows down and the radio blaring. Channel that energy to think of new paths for your business or something you’d like to test or try out. It may be an A/B test with a marketing email, connecting with a new group, a new marketing tactic, or a new tie-in. Whether you translate “explore a new path” literally and hop in your car or simply take the time to think, give yourself the space to let your imagination roam.
“Tend to a Garden” becomes “Tend to Your Business”
The satisfaction of planting seeds, tending to the soil, and watching flowers grow can be directly reproduced in your business. Pepperlane Boosts (a form of self-care by their nature) offer some fabulous garden analogies: planting the seeds of connection, tending to your relationships and leads, and watching your business grow. Plus, having a secure space to connect with similarly-minded women who get it is like (forgive the lame simile but if you know, you know) a bright balmy day. If you haven’t experienced the magic of a Boost mini-mastermind, click here for a complimentary ticket.
While we can’t slow down the swiftly ticking clock, we can grab a few moments to infuse self-care principles into our business in honor of summer: take care of our mental health, spur creativity, and grow our businesses.