This year has been all about health for me: Reducing the hours I work, joining a gym with my husband and finding a therapist are some of the big changes I’ve made. However, I don’t always remember that adding new things, healthy things, to my daily and weekly routines means that I don’t have quite as much time to accomplish that huge task list that forever hangs-on for self-employed folks…and really everyone. 

This realization is slowly forcing me to learn how to be kind to myself. It’s okay if that big project doesn’t get done this quarter if it means I will be more mentally stable and feel more prepared to offer the best quality training to my clients. 

Being self-employed can be rewarding, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges and stressors. Practicing self-kindness is crucial to maintain your well-being and productivity. Here are some ways to be kind to yourself as a self-employed person:

  1. Set Realistic Expectations: Don’t overwhelm yourself with unrealistic goals or too much work. Set achievable targets and prioritize tasks to avoid burnout.
  2. Create a Structured Routine: Establish a daily schedule that includes work hours, breaks, and personal time. Stick to it as much as possible to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  3. Take Regular Breaks: Frequent short breaks can help refresh your mind and reduce stress. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique to break your work into intervals with built-in breaks.
  4. Delegate When Possible: If you can afford it, delegate tasks that are not your core strengths or that take up too much of your time. Outsourcing can help you focus on what you do best.
  5. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies that bring you joy. These can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
  6. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid working late into the night or on weekends unless absolutely necessary.
  7. Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and celebrate your successes, no matter how small. This can boost your morale and motivation.
  8. Learn to Say No: Don’t overcommit yourself. Politely decline projects or opportunities that you don’t have the time or energy for.
  9. Seek Support and Networking: Connect with other self-employed individuals or join networking groups. Sharing experiences and getting advice from peers can be invaluable.
  10. Financial Planning: Ensure you have a financial safety net in place for emergencies or lean periods in your business. Financial stress can take a significant toll on your well-being.
  11. Stay Organized: Keep your workspace tidy and organized, and use tools like task management apps to stay on top of your work.
  12. Continuous Learning: Invest in your professional development to stay competitive and confident in your business.
  13. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress and improve focus. Consider incorporating these practices into your daily routine.
  14. Take Vacations: Plan regular breaks or vacations to recharge and disconnect from work. It’s essential to take time off to relax and rejuvenate.
  15. Stay Healthy: Prioritize your physical health by eating well, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
  16. Seek Professional Help: If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counselor.

Remember that self-kindness is not a luxury but a necessity for long-term success and well-being as a self-employed person. By implementing these practices, you can create a healthier and more sustainable work-life balance while nurturing your business.

Giving myself grace, taking time for fun, getting my office more functional, focusing on projects that will help my mental health and planning for a fabulous 2024 are ways I am being kind to myself as we finish the year. 

What are some ways you’re learning to be kind to yourself?