The life of an entrepreneur is very unique.
Days are long and often lived in solitude and sweatpants, with copious amounts of coffee. The work is challenging and exhilarating. It is indeed a unique life, and most times an awesome one, for sure.
But owning your own business, while wonderful, can be very stressful. This is especially true if you are an entrepreneur that is still in the transition of working full time while also building your business.
And let’s be real: this is really hard to do.
I strongly believe that if entrepreneurs don’t learn how to integrate self-care into their routine, they will burn out very, very quickly.
Trust me when I say I understand what it is like to live this life – I know what it is like to try and juggle a crazy schedule and maintain some semblance of a life. I know what it feels like to be inspired and ambitious, to want to pour every ounce of energy and every spare minute into your business. I work a full-time job while I build my wellness lifestyle brand, so free time is not something I currently have. Every minute of my day seems to be scheduled, and I can get easily overwhelmed when I am not careful. I quickly learned that when I don’t make self-care a priority, everything else in my life, including my business, suffers.
I learned that balance is key in order to sustain a busy life in the long-term.
One of the ways that I maintain balance is through yoga.
I am deeply committed to the yogic way of life as part of my self-care system because I believe it is a healing, peaceful system that has numerous physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. I have even written an entire blog series on the yoga lifestyle because I believe in it so much.
But for now, I want to share my absolute favorite way you can incorporate yoga into your life right now to begin managing the stress of being an entrepreneur.
So what is my #1 yoga tip for busy entrepreneurs?
I know, it sounds so simple that it is almost ridiculous… but hear me out!
A yogic breathing practice can be done anytime, anywhere. It is a simple but powerful way you can reduce the daily overwhelm. Here are just some of the benefits of developing a breathing practice:
- Better oxygen flow in the body
- More energy and endurance
- Expanded lung capacity
- Improvement in sleep
- Ability to manage stress
- Increased vitality
- Amplified feelings of well-being and happiness
- Better concentration
- Increased self-awareness
...yes, all of that from just focusing on your breath!
I generally advise my clients to maintain a regular, daily breathing practice as part of their stress management routine. Often when we get stressed by someone or something, we start breathing a very shallow breath, which initiates the stress response in the body – this means we are keeping the body in a perpetually stressed out state.
One of the best ways to counteract this very negative process is to practice deep breathing – it quickly breaks the stress-response cycle in the body and helps you calm down.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a yoga master to do some yogic breathing. I have put together a beginner breathing practice that will teach you how to connect with your breath and calm yourself when you are getting caught up in the stress of your business.
Beginner breath practice:
If you are in a chair: Sit with your legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor. Uncross arms and place hands gently on legs. Sit nice and tall with your back straight, belly tight. You can also do this lying down on your back, just make sure legs and arms are uncrossed, as well.
Close your eyes. Close your mouth. Breathe in and out of your nose only. Take a few deep breaths here.
Begin a count in your mind, counting to 3 on your inhale, and then counting to 3 on your exhale. This keeps the inhales and exhales equal in length. You can increase the count or decrease the count as much as you need, just as long as the inhale and exhale are equal.
Take 20 complete breaths (1 complete breath = inhale + exhale).
Then slowly open your eyes, smile, and continue on with your day.
It’s that simple! When you practice even a simple deep breathing practice like this one, you immediately stop the stress response in the body. Once you master this breath practice, you can then try some more advanced breathing techniques.
My challenge to you: try this practice a few times each day over the next week – and make note of the difference. Report back here!
Want more tips + tactics for maintaining your solopreneur sanity? We've got you covered. Just released: The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook, inspiration and action for finding the intersection of productive and sane to maximize your time working so you can maximize your time living. Ready, set, sanity!
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- Busy Female Entrepreneurs: Calm a Stressful Day with Yogic Breathing - December 7, 2015