Body & Soul Feel Good

Self-employed: Why It’s Important To Chill (And Not Feel Bad About It)

February 4, 2019

Hey friends, I hope you had a kick-butt start into the new year! For me it started slower than usual and I’m actually glad it did.

At the end of 2018 I felt pretty drained and it was difficult to slow down because Christmas season is always busy in retail. Then, after all work was done and I was finally ready to enjoy the holidays, I got sick for 3-4 weeks. Which didn’t really come as a surprise after I hadn’t given myself any break for a while. Feeling sick sucked, but had the positive side-effect that it forced me to really slow down even though my plan was to kick of the new year with new products that had just arrived to my doorstep. The plan was to make flyers, take pictures, write descriptions, put them online in my shop, marketing, social media etc. When you run your own business the to-do-list feels endless and it’s hard to hide it from your bad conscience whenever you don’t work on it.

Now that I got sick I had to decide to either do “what seemed right” for my business and power through, or say “Screw it!” and take time for myself until I’d be back on track. I decided for the second option and that was so so good.

I took time of social media, relaxed on the couch, browsed Pinterest for hours, watched movies and went for walks with Fritzi. I took time to reflect the year, dream about the future and most importantly I actually managed to turn off that voice that said I should be working instead, which is always the hardest when you are self-employed. But it is so important!

“Powering through” means that your battery will be empty at one point and that could actually be a very unhealthy place. One that takes much longer to recover from, like burnout or even worst. Yes, being self-employed means that you are responsible for upholding and managing your whole business and it requires a lot of work and commitment, but so does your health.

Our health is the foundation of EVERYTHING. Even the foundation of your business. It’s so important that we keep reminding ourselves of this, because often we just notice how precious health is once we are sick. And this goes for physical and mental well-being. Without it, we simply don’t function the same. Our output is not as productive and creative and we have less motivation, which slows us further down.

In reverse this means that sometimes we have to take a break even though we feel like we are already falling behind. Once we are back at our happy and healthy self, we’ll catch up again and will most likely go ahead of the point we would have reached if we kept powering through.

So whenever I decide to take a break (aka be lazy) and my bad conscience kicks in, I think of this. I know that in the long run taking time for myself will help me to function better and to manage my business more efficiently. And it doesn’t always have to be long breaks, like the one I was forced into when I got sick. Sometimes a day or an afternoon is enough to recharge batteries. The more often we take those conscious little breaks the less we’ll feel stressed and overwhelmed.

I started writing this post from my own view-point of being self-employed, but you can actually transfer everything to other work situations. Sure, being self-employed comes with the advantage of being able to create your own schedule. But I think putting our health as a priority is valuable no matter what we do and we should always try to find a way to give importance to it.

As to my story, I ended up feeling so good after a few weeks that I couldn’t wait get back to work, to jump on my next project and to post on social media again. I felt motivated and passionate about my work once again and didn’t regret a thing.

If you need some inspiration on what you could do to feel more relaxed and happy again, check out this list of 27 Ways To Cheer Yourself Up.


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