Category Archives: Wellness

Are You Taking Care Of Yourself?

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We are lucky enough to have the drive to pursue our passions and art.

However, we also have the tendency to run ourselves into the ground and most of the time, we don’t even know it.

Taking care of yourself is essential. It helps you avoid burnout, which can lay you up for days/weeks/an indeterminate amount of time.

Here are 9 questions to ask your mind/body just to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

1) Is your to-do list too long?

Making your to-do list super long can make it hard for you to feel like you accomplish anything. Sure, you’ll get a few things done but will you feel like you put in a good day of work if you never finish your lists?

Be kind and make your to-do lists actually doable. The sense of accomplishment will feel wonderful. And, if you really want, you can add secondary tasks after you finish the important stuff.

2) Are you taking regular breaks every day?

Maybe you feel guilty taking breaks. Or you feel like you need to live the whole “keep your nose to the grindstone” thing. Working this way may actually hinder your productivity. Over time, the longer you work without a break results in your brain absorbing and processing information efficiently. This article from the Science Daily notes that while we may always be paying attention, our brain stops registering it as important.

3) Have you moved your body recently?

We all hear how important exercise is, and yes, it is. But in general, when was the last time you moved your body at all. The newest trend in office furniture is the standing desk and there’s a good reason behind this.

Sitting for too long can lead to a number of health concerns. Mayo Clinic has noted that some of these may include “increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.” So while you’re on your break, get up and MOVE!

4) How long ago was your last meal- not snack?

If you’re like me, sometimes you’ll work for 8 hours straight and forget to eat. Or maybe you’re in the mindset that skipping meals means cutting out calories. This needs to change.

When you’re working, your body and mind will need the fuel that food can provide. And if you’re struck by hunger pangs, this can be very distracting and also hinder productivity.

If you’re worried about calories, consider the fact that frequently skipping meals may slow down your metabolism.

5) What was the last fruit/veggie you ate and how long ago?

This point goes hand-in-hand with the last point. You may be really good about eating regular meals, but when was the last time you put fresh fruits and/or vegetables into your body?

Harvard’s School of Public Health makes a well reasoned argument for eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. And it’s really all what we’ve heard our whole lives. Fruits and vegetables help your body fight off sickness and keep you healthy.

6) Have you had any water today and how long ago?

“Water is essential to good health,” says Mayo Clinic. Are you drinking enough?

Your body depends on water to function and even being slightly dehydrated will lead to a drain in your energy. And like hunger, the sensation of being thirsty is distracting.

Bonus! Live Science suggests that drinking water can lead to a mental boost.

7) When was the last time you smiled?

Owning your own business can be stressful. Maybe right now, you’re struggling with something. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to smile about. Surely, there’s something.

And if there isn’t, fake it!

Sounds awful, I know, but Forbes released an article stating that even faking a smile can result in less stress and help improve your mood. Also, putting a smile on your face can help boost the mood of those around you as well! Then they’ll smile at you and then you’ll receive a boost as well!

8) When was the last time you hung out/called friends or family?

Depending on where you are in your small business, you are probably flying solo most of the time. This can be an incredibly lonely experience. And while you might not notice it now, the loneliness will strike when it’s least convenient. Feelings of self-doubt and sadness are just a few of the emotions you will experience with loneliness.

Being around your friends will instantly alleviate those feelings. They help celebrate the good times and support you during the bad. Friends give you a sense of belonging and purpose. You know that they’ll boost your happiness. And laughing with your best friend? I can think of few better stress relievers.

9) When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep?

The National Institutes of Health will tell you that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. We may feel like less sleep will give us more time to work, but in reality, lack of sleep impairs brain functions and hinders our productivity.

Getting a good night’s sleep helps us not only feel rested and happy, but gives our bodies time to perform vital functions while resting. Sleep also affects our stress levels, immune system, appetite, blood pressure, and heart health.

If you feel like you’re sleeping 7-8 hours a night but don’t ever feel rested, or if you find yourself waking up frequently during the night, you may need to consult your doctor. These might be signs of a sleep disorder.

After answering these questions, you’ll get a better idea on how you’re doing with the self-care thing. It’s hard because we love our business so much we want to just keep going. But we must love ourselves as well. You’re worth it, afterall.

What changes will you make to ensure that you’re taking good care of yourself?

Rejection Dejection: Get Over It

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Let’s face it.

You’re not going to get accepted into everything you apply for. Business masterminds/groups, craft shows, art walks… eventually, someone will say “no” to you.

It’s going to hurt. It’ll burn and you might want to cry the moment you see that rejection email/letter… even if you’re at Starbucks. Trust me. I know.

Here are some things to remember when you get a rejection letter:

1. It was not personal.

Sometimes, our immediate reaction to rejection is, “They hate me.” Unless you know who the coordinators are, there is no way they hate you.

And even if they DO hate you, do you really want to be in a show run by people who have negative feelings toward you?

2. Maybe you weren’t the right fit.

Another thought that crosses your mind might be, “I’m not good enough.” Stop that thinking right now.

Take a closer look at the show/group you applied to. Are you a jewelry designer trying to get into a comic book convention? Or are you someone just starting out in the handmade business world trying to enter a business group/mastermind for established business owners?

Neither means you aren’t “good enough.” It means you have to find the right fit. And once you do, it’ll be that much sweeter.

3. Honestly, they may have just run out of room.

There is absolutely no way a show or group can accept everyone who applies. These people may have received 100 stellar applications, but if they only have room for 20 vendors, that means 80 rejections.

And keep in mind, if you’re applying to a craft show, they want to have a nice variety of vendors.

You may want to give up after a rejection. You feel like a failure and wonder if applying is pointless.

Stop right there. Don’t listen to those negative voices!

If you want to do craft shows, keep applying. You’ll learn with every rejection and will eventually get into one.

If you decide you don’t want to do craft shows, then you’ve STILL learned SOMETHING from your rejections. And you’ll need to find an alternative revenue stream.

These are all opportunities for growth. Opportunities for learning and improvement.

Take your rejections and discover your strengths and weaknesses.

You are an amazing, savvy business owner and you can either choose to dwell on the negativity of a rejection or turn it into something awesome.

How do you deal with rejection?

Find Happiness: 5 Ways to Get Through A Rough Day

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Most of us dread Mondays. There’s this need to get over “the hump” on Wednesdays. And now, the Daily Muse posted an article about 10am Tuesdays being the most stressful time of the week. Whatever the reason, we all need a little pick-me-up every now and then.

Here are 5 things you can do today to get boost your happiness.

1) Add to your gratitude list.

Every night, before bed, I write about a few things I was grateful for that day. I started this in 2012, during the stressful holiday season and I couldn’t see past the mountain of jewelry I had to make. After tracking my hours for the day, I listed all of the good things I was thankful for that day because after a crappy day, there HAD TO be good things that happened.

After getting over the initial resistance, those 3 small things that happened that day had me smiling again. And suddenly, the work I had to do the next day didn’t seem so bad.

2) Take a nap.

There’s a reason siestas are a tradition in Spain. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, there’s a chance you might be a tad sleep deprived. Tackling new goals for the year, and holding down a day job can be stressful. Not getting enough sleep not only brings down your mood but can also hinder your work.

A study by German researchers showed that even a short nap can boost your mood and improve your ability to learn and remember.

3) Put on some happy music.

It’s probably no shock that a happy song can do wonders to lift your spirits.

A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association showed that 126 ICU (intensive care unit) patients in 5 hospitals in Missouri were given the chance to listen to whatever music they liked and the results were astounding. After a 5 day period, patients felt they needed “less sedation and felt less anxiety than patients receiving usual care.”

So put on your favorite song and dance.

4) Hug someone.

As a common form of saying hello and goodbye, we never really think of how this simple gesture can ease worries and stress. A hug is a simple way of conveying love and approval. It can express sympathy and congratulations.

A hug brings on feelings of love. This results in the release of oxytocin which lifts feelings of sadness and anger. Hugs can also increase serotonin levels which boosts your happiness. This quick expression of support and approval also gives a nice lift to our self-esteem.

We often offer to give someone a hug, but if you need one, don’t be afraid to ask.

5) Have some “me time.”

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Take a break. Whatever it is you’re doing, whatever is causing your stress and unhappiness, walk away from it. Even a small break can do wonders.

Forcing yourself to work through your unhappiness can result in an unending cycle of negativity. If you’re working on a creative piece and feeling unhappy, your emotions are likely to show in your work. You may rush through it just to get it done. Your drawing may turn harsh. The colors in your painting may change with your mood. Walking away and taking a breather will help your work and keep you sane.

What are some quick ways you try and boost your mood during a stressful day?