Why is it that moving forward and slowing down is not always easy? Self-care is a challenge for all business owners, and I am no exception.
These past spring and summer months have left me feeling drained and exhausted and no opportunity for slowing down. I overlooked self-care and overdid it by pouring all my energy into growing my small business. I wanted so badly to make my business successful that I ended up making myself sick. Even though my company is all about slow living, my life, as it turned out was anything but quiet. I woke up one morning feeling as though I had just left the dentist’s office. My face was numb, and my eyes and lips were paralyzed on one side. The diagnosis was that of Bell’s Palsy.
Suddenly I found myself with no choice but to slow down and focus on self-care. For the past three weeks, I’ve been leading a hermit-like life. I know I have to be strong and yet I am still filled with worry. Will my face stay like this? I have no choice now but to think about time and how to best manage it. I need to re-evaluate everything as my body cannot keep up with my existing business plan.
I talk so much about slowing down and enjoying the seasons and yet I seem not to have been able to heed my own advice. What a hypocrite I am! I have been focusing so much on building and growing the business that I had neglected myself. I compare it to a supermodel on a runway – Gorgeous and flawless on the outside, yet shaky and nervous behind the curtains. There’s nothing wrong with hard work and determination, right?
Learning to slow down and move forward
I’m thinking out loud as I write this. I’m fighting tooth and nail, giving it everything I’ve got, but I am scared. I love to work hard, and I don’t want to slow down, but I have to, I have no choice. My illness has made this abundantly clear.
I must now figure out what my stress points are. The nature of my business is indeed a stressful one. It requires perfection – my clients expect it from me. Another cause of stress, for me, is all the administrative work. I despise it! And yet both of these aspects are crucial to the growth and success of my company.
And then there are things I love – I love growing flowers, designing bouquets, taking photographs, drawing, painting and sharing all these beautiful things with you. I’m most relaxed and happiest when I am creative. The time has now come for me to re-evaluate everything – and this may be fun as well. I do know that I need to seek out some help if I am going to make this small company a success. In order to make this dream come true, I will need to look into hiring more people to help with the tasks that I find difficult.
What are your stress triggers, and how do you manage them?
For now, let’s slow down and have a cup of coffee. Here are a few helpful self-care articles/videos to enjoy while you relax and sip:
The 10 Essential Rules for Slowing Down and Enjoying Life More: https://zenhabits.net/the-10-essential-rules-for-slowing-down-and-enjoying-life-more/
Slow down! Enjoy life. [ Ted Talks Playlist] : https://www.ted.com/playlists/204/slow_down_enjoy_life
Slow Down, Be Happy: https://www.parenting.com/article/slow-down-be-happy
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