Wellness Entrepreneurs Share Their Self-Care Tips
Managing your own business is no joke. And whether you’re the CEO leading a team of people or you’re the one and only staff member, putting others’ needs before your own might be a default. But we all cognitively know that taking care of ourselves is key to thriving, in business and in life. Self-care isn’t selfish: It’s necessary. With that in mind, we checked in with wellness entrepreneurs to see how they prioritize self-care, even when things are at their busiest.
Wellness Entrepreneurs Share Their Self-Care Tips
Alexandra Zatarain, Co-founder and CMO of Eight Sleep
“It’s all about balance. I work hard and find time to play hard, too—and always make time for eight hours of sleep. When I’m not working, I try to focus on the things that keep me sane: love, exercise and curiosity. I spend time with people who nurture my soul—my husband, my friends and my family. For exercise, I like to do yoga 2-3 times a week and the occasional pilates. I also eat a healthy diet, but indulge when my body feels like it.
Finally, curiosity is key for me. When I discover new things, new stories, new worlds, it motivates me to dream even bigger. I feed my curiosity by reading about other successful people. I love to read biographies of people I admire. Travel is another way in which I stay curious. I take vacation as needed, even short trips. This allows me to escape city life, discover new places and learn something new. I try to learn one new thing every year—challenging myself to confront a fear or do something I’ve always wanted to do. Last year I became a PADI certified scuba diver in the Maldives!”
Agapi Stassinopoulos, Speaker and Author of Wake Up to the Joy of You
“My greatest way of taking care of myself is taking little pauses throughout the day so that I don’t go on automatic. I re-center in my heart and my breath and drinking sips of water to help ground my energy. Also, don’t go about your day tired and make sure that you get enough sleep, so that you can start your day fresh. A good day starts the night before!”
Cynthia Besteman, Founder of Violets Are Blue Skincare
“Self-care is so hard while building a business! Ask any brand founder and we will most likely chuckle at the thought. That being said, I do feel it is so important, particularly in the winter months, to focus on taking care of myself. I tend to suffer from seasonal affective disorder and by February I feel run into the ground. With harsh winters, I can’t do my usual running in the park routine and that also has an effect on me. I try to plan a trip in February to somewhere warm. This year I am lucky enough to have a speaking gig booked in Laguna Beach so I’ve decided to stay a couple extra days to soak up the sun!
I try and book a few facials as ‘research’ (or at least if I tell myself that is what it is—then I’ll actually do it!). I also try to really relish the good things that happen, like a big launch or a great month of sales with taking time to have a nice dinner out and marking it as a celebratory dinner. I tend to stop doing things that don’t immediately drive the business forward so I need to trick myself into making things ‘seem’ like they are doing this. Like playing Pickleball a few times a week (more people to tell my brand about) or dinner with friends a couple times a week (they may bring someone who is an investor!). I know it sounds so silly but it works! It also helps get me out more in the winter as I can easily hibernate and work til 10 p.m.!
In the spring and summer months, it’s much easier for me as I love being in the park and hanging outdoors. I really feel it feeds me and makes me more creative. Spending time on or near the water is also a thing I do a lot in summer and that feels to meditative for me. Summer is also when I spend a lot of time creating. So each season, I shift my priorities and focus not only on the business but on how I handle the stress of it as well. I don’t always succeed with the self-care, but I am getting better!”
Jamie Melzer, Founder of Watermelon Road
“Running a small business can be all-consuming if you let it. As the only full-time employee at Watermelon Road, I don’t get to take sick days so I have to prioritize my physical and mental health. For me, this means getting eight hours of sleep every single night. Without this time to replenish, the rest of my wellness routine is for naught. In addition to sleep, I try to stay hydrated, and eat lots of green things (aka veggies) and naturally probiotic foods (a healthy gut = a healthy immune system!). I also start most days with a physical activity like spin, barre, yoga or boxing, depending on what my body and mind are in need of that day. The older I get the more I take cues from my body to rest and replenish when I need it.”
Latham Thomas, Author, Founder/Mama Glow Guru
“Sleep is a huge priority for me—I am protective of my sleep because it’s critical for my creative power. I believe in getting fresh air, making sure I don’t stay inside and work all day and moving my body daily.”
Annie Tevelin, Founder of SkinOwl
“Over the last five years, caring for myself in spite of my workload has held more weight with each passing year. The busier SkinOwl gets, the easier it is to push my needs and desires to the back burner. I’ve realized that without self-preservation, SkinOwl is 70 percent of what it can be. When I shut down my computer at 6 p.m. vs. 9 p.m. (even if there’s still work to do), and walk my dog before I open my computer, life feels better. It might not feel great in the moment, as I am a completist, but once I let go, I realize that life has to come first. I will die with a full inbox. It’s not easy, but like anything, it takes practice. Unless I’m on deadline, there is nothing that can’t wait until the morning once the clock hits 6 p.m. Plus, it sends a message to the people that I work with that they can’t reach me after 6 p.m. If I’m responding at 8 p.m., people will ask me for things at 8 p.m. I’ve taught those around me as well as myself that life is best lived with boundaries. They are my insurance when life gets crazy and that in itself is the best self-care I can ask for.”