Give Yourself a Break

chillin’

Do you ever feel overworked and overwhelmed? If you’re an entrepreneur or executive, chances are, you carry a fair share of responsibility. And these days, we’re tethered to our companies and employers 24/7. It’s not healthy. I know plenty of entrepreneurs whose mantra is “hustle.” I operated that way for years. We disregard our health and wellness and sometimes everything and everyone else in our lives to spend all our time on one thing: chasing success. I’ve been there myself as a teen and in my early twenties in particular.

The problem is, if you’re always in “work mode” and don’t build the right routines on a daily, weekly and long-term basis that give you rest and respite, it’s only a matter of time before you breakdown and burnout. Your body has a funny way of letting you know when it’s time to take a break, even if you aren’t listening to it.

I write this after having my second colonoscopy at the age of 30, where pre-cancerous polyps and all sorts of interesting things were discovered. It’s not my only ailment either. I say this not to complain, but to say this: it made me realize, my stomach has been in knots in many ways because of the stress I’ve put on myself over the years. And if I’m hurting, sick or dead, I can’t be the best entrepreneur (nor husband, father, etc.). I’ve also finally taken ownership of who’s responsible: me. I haven’t made my health a priority like I should have. I can change that, because the more stress I take on, the bigger the toll on my body.

So I took this week off. I’ve laid around, spent time with my kids and tried to relax and not think about work. It’s helped. I want to work now and I’ve actually come up with some cool ideas. Now, I know it’s not easy for everyone. I’m grateful to be able to take time off without permission, as I know what it’s like on the other side, but either way, you have to stand up for yourself and know when you need to rest. Take the time now or the time will be taken away from you later.

I’m making some significant lifestyle changes to get to better health and it’s going to take time away from my business. It’s going to make me more productive, energetic, happy and healthy. And I’m going to say “no” more often… because “yes” has gotten me into a lot of self-imposed trouble over the years.

It’s time to practice what I preach. I get on track for a few weeks and fail for a few weeks. Consistency is the name of the game.

Take the afternoon off. Play a round of golf. Your business or job isn’t going anywhere. Make time for yourself… you’ll never get it back.

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