7 Self-Care Strategies for Business Owners


The first quarter of 2019 is over and several people are determined to maximize the rest of the year. The average entrepreneur tends to put self-care at the back burner. This is partly due to the fact business owners face a lot of pressure at work. 

There are different misleading notions of self-care online. Contrary to popular opinion, self-care isn’t expensive. It goes beyond booking a spa session or splurging on the latest skin care treatment. 

Self-care is the key to living a balanced life, PsychCentral. It equips entrepreneurs with the stamina to handle the demands of running a business. Without much ado, let's take a look at what the practice entails. 

1. Regular exercise


Exercising helps individuals to alleviate depression, boost cognitive function, sleep better and lower stress levels. Mood enhancing endorphins are usually released during the process.

It’s not compulsory to get a gym membership before you can engage in physical activities. Consider using the stairs, jogging or going for a walk.

The pros of exercising outdoor include enjoying the fresh air and getting vitamin D. Remember to splash on some sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 for optimum protection against UV rays.

2. Create leisure time


Entrepreneurs often work extra hours at different stages of their business. It can be nearly impossible to have enough time for breaks.

Scheduling a getaway is an antidote for stress and will give you a new lease on life. You can also engage in your favorite activities or listen to music during breaks.

Humans are designed to connect with others to function better. Sadly, social media is gradually replacing face-to-face interactions. Entrepreneurs should take deliberate steps to leave the comfort of their workspace and network with others.

3. Have a digital detox


Without mincing words, technology is changing how we do businesses. It’s easier to get information about your target customers, market and competitors unlike decades ago.

People survived long before digital devices became mainstream. Everyone should take a digital detox once in a while. This is crucial for tackling information overload and stress.

4. Breathe deeply


Pause to take a deep breath. 

Exhale.

Repeat.

How do you feel?

It’s obvious that you don’t need to put in extra effort into breathing because it happens naturally. However, the goal is to breathe mindfully regardless of the situation.

Taking this step can help you to achieve balance, enhance focus and gain control over your mind. Some mobile apps come with different breathing techniques that you can apply.

5. Invest in your workspace


It may be difficult to stay motivated if you don’t love your space. Make sure that the room has enough natural light with proper ventilation.

Investing in ergonomic furniture will assist you to maintain good posture and boost your efficiency. The next thing is to design your workspace with artwork, accent pieces, houseplants and other things that you find appealing.

Adding a fresh coat of paint or designing an accent wall can transform any room and improve your mind. Plan each day ahead and create a to-do list for better organization. Your best bet is to develop a system that works for you and stick to it.

6. Reward yourself   


Being an entrepreneur comes with different perks. You can decide to work at any time of the day and any location of your choice.

Reward yourself from time to time by giving yourself treats. For instance, watch a movie, book a massage session or have a relaxing bath at the end of the day with Epsom salt and scented candles.

7. Delegate 


Entrepreneurs are pros at multi-tasking. Even so, this approach has its cons. Delegating tasks is a smart way to minimize stress and save resources in your business.

You can do a SWOT analysis and outsource the tasks that you lack the skills or don't have enough time to handle.

This can go a long way to boost your efficiency. It's not necessary to hire full-time staffs if you don't have the financial capacity yet. The best thing is to get the best freelancers and virtual assistance via referrals or on the internet. 

Got other self-care tips, let's keep the ball rolling in the comments below. 

5 Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Mental Health Right Now

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay
The percentage of people battling with one mental health issue or the other keep increasing at an alarming rate. According to WHO, around 450 million people are suffering from mental or neurological disorders globally.

In a recent study, the FG revealed that 30% of Nigerians suffer from mental illness, VanguardMany people find it difficult to seek professional help due to the stigma surrounding the condition. 

Mental health problems can get in the way of our productivity and lead to a lower quality of life. Every individual is bound to face challenges and things won’t always go as planned. 

Maintaining sound mental health can help us to respond better to anything that life throws at us and bounce back in no time.

Here are some cost-effective ways to enhance your mental health. 

1. Improve your diet


The food we eat usually influence our mental health, sleep patterns, immune system, and energy levels. Walnut, avocado, herring, sardines, fish oil supplements, fruits, and leafy greens are your best bet for promoting a good mood.

Cut down your intake of processed foods because they are high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Try to take alcohol and caffeine in moderation especially around bedtime. 

2.  Keep a gratitude journal


A grateful soul is a fountain of joy. Develop the habit of writing a list of the things you’re grateful for daily. This practice has been proven to boost mental health and wellness.

Mobile apps can come in handy to keep you on track by setting reminders. Endeavor to include both your minor and major achievements in the gratitude journal

3. Get quality sleep


Sleep deprivation is a major issue that is faced by millennials and baby boomers. It’s caused by a number of factors and most of them can be controlled.

Ensure that you stop using your smartphone or PC at least an hour before bedtime. Alternatively, you can rely on software with features for filtering blue light.

Stick to a bedtime routine to help you fall and stay asleep better and sleep in a cool environment. 

4. Help others


Several individuals have discovered that they often feel better each time they help others. The world still needs a touch of kindness here and there.

You can spend time with lonely or sick people, volunteer for a cause, donate to charity or send a thank you note to your loved ones.

Come up with different ways to improve the existing relationships in your life. This can help you to develop strong bonds with your loved ones.

5. Don’t suffer in silence 


People prefer bottling up their emotions due to so many reasons. It can be hard to find someone to trust in a world where everyone is after their selfish interests.

No one wants to be perceived as a weakling. The fact that people rarely speak up about mental health problems doesn’t mean you’re alone. 

Mental health organizations such as Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) exist to create awareness and help individuals to overcome stigma. 

Connect with people who care about your emotional well being online or in person. It’s ideal to be in the company of positive people. Sharing your story can help you to feel better and find a lasting solution. 

The best thing is to seek professional help if none of these suggestions work. A therapist will design a treatment plan that fits your needs and help you develop coping mechanisms. 

Over to you, how do you take care of your mental health? 

A Letter to My Younger Self - You're Enough


Yay! I finally got my groove back after a long hiatus.

Taking a break from blogging was never part of the plan but life happens anyway.

My service year was like living in another world entirely due to the power supply and network issues.

I couldn’t muster the effort to start blogging again after I got back. 

Enough with the excuses!

Writing this comeback post took me a truckload of courage and faith. My readers deserve the best and I’m ready to remain committed this time around. 

No more disappearing acts. Peptwine is here to stay.  

I celebrated my birthday a few days ago and decided to pen down a letter to my younger self. 

It’s not like I’m living a life full of regrets but there are some things I wished I had known earlier.

Let’s get started already! 

  • Personal development


Your curiosity and hunger for knowledge will be nearly insatiable.

You may never get answers to all your questions but don't stop asking anyway. 

Nevertheless, be mindful of the books you read and the people you hang around with.

You have the freedom of choice but remember that every single choice matters.

Don’t loathe change, make friends with it instead.

As time goes on, you will realize that you must be better than the person you were yesterday.

Inasmuch as you want to achieve this, overcome self-doubt and give yourself the gift of forgiveness each time you fail. 

  • Friendship


You will spend a lot of time with yourself than anyone else.

Take time to discover who you really are.

Be your number one fan and muse.

In all thy getting, prioritize confidence and nurture a solid relationship with yourself.

There is no need to be confused or alarmed when you realize that you’re an introvert.

Being introverted is nothing to be ashamed of; it can even be one of your greatest strengths.

You’re just as normal and amazing as the extroverted lass next door.

You don’t need to cave in to pressure or embrace toxicity to impress anyone.

It’s perfectly okay if you build healthy friendships with just a few people.

  • Love


Head over heart, baby.

It’s pointless to constantly prove to someone that you’re worthy of their love.

Settling down for a watered down version of love is heart-wrenching. 

Why not invest that energy into loving and improving yourself? 

You will find yourself in different zones and undergo different transitions.

Love will eventually find you. 

Try to work on different facets of your life while you wait.

It may take time, but it’s worth it.

And when it happens, love without an iota of fear.

  • Mental health


Depression is real.

Emotional abuse is real. 

Your mental and emotional health matter. 

Many voices will keep yelling in your head at the same time. Trust your intuition as you find your way.

Ask for help. 

Seek enlightenment from the right sources. 

Know when to walk away from certain people and situations. 

Take note of the lessons learned and tap from the well of joy that's within you.   

  • Money


Nobody owes you anything in this world, not even your parents.

The earlier you understand this, the happier and freer you will be.

Focus on adding value without expecting anything in return. 

You will hear it several times that money doesn’t bring happiness. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn't invest in experiences and things that make you happy.

Cultivate the habit of budgeting and saving before you become financially independent. 

Acquire sound financial intelligence and learn the principles of managing money early enough. 

  • Purpose 


Living a full life starts with doggedly pursuing your passion.

Finding out where your strengths lie will save you time and unnecessary headache.

Distractions will come in the form of the opinions of others and the fear of failure. 

Many will want to mold you into the exact image in their heads.  

Don't let the size of your dreams scare you.

Remember that you’re called to something bigger. 

This the key to finding fulfillment.  

Unconditionally yours, 
B. 

P.S: I will keep loving you even if this letter isn't delivered or you fail to live by it. 


An Overview of My NYSC Orientation Camp Experience

Kebbi Corpers
Gallant Corpers

For several months, I kept praying earnestly that the federal government would just decide to scrap off the NYSC scheme. My prayers went unanswered and to my chagrin, I was posted to Kebbi State. A week later, I set out on the trip with some prospective corp members who also knew little about the state. We bonded in no time and this made our journey exciting.

After traveling for close to 19 hrs, we arrived at the orientation camp in the wee hours of the morning. Instantly, I understood the true meaning of harmattan. We were directed to the administrative block where we wrote down our names before taking mattresses and dispersing to our different hostels. Around 9 am, the registration process began and our kits were issued to us. As usual, most of the corp members had to alter their khakis at the mammy market. I was lucky enough to get a pair of jungle boots that snugly fitted my tiny feet. 

Parade ground
The Parade Ground, NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Dakingari, Kebbi State

The hostels

Before traveling down to the orientation camp, I learned that it is one of the best camps in Nigeria. This piece of information put my mind at ease, but I was careful not to raise my hope too high. On getting there, I discovered that the hostels are relatively new with facilities that are still in good shape. Each room has bunk beds and can contain up to 30 occupants. Vests, socks, shorts and water were the major things that were stolen.   

 

Camp food

Feeding over 3,000 individuals is not an easy task. We were fed three times a day, even though the meal may not be up to one’s satisfaction. I’ve never tried eating any Hausa dishes before, so I didn't go near the kitchen on the days that they were served. Those who couldn't eat the camp meals opted to buy food at mammy market. A plate of food costs #300, except noodles, bread and potato or yam chips which vary in price. 

Mammy market 

mami market
Mammy market
Due to the fact that the traders at mammy have to pay their dues, they sell things at exorbitant prices and most of the time, corp members have no option than to patronize them. The market is always full of activities as the traders sell all sorts of things and offer different services that include dry cleaning, hairdressing, barbing and charging of mobile devices.

Man o' war drills and parades

Take dressing!
Call out the timing! 

Those orders often wake me up from my reverie. I'll be dreaming of eating amala and correct soup in Lagos and the soldiers won't stop asking if we are good to go or motivated. "I'm a survivor" and "this too shall pass" became my favourite slogans. Towards the end of the first week, I got tired of the regimented lifestyle. We participated in drills and parades every morning and evening, except on Sunday mornings.

Drills
Two of my platoon members, a platoon officer and me

Social activities and lectures

Each platoon had to handle the social activities and give their presentation on the days assigned to them. The social activities were held at night and normally start around 8 pm. Some were really boring to the extent that the platoon members presenting that night will be booed,  while others have the effect of keeping you at the edge of your seat. As for the sleep-inducing morning lectures, most corp members attend them in order to escape from the morning parades and get few minutes of sleep.

Dakingari Orientation Camp experience was a wonderful one and I enjoyed it to the fullest. I met many people and made lots of amazing friends. I was blown away by the diversity of human nature within three weeks. Parting with most of my newly made friends was quite emotional during the passing out parade because it seemed as if we've known each other for years. I came back to Lagos three pounds thinner, two shades darker, and a higher than average morale. Although I don’t know what’s in store for me in Kebbi State yet, I believe that they are worth looking forward to.