As an entrepreneur, I am constantly working, always running from one meeting to the next and barely have time to eat lunch. I lead speaking engagements such as the Columbia Business Social Media Workshop I led last week in Greenwich, CT and will be speaking at an upcoming 201 social media conference for Microsoft in Seattle. After overbooking myself and scheduling out every minute of my day, I suddenly got very sick with the flu and strep and could not leave the house or engage in business activities for nearly 3 days. I found it impossible to step away from my blackberry, to respond to emails and to keep tweeting and posting. However, after I answered the phone and scared a partner away with my raspy voice from strep, I realized it might be time to shut off the phone and get better.
As a social media enthusiast and blogger, it is virtually impossible for me to step away from the social world for long stretches of time. After stepping away from tweeting and posting for 3 days (I sneaked some in), I realized the importance of balance. Sometimes it is important to take a “digital cleanse” and shut off your blackberry and unplug. It is also important for entrepreneurs to take care of themselves- mentally, physically and emotionally. I find that I operate at optimal performance when I do take care of myself.
Here are my top health tips for entrepreneurs & social media enthusiasts:
- Take some time to unplug from your device– Even if it is 1 hour a day from your phone it is worth it. At night I turn my phone face down and try to lose myself in a great book or movie
- Don’t overbook yourself– Part of the reason I got so sick was because I ran myself into the ground, ultimately weakening my immune system from overworking myself. Schedule “personal” time into your calendar and carefully choose what events and speaking appearances you sign up for.
- Take time to eat lunch– As an entrepreneur I schedule meetings throughout the typical lunch period and frequently forget to eat- this is a huge mistake! I now make it a habit to carry protein bars with me wherever I go. My favorite bars are the “BeKind” ones they sell at Starbucks, as well as the Luna Bars for women
- Get physical! Working out on a daily basis is vital to my mental and physical health. It is a time for me to put my phone down (I leave it in my gym locker) and try to decompress after a long day. I also make it a point to not bring business into the gym- even if that means seeing a client at the gym; I actively try to not interrupt their workout with business talk as we are all going there to help melt the day away.
- Engage in a new activity or hobby– Taking up a new hobby such as painting, golfing or yoga can be a great way to take care of your mental state. I am very involved in yoga and work with my dear friend Jai Sugrim, who is a licensed yoga instructor. I love doing yoga in Central Park and really connecting to humanity through quieting my mind.