Or one of the problems at least is that health – personal health – usually suffers. The problem with being an entrepreneur is that health usually suffers.
One Thursday morning in my past life, I was early to work – the doors were yet to be opened. So I stood at the window and watched the street below come to life.
Diagonally opposite my office building is a bank and the staff was just arriving. Three guys, members of staff evidently, were walking towards the bank, discussing loudly about the previous night’s football match.
Without warning, the guy in the middle slumped.
You can imagine the panic, the helter-skelter running, the screaming that ensued. The other guys oddly remained calm. They carried him off the road and into the bank before attempting anything.
He did wake up because I saw him the following morning, arguing with the same guys again, this time probably about the accuracy of their narration of what happened.
But that’s beside the point. Why would a man in his early thirties, at most, suddenly slump in the middle of the road one morning?
Several health offices and officials have been raising red flags about health issues for quite a while, particularly about the prevalence of high blood pressure amongst youths and young adults. Suddenly, it seems to be contending for the number one killer spot.
This isn’t exactly surprising considering the kind of stress people go through every day trying to live. Take Lagos for example. Daily traffic jams, even on weekends, are almost a certainty. Then come the various fumes constantly inhaled, noise pollution, and the several other ways we abuse our health ourselves: alcohol, fast-foods, sleep deprivation, little or no healthcare, and self-medication – the list is endless.
And really you can’t blame anyone. We all do what we have to do to stay alive.
This is doubly so for entrepreneurs.
In a business where you’re the only one (at least at first) who sees the possibilities, you have to work twice as hard to convince anyone to side with you. You become very adept at multitasking. Being a business owner means you learn, relearn and unlearn – almost at the speed of light. You role-play too – and God help you if you’re a parent.
In the midst of all that chaos and craziness, it’s almost too easy to forget what really matters. There’s every tendency to get carried away with the rush and forget the ‘small stuff’ – like health, for instance.
But there are small, everyday routines that can help manage one’s health better and enhance a general sense of well-being. While a thorough workout regime is important, it can also sound discouraging for someone who has to submit a proposal several miles away at seven am.
Health is still wealth, no matter what year it is. So some of the small but helpful tips, culled from personal experience and speaking with some entrepreneurs and small business-owner friends on how to take care of your health, can be found below:
This is a very useful and easy fitness technique. Walking, apart from being a fast calorie incinerator also helps recharge the mental system and keep blood flowing – which also makes for high spirits. It doesn’t have to be a great distance; as long as you get up from behind your computer and out of the house/office on your feet.
These are also quite helpful when it comes to bodily system detoxification. An apple a day keeps the doctor away as the saying goes, and vegetables, oranges, cucumbers, garden eggs, and so on contain vitamins and minerals mostly absent from processed foods which is the staple meal for the typical entrepreneur who is always on the move.
Besides, it’s basic healthy eating.
Human Interaction Helps Your Health
For someone who is almost always busy especially in today’s social media clime, human interaction – face to face interaction in person (not via Skype, please!) – might be going out of style. Most of the connecting these days is done behind a screen: computers, phones, or other mobile devices. Talking in person is actually a good way to get your energy levels up, keep yourself fresh, and practice your communication skills. So get out. See a movie. Go to the beach. Meet people and talk with them.
It’s not a rarity that self-employment demands 110% of your time, but it’s hard to imagine putting 24 hours/seven days into a business, week in week out.
There has to be some slack time. Weekends – or at least early weekend mornings – are the most likely time in which a proper workout can be planned. If it’s just for two days out of seven, make sure your body is properly worked out. Apart from staying trim and healthy, a sense of well-being and a high-up energy level are bonus rewards.
So pay better attention to your health even while minding your business.
Because…if you don’t take care of yourself…
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