Less Hustle, More Health: Tips for the Health-Conscious Entrepreneur Series (Part One)

Guest blog post By: Shannon L. Werner, Ph.D.

Seven day work weeks, 345 tabs open, wearing every hat in your business, constant strategic planning while executing on all current projects, and doing what makes you WILD with passion … this is the life of the solo/entrepreneur. You know what this lifestyle means? Imminent burnout … if you’re not practicing self-care, that is.

As a Transformational Nutrition Coach, Reiki Healer, and owner of a Barre/Pilates studio, I know firsthand what burnout feels like: the exhaustion, lack of focus and motivation, irritability, and seeming loss of the passion that started you on your path in the first place. Burnout has nothing to do with lacking creative vision or having a hard work ethic to match it. We burn out because we focus all of our attention on creating, achieving, succeeding, and stressing about how we will “get there”, while forgetting what makes us able to perform so well in the first place: our health and mental wellbeing.

yoga shoot (35 of 51).jpg

So how do you handle, or better yet prevent burnout? The answer: Self Care, and making it a non-negotiable in your busy biz life. Here are 3 go-to’s that I use to bring myself back to feeling centered, energized, and inspired so I can carry on with my mission:

Breathe Big. Not all breaths are created equal. When stressed, the body responds by shortening the breath and activating the fight-or-flight stress response. Excessive shallow breathing reduces oxygen circulation throughout the body, which results in fatigue, decreased mental clarity, and a weaker immune system. Deep abdominal breathing for as little as 10 min a day will reduce anxiety, increase energy, and help you keep doing what you love. One of my favorite practices is 4-7-8 Breathing:

  1. Sit or lay down comfortably on a flat surface. Place one hand on your belly, one hand on your chest.

  2. Exhale completely out your mouth, making a whooshing sound.

  3. Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a count of four. Feel your belly and chest rise as you inhale.

  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.

  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound, to a count of eight.

The count ratio is important: holding the breath for 7 counts allows oxygen to fill the lungs and circulate through the body. Exhaling longer than the inhale stimulates the body’s relaxation response. With practice, you can slow down the breath, while keeping the 4:7:8 ratio. Start with 4 rounds to begin, and gradually increase as desired, or as time permits. Unsure if you can stick to this practice on your own? Seek out a local breathwork class so you can practice breathing deeply in a more structured environment.

About the Author:

Shannon L. Werner, Ph.D. is a Systems Biologist, Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach, Reiki Healer, and founder of Relevate, a San Diego-based Barre and Pilates studio. Shannon believes in food as medicine, that movement heals, and that we are all inherently worthy of living a powerful, on purpose life. Connect with Shannon on Instagram [@shannon.werner & @relevate.life], and at www.relevate.life.

For more fitness inspiration and barre workouts visit Nadia Murdock Fit on Instagram @NadiaMurdock and the NMFIT Blog!