connection

8 Ways to bring self care into your business

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By Samantha Sutherland

I read yesterday that intentionally bringing pleasure into your life is just as important as decreasing stress as it turns on our parasympathetic system, which is all about rest, restoration, connection and calmness. In fact, pleasure has been scientifically proven to strengthen our immune systems and lengthen our lives!

As all business-builders know, the stress of launches, juggling all the balls, caring for a family and burning the candle at both ends while we try to get it all done can weaken our immune systems (who here has ever got a cold while launching? Nah, me neither ;)) make us tired and miserable, and can sometimes make us question why we’re even doing all this.

So now science is telling you what your body already knew – it’s time to introduce some self care into your life.

If you look after yourself – physically, emotionally and spiritually – then you’ll have more energy to bring to your blog, your business and your clients. Your business is limited by the energy you have to give to it, and your energy is limited by the way in which you fill your cup. 

But in today’s world, where we spend so much time stressed and caught up in being busy, many of us have forgotten how to even bring self care into our lives. So how do we do it? Here are some ideas. 

1. Listen to some music

If you can add dancing around the living room to that, do it!

One of my favourite teenage memories is driving the eight hours from Eden on the NSW south coast to Sydney, with my sister, singing a Greece medley for most of the way. I have the kind of voice that makes people ask me to stop singing, but I still get so much joy from it! 

How can you create music? What do you love to listen to?

2. Laughter

I love to laugh. One of my favourites is this video of Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone having a lip sync battle. But be careful here; this isn’t a green light to spend the next hour watching random YouTube clips. 

Try playing a game with friends, drawing some eyebrows on your baby or dog, a laughter yoga exercise (it’s basically fake laughing until it turns real, and it always does!) or watch an hilarious movie (Coming to America, anyone??).

3. Touch

Go and get a massage or facial, give out some free hugs or hold hands with someone you love. 

Many women find it difficult to allow ourselves this kind of indulgence. If you’re looking for permission, here it is! It will be good for your business if you go and get a massage.

4. Spend time in nature

Mountains or ocean, forest or stream. Nature has a completely calming effect on us and for me, creates conversations that don’t arise in any other place. Take off your shoes, dig your toes into the dirt and just ‘be’ in nature. 

Take a picnic to the woods with you. Swim at sunrise in the ocean. Turn your face to the sun, close your eyes and smile. How can you get nature to touch you, wherever you are?

5. Meditation

I’m a fairly recent convert to meditation, but am finding that it’s bringing me a level of calmness and peace that I didn’t use to have. 

The simplest way is to take 5 minutes (trust me, if you’ve never done it before then 5 minutes will feel like a long time!), sit up straight, and just focus on your breathing. 

In breath. Out breath. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. Simple! 

Oh so hard. But through the difficulty, you will create space in your life, focus in your mind and peace in your heart. 

6. Gratitude

Do you recognise what’s already wonderful in your life? Try taking the time each evening to write down three things for which you are grateful. It could be a morning cuddle with your kidlet, a beautiful sunset, a friend who always makes you happy. 

Simple things are what make up our lives, so it’s important to recognise those simple things and be grateful for them. To paraphrase Brene Brown, many of us ignore the ordinary moments in search of the extraordinary, but the ordinary moments are what makes up our life.

So notice the ordinary and appreciate it.

7. Connection

This is always the biggest one for me. I love afternoons spent lazing and chatting with friends, nights drinking wine and laughing, and 80’s movie-and-pizza marathons in someone’s living room. 

Even so, I sometimes find a month has gone by and I haven’t seen my bestie. Do you get the connection you need? Or are you too busy being busy to fit in what is most important?

8. Choose your own adventure!

What brings you happiness and joy? What are the things that you love spending time doing? Write them down and commit to making time for them in your life.

If you’re like me and you love a good list then feel free to print this off and use it like a checklist.

Are you doing these things regularly? Are you prioritising self care in your life?

And maybe the biggest questions of all;

Are your business, family or friendships suffering because you’re depleted from a lack of self-care?

Can you afford to not look after yourself?

And if you feel too busy for self-care and pleasure, then what are you building this business and this life for?

Samantha Sutherland is the excitable founder of The Everyday Adventure where she encourages women to live through play in their everyday spaces. It's possible to live your life joyfully, full of freedom, connection and adventure! She runs in person retreats and events, a Fun-Life Overhaul Challenge and blogs regularly. She's a corporate refugee who is a certified Health Coach, a mother of one as well as being chief fun-maker of The Everyday Adventure. Come join us and be happy! Connect with her on Instagram, on Facebook and via email: info@theeverydayadventure.com

Photo Credit: The Everyday Adventure

 

How To Network Like A Rock Star

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By Kate Willbourn-Trevett

Networking, just saying the word used to make my skin crawl and turn me into one hot mess. Fast-forward 13 years and that initial hesitation and fear have dramatically subsided, it’s actually something I genuinely enjoy. Since working in one of the most sociable industries, media & advertising, I’ve learnt to overcome the nerves and most importantly, change my mindset to see networking in a positive light, an opportunity to be precise. I now prefer to use the word connecting, it sounds more soulful and humanistic, which it should as it’s all about meeting like-minded people right?

‘Connecting’ today is somewhat different, there is the traditional face-to-face kind and then there is on-line, whether it’s via social media, blogs or websites. Face to face contact accelerates building trust where as on-line breaks through any geographical boundary. Both are independently valuable, however if you have the opportunity to combine the two, it becomes extremely powerful. As building relationships are a fundamental to any successful business or blog, I’m thrilled to share with you my top tips on conquering the fear and How-To steps to connect in-person & online. 

Some shared thought starters

  • Be authentic & sincere
  • Have the best intentions. Your newly found relationship should be mutually beneficial
  • Do your research on whom you’d like to connect with and learn more about them
  • Look at people within your niche as well as neighbouring niches, blogs or businesses that may share a similar reader demographic or customer base
  • Treat everyone on the same playing field  - don’t be the fan or alternatively come across as superior
  • Let the relationship grow naturally as you build trust, mutual respect and understanding. 
  • Embrace the ‘spark’/bond if it happens or be prepared to move on if not, no relationship should be forced
  • Most importantly, have fun!

In-Person

  • Have confidence – It’s only natural to feel a bit nervous. Acknowledge the nerves, accept them (don’t beat yourself up) and move forward. 
  • Whether it’s listening to Whitney’s “I’m Every Woman”, wearing your favourite red lippy or in my case wearing HIGH heels, choose your ammo & walk into a room with full confidence and a smile.
  • Being prepared & doing your research will help ease the nerves too
  • Timely – pick your moment 
  • Introduce yourself as an equal (because you are!), not as a ‘fan’. This actually makes people feel quite uncomfortable. It’s totally okay to acknowledge their work, but follow through with your own thoughts & ideas on the subject. Think about what you may have in common & strike up a conversation!
  • Start by asking lots of questions – the conversation will then naturally open it self up and eventually lead to more involvement from you
  • Know your ‘Elevator pitch’ - I promise this is not as scary as it sounds. It’s being able to describe your blog or business within a couple of sentences, simply & succinctly. Practice on your loved ones. You’ve heard the Albert Einstein saying, “If you can’t explain it to your six year old, you don’t understand it yourself”
  • If all else fails, spot a fellow lone ranger and together meet new people
  • Exchange business cards or social media accounts and say you’d love to stay connected
  • Follow up post meeting

Online

  • Be proactive and leave thought provoking comments on blog posts and/or websites
  • Reply to all comments left on your blog – these people are already highly engaged in your work
  • Social Media – Follow & actively participate in conversations
  • Mention other bloggers/people in your social media 
  • Request to interview or ask if they’d like to contribute a post (with links back to their blog/business)
  • Email – keep it friendly, short & succinct. You can use your ‘Elevator pitch’ here too. Get straight to the point as early as you can, avoid waffling as most people will first skim over an email received from an unknown sender
  • Check spelling, tone & language and then check again. You can use tools like this too.

Over time I’ve come to realise that most people have felt the same trepidation and are genuinely over the moon when someone reaches out to say “Hi”.  So why you ask is connecting so important? Hopefully these benefits encourage you to get proactive & start reaching out yourself:

  • Establish a supportive network whom you can learn from, share ideas & knowledge
  • Build credibility & raise your profile amongst wider circle/niche 
  • Potential collaboration on future projects
  • Increased confidence
  • Increase your customer base/readership via comment backlinks & social media activity
  • Exposure to more opportunities
  • New friendships with like-minded people

Remember the goal is to make valuable mutually beneficial connections, not an infinity of meaningless ones.

You can find Kate blogging at Foodies Agenda and on Facebook or Instagram 

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