Every week we have a POWER to Live More Gold members’ call where we get together, catch up on what’s been happening, have 121 break out rooms (for relationship building) and then the last 30 minutes focuses on the topic for the week within the monthly theme.
The theme for June is Self Care and I asked my members to contribute their self care tips, along with mine, for home based business owners. Those who contributed really stepped up and here are our thoughts!
When I speak about my Self Care Fundamental, I focus on the four areas of: eating, moving, sleeping and being, though as you’ll read in this article, there are many nuances to self care that dip into all areas of our lives.
I don’t profess to be an expert on such things – albeit always experimenting – but I definitely recommend for everyone to focus on their own self care and here we are with a series of self care tips to do that.
Ensure That you Are Always Moving
by Jackie Fletcher of Fabulously Keto
Many of us have jobs that keep us sitting for many hours of the day. We try to combat this by incorporating regular exercise into our week. We usually have set times for exercise and then spending hours at our desk. This is not enough movement in our day.
We need to make sure that we are constantly moving. We don’t need to exercise as much as we think we need to but we do need to keep moving, we need to lift heavy things and we need to sprint occasionally. This harks back to our ancestors who would have been busy during the day. Despite what we would like to believe our genes haven’t changed much from our ancestors.
Some things you can do to move more
Set an alarm every 45-60 minutes to remind you to move.
Then you can:
• Skip for a minute
• Walk outside for a few minutes
• Do some squats or push ups
• Bounce on a mini trampoline
• Go upstairs or downstairs
Other ways to bring more movement into your day is organise your computer so that you can stand up rather than sit down. You could purchase a laptop stand or you can use boxes to raise your screen and keyboard. Then you can move whilst you are standing at your computer.
Once you are moving more you can incorporate the lifting heavy things to build muscle strength. These can be a more formal weight lifting work out but can also be done at home with a pull up bar, push ups, squats using your own body weight.
Then once a week we need to sprint, this can be actual running flat out or sprinting on a stationary bike. Start doing it three times for 10 seconds and then build up to eight times for 20 seconds, allowing your breath to come back to normal in between.
Finding ways to bring movement into your day can only bring greater health benefits, keeping your body flexible, increasing muscle strength and better energy production.
The Simple Power of Walking
by Ashley Leeds of Full Cup Coaching
I walk for my self-care. I’ve always loved walking, but with life and work and everything else we do we never do enough. However, when I got my first iPhone I noticed that it had a step counter and I tried to get to 10,000 steps per day.
That’s quite a few steps and bit of a target, but when I decide to do something, I do it!!
But then again that’s almost 5 miles and prior to the iPhone, I didn’t walk that much. So rather than slumbering in bed, I got out early and walked a bit more. Lunchtime I walked around the block and had a little saunter of an evening. It actually didn’t take me too long to get to 10,000 steps in one day and several days I nipped out for a quick 5-minute walk just to get to 10k!
Over time this developed into a really great habit. I’d park furthest from the door, I’d take the stairs instead of the lift and even walked to the supermarket instead of driving. Obviously, I went to the supermarket daily as a week’s shop would be too much to carry.
Now that I’m a ninja at walking my habit is a bit addictive and this year I have had to dial down my daily steps a bit! I have added a ten-minute yoga routine each morning so I get plenty of exercises. My daily average so far this year is 14,800 (I was aiming for 14,500). Last year it was over 15,662 steps which equates to a staggering 2374 miles walked during the year.
Yes, I am mad, but I love the space, the time and the exercise. I get to listen to great podcasts and audiobooks and am on first name terms at the shoe shop! It fits into my life now because I get up early for the first walk. It’s such a peaceful time of day being outside in nature, have a good walk at lunchtime and as soon as I finish work I’m out again.
Because I’ve dialled it down, I have a bit more time for other passions in my life such as my guitar and spending time with my family. In fact, they are more into walking since lockdown, so many of my steps are now with lovely company.
You cannot beat a bit of exercise and to combine this with nature is such an easy and enjoyable thing to do. For those people who know me, they know I am usually very positive and happy and believe this is down to my single mindedness for my self-care, oh, and the fact that I live by the sea.
Develop the Daily Habit of Gratitude
by Gerry Gleeson of Look Within
At the end of the day in our ‘coaching’ business, regardless of how our day may have gone, we must develop the daily habit of reflecting on what we have to be grateful for.
If you finish your day angry, despondent, anxious, depressed, etc – you have simply lost your gratitude! There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. It is the appropriate time to take one of the worlds most powerful drugs, or ‘vitamin’ pills if you prefer, – have a gratitude attack and spend 10 minutes writing in your Gratitude Journal 5 things that you are grateful for that day!
A good first point to write – daily, is you are grateful that you are alive – you have a pulse!
If we take time to study the habits of successful people, whether they be in business, sport, medicine, science, etc, we immediately become aware that they developed and adopt good daily habits!
Habits like daily gratitude journal writing, ‘looking within’ self rather than blaming outside forces, living in the present and letting go the past, adopting rules for their lives, taking time out, and much, much more. Remember: “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.”- (F. Matthais Alexander)
It’s Important to Take Some Down Time
by Barbara Yeo of Virtually German
I am sure you’ll agree, that self-care and mental time away from “the office” as a home-based business owner is not exactly easy to achieve. It is just too tempting to just carry on.
I tend to read a book in the evening and I enjoy pottering about in the garden when time allows, whilst listening to a podcast. Admittedly, the books I read and the podcasts I listen to are in German – this gives my brain a rest, whilst keeping a finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving German language.
Being Grateful and Practising Mindfulness and Seeking Balance
by Alan Edwards of Alpus Academy
For me, self care is shaping up that I need to work less and get a more balanced work day and week. I am also keen to look into relaxation techniques of yoga and other things possibly.
I did not think i needed any special mindfulness training and psychology, but i am changing that view. The reason is there are lots of external factors that have an influence on my life. I am also glad that I started a gratitude journal several weeks ago, but i need to remind myself to practise gratitude daily, as I have a lot to be thankful for.
I am very conscious what a privilege it is to live and work in the UK, with all its faults. There are plenty of places in the world where it must be difficult to find hope for a better future, and this applies to large parts of the world including Afghanistan, parts of the Middle East, many African countries, parts of South and Central America, and women silently carry the bulk of the pressure in many countries.
The Importance of Creating and Repeating Habits and Routines
by Philip Tosini of Tosini Consultants
Self care for me is to be able keep myself in a routine every day, like I am doing.
Monday to Friday – waking up exercising for 10 minutes, that includes stretching, sit ups and press ups, while watching or listening to a motivational video. After that I either have a cold shower or proper shower with cold shower afterwards.
I then proceed to be grateful and give thanks for the things I have in the world, being able to share my achievements with friends and family. While doing this I put on some relaxing music and meditate afterwards with the music. Then I make some breakfast and afterwards I read a book either for 5 minutes or an hour or more depending what time I have.
I do these things everyday from Monday to Friday and then i start my day proper. I have been doing this for the past 6 months and I still find it hard and have to force myself, but once done I do feel better for it.
I do miss a day and not do stuff, but that is ok, I am not a robot and I am at peace with that – it is one of those things.
The Importance of Financial Self Care
by Lucy Wallington of Budgeting & Planning
With many different ways to create & cultivate self care, from physical & emotional to professional & practical, financial self care is as important as any other.
Why? Well I think Zig Ziglar said it really well, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.”
So what is Financial Self Care? In a nutshell it’s actively managing your incoming & outgoings to the point where it’s moving you in the right direction for wherever you want to go.
The short story is that the two are inextricably linked & for sure having money worries is a huge contributing factor to experiencing sleep, relationship, professional & health problems.
The very foundations of life, oxygen, water, food, shelter & sleep are rooted in all corners of your self care.
Just like your hip bone’s connected to your thigh bone, your thigh bone’s connected to your back bone… financial self care is linked to all areas of your wellbeing.
Being in debt is frightening, the feelings you experience can be debilitating. Many businesses have & will go under in the next several months. Cut backs, job losses, cutting hours, no pay rises…
This could be a very depressing read but I don’t want it to go that way! External factors have an impact on our income, more often than not you don’t have control over that. What you can control is how you earn your income, many people now have a second & third income stream which isn’t always easy to achieve but when you’ve generated passive income life can look very different.
Proactively respecting your finances makes a huge difference to your life. If you’ve ever run a business or been a manager within one, you will have experienced a profit & loss report, maybe a cashflow forecast, got involved with securing funding & of course finding all the ways to reduce expenses!
How differently would your life be if you treated your finances like a business? A cashflow forecast would enable you to look forward 12+ months & pre-empt problems ahead of time so you can figure out what to do.
A profit & loss approach is essentially a budget. What’s coming in, what are the fixed outgoings, the variable outgoings & whatever is left is your profit. Do you already create a budget with a goal in mind? Do you manage your bills & streamline your accounts?
Understanding the nature of our money ebbing & flowing through the year can have a big impact. My nan always said, “If you look after your pennies, the pounds take care of themselves” and that’s as true today as it ever was.
If you took a little time to create a financial self care routine, would you find you had more to invest, more to save, more to spend on lovely things you’ve previously gone without? Would it help you to worry less, make better decisions or at least have a clear head knowing where you’re at?
To make a start or create a fresh start, have a look at these 5 simple ways to take some action with your Financial Self Care:
For lots more please come visit us at budgetingandplanning.co.uk & connect with us on social media – all links on the website home page.
Self Care Of Your Finances – Don’t Forget To Check Your Credit Score Everywhere!
by Alan Edwards of Alpus Academy
As part of your own self-care programme, particularly your finances, you need to be aware of what other people and companies are saying about you. I do not just mean on social media, but you also need to be aware that other people or companies can affect your credit score adversely, without even telling you!
I will explain what I mean by this. I always used Experian and had a good credit score, above 960, so never knew that unbeknown to me, I was receiving negative markers (alleged non-payment of due amounts) in respect of an alleged debt that I was not aware of. Well, how did I find out?
I applied for a mortgage in January 2021, and was led to a website called CheckMyFile.com which is claimed to be the only multi-credit score website. What this company does is to check your credit score across all credit scoring agencies, which includes Experian, Equifax and Transunion, thus giving a composite aggregate credit score.
I was surprised to find out that according to 2 of the credit scoring agencies (Equifax and Transunion) there were negative markers being reported in respect of an outstanding amount with TalkTalk, showing that there was a debt of 4.39 dating from December 2018. I knew that there was no such debt because I had regularly paid every amount demanded by TalkTalk with whom I had an account from prior to 2018 until April 2020, when I closed the TalkTalk account with all amounts paid on time. TalkTalk even acknowledged this was the case.
I contacted TalkTalk and complained about this alleged debt that they were recording against me, and initially, they said they were not reporting any amounts due from me, therefore no negative markers. I went back to the 2 credit scoring companies that were reporting this alleged debt and told them this, and neither Equifax nor Transunion would change their reporting and they insisted that TalkTalk was reporting an alleged debt against me, and therefore they would not change their records.
So I went back again to TalkTalk and told them that they were still reporting an alleged debt going back to December 2018, which they initially denied.
TalkTalk´s credit department was saying there was a debt on the account, and they would not answer any queries until it was settled. I was astonished to hear this because I knew there was no debt to TalkTalk, and I even had TalkTalk´s written acknowledgement that my account was settled in April 2020, with no late payment or overdue or outstanding amounts.
I persisted with my complaints both to Equifax and Transunion (who were still reporting this alleged debt of 4.39 payable to TalkTalk) however Experian, to whom I subscribe to, were still showing a good credit score of 960+.
The relevance of all this is that owing to the negative markers from TalkTalk, I was still unable to proceed with my planned mortgage and property purchase, owing to the aggregate effect of the negative markers on my credit score.
Eventually, in March 2021, i received an acknowledgement from TalkTalk that they had been reporting an alleged debt in respect of a different address, however, they had never ever notified me of any such outstanding amount. To this day, I have never ever received an invoice or statement in respect of this alleged debt.
This is despite TalkTalk having 2 email addresses for me, both of which they have used and I have acknowledged receipt of. TalkTalk and I also exchanged sms´s and telephone calls, and at no time prior to March 2021 was I ever made aware of this alleged debt to them, and I never ever received such an invoice or statement.
TalkTalk issued an apology to me and offered to waive the debt and pay me a token compensation of 30 pounds. This was of no real help because it meant that the alleged debt stayed on my credit record (for 6 years), and would show that I settled this alleged debt from 2018 in April 2021, ie 3 years late.
I declined this offer to settle from TalkTalk, and they came back with a revised settlement offer of 100 pounds compensation, which again I declined for the same reason.
I took my case to CICAS which is an arbitration body to which TalkTalk subscribes to and recently received their adjudication recommendation and award. The Adjudicator agreed that the debt was not valid and should be removed from my credit score.
What the CICAS adjudicator did not properly assess was the effect of 3 years and 4 months of adverse credit scoring on my own finances, and his recommendation was an award of 200 pounds compensation (which I rejected).
The lesson of this section is to check all credit scoring agencies, as you need to be sure that no one is alleging that you owe them money, and affecting your credit score without your knowledge.
My Last Word
So, as I explained at the beginning, there are many views on what to do for self care. That last self care tip from Alan, he admits, comes under the ‘cathartic’ banner!
And, that’s sort of the point, for you to find out works for you and build routines and rituals to keep those things happening. Looking after ourselves is so important for creating and maintaining energy for running our businesses and getting to live more. What are you doing for your own self care?