So you've started a business or quit your job to follow your passion. You felt like you could take over the world when you started, but now you are tired, nervous about your future, and are starting to wonder when you are going to see the benefits of your sacrifice.
Let me tell you, we all have those moments. That's what following your dreams is about- you will be tested, you will feel like you want to give up, but you have to keep going.
Here are 7 ways I have learned to cope with the #GirlBoss blues:
I know we're supposed to be positive all of the time, but let's be realistic that is not how life works. I think that entrepreneurship makes keeping a consistent positive attitude difficult because there is no guarantee your hard work will translate into making a living. Not to mention the many emotions one goes through on this journey-one minute you're up and the next minute self doubt kicks in. You are going to have some days that will be amazing and days that will just make you want to curl up in your bed and not come out. I have found that having a friend I can be open and honest with on days like these to be helpful. Nobody wants to be that friend, you know, Debby Downer but everyone needs a safe place to talk without feeling judged. Find that friend and even if you send a text that says," I need to vent." and type it all in a text at least you got those thoughts out. Anytime a friend sends me a text like that I give them my full attention.
2. Take Care
I have mentioned this in a previous blog post because it is important. I have been guilty (still am guilty) of working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day because I love my company. But, I am starting to understand that I cannot forget about myself on this journey. Think about it, if I am dedicating all of my time to working when am I resting? I'm not. Overworking yourself isn't the way to success. It is important to make finding balance in your life a priority. I also feel guilty about spending money on myself because I feel like that is money I could be investing in Mae B. I am still working on letting myself enjoy life a little more. I have joined a yoga studio, I am planning a 3 day vacation in March, and I had my hair done last week. It is amazing how great I felt after leaving my appointment. Make yourself a priority because if you aren't 100% it will show in your life and business.
3. Learn to say "No".
Say it with me, "No". I often find myself feeling like I need an excuse to tell someone no because I want to be a good person. Saying no doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you a person dedicated to your own success. I can't tell you how many times I have said yes to do something I just did not have the time or resources to get done. Those situations stressed me out and when I couldn't follow through- I was left feeling like the bad person I was trying not to be in the first place.
4. Do What You Can
I often feel this overwhelming guilt when I don't get everything I have planned done. My breathing gets short, my anxiety level peaks, and I just feel like a failure. A good friend of mine gave me the best advice and that was to do what I can. So what if didn't check off everything on my to-do list today... God willing, there is always tomorrow. Take the pressure off of yourself. Do what you can.
5. Get Moving
The last few months I have been so overwhelmed working out just seemed like another thing to do. I was constantly tense and sore because I was carrying my stress in my body, mainly in my neck and shoulders. At one point in December, I could not turn my neck because it was so painful. Crazy, I know. I have found that the key to managing my stress and anxiety is to get my body moving. If it's a workout, a long walk, or just putting on my headphones and dancing to Beyonce´(I do this daily) get up and move. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
6.Ask For Help
If you are anything like me, I hate to ask for help. Pride in both life and business will get you nowhere. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. When I started Mae B not asking for help was one of my biggest mistakes. I remember when the Essence Magazine write up hit newsstands I got an overwhelming amount of orders and traffic to our site. I wasn't home, I was out of town working on a commercial in Nashville. I immediately freaked out and thought I have to go home. Lucky for me, my mom was on the other end of the phone (freaking out too) calming me down and asking me what she needed to do to help me get orders filled until I made it back to Atlanta. Moral of that story is there are people around you that want to help, but they can't lend a hand if you don't ask.
7. Take A Break
There have been many times I have been so over being a business owner. Not because I don't love my company, but because I often feel like I can never turn off my brain. I am always thinking about what's next. We all deserve a break. When I say break, I mean 3-4 days where you rest your body and your mind. A break is also important because it gives you an opportunity to reflect on all of the things you've accomplished on your journey.
If you're like me, your budget maybe a little tight but that doesn't mean you can't take a fun, restful break. Staycations are a great way to kick back and relax in your own home and city. Take that time to visit a museum, have dinner at your favorite restaurant, see a movie, or just Netflix and chill. Now remember, just because you are at home doesn't mean you should still be working. Turn off the phone, e-mail, and social media notifications- you are on vacay.