How Self-Care is Helping Me Build My Business

If you are a small business owner, or a therapist looking to build your private practice, you know how hard it can be to juggle life, marketing, managing the business, all while doing the work you love. How is there possibly enough time in the day for all of it?! And “self-care” is constantly shoved down our throats, but it is SO important. Self-care doesn’t mean you have to go on a multi-thousand dollar yoga retreat, drinking expensive lattes, or wear cute expensive clothing to make yourself feel better. It means making a concerted effort to look inwards and think about and realize your values, goals, and priorities, and then taking actions (even little ones) that support them. This can include going to therapy, going to the gym, getting enough sleep, or spending alone time in nature.

“Self-care is the practice of being kind and compassionate to yourself, with the goal of improving your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.”Carmen Gehrke, LMHC 

I have a tendency to prioritize others, which means I’m not always prioritizing myself, my values, OR my business (one of my priorities). All of the things that make up me and who I am and what I want are often put on the back burner. My therapist asked me recently, “if there were no external restrictions, what would you be doing with your life?” and I couldn’t answer! She assured me that it is a difficult question to answer and that most people can’t. But that highlights the issue – I don’t dedicate enough time to think about my dreams, values, and priorities, which is the first step in self-care. If you don’t take the time to reflect on your values and realize your self-worth, then whatever self-care you do can feel directionless and can actually make you feel worse (like you’re wasting time, not helping others, being selfish, or not succeeding in reaching an unattainable goal).

Recently something changed in me (I jokingly attribute it to my mid-life crisis) – I’ve started working on myself. I started setting aside time to be by myself and think about what I want. It’s not an easy task, and I still don’t know the answer, but just giving myself permission to take time to look inward and reconnect with myself has inspired me in so many ways. I’m exercising more, eating better, working on more open communication with others, reconnecting with old friends. All of this has had an unexpected outcome: I’m more excited about my work and putting more energy into growing my business.

When I thought I didn’t have enough time for everything going on in my life, I now realize that I was feeling mentally drained because I didn’t prioritize myself and my needs. I now find that I can accomplish more in a shorter time because I’m feeling more positive about about tackling chores, life homework, and work. I still have a lot of work to do (it’s a never ending process and that’s a good thing), and not every day is butterflies and rainbows, but the more I feed into my self-care the easier it becomes.

Therapists become therapists to help others. You dedicate so much of your life, time, and energy into other people and I applaud you. But burnout is real, and self-care – whatever that means for you – can help you find the energy and excitement to grow your counseling private practice, feel good about it, and ultimately help more people. The cliché that you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care yourself is SO true. And when your business is the business of helping others, self-care, reflection, and really looking inside of yourself is a crucial part of understanding what you want your practice to be like. What are your work priorities? Whom you want to help? What you want your work/life balance to be? Knowing yourself and your worth is an important part of sustaining, marketing, and growing a therapy practice.

As a content marketer, part of what I do with therapists is listen, act as a sounding board, and help you find and share your voice so you can build the practice you want. I love my job and I love helping therapists help others, so if you want to work together, I’d love to talk and listen. Contact me today to learn how we can work together to build your dream job.

Posted by Misha Conaway