Self-Care During Small Business Month

Earlier this month, Bard Bread & Pastry announced it was closing its doors. For the past four years, owners Matt and Natalie have been baking naturally leavened goodness in Viroqua, WI. As one Facebook fan told them, “You could taste the love in your bread.”

Unlike most small businesses, their reason for closing was not financial. Rather it was for self-care. Matt wrote in his letter, “My mental health has digressed to a point that I can no longer justify putting the bakery ahead of my own needs.” 

Not Just During Small Business Month

May is small business month and there’s lots of good talk on becoming a successful entrepreneur. But we also need to know self-care. Here are six simple ideas for nurturing yourself this month and every month.

  1. Set Boundaries
    You can’t do it all and you can’t do it for everyone. It’s okay to delegate and outsource. It’s okay to say “no.”
     
  2. Get Enough Sleep, Eat Healthy
    Sufficient sleep and healthy food are your fuel. It must be high-octane to keep your mind and body going strong.
     
  3. Spend Time Outdoors
    Stepping away from your business is vital and there’s no better place than outdoors. Spending time in nature improves health, increases focus, opens your mind to creativity, and calms the soul.
     
  4. Exercise
    It’s hard to find time, but exercise is proven to relieve stress, increase confidence, and improve your mental outlook. 
     
  5. Hang Out With Positive People
    Attitudes are contagious, whether positive or negative. Choose positive, both in your own and those around you. 
     
  6. Do a Digital Detox
    Social media sucks away time and energy. After posting your upbeat marketing message, put that mobile away. Spend your time on constructive growth. 

What I’m Working On This Month

I just finished a logo project for Prairie Wind Family Farm. I’m prouder than proud to work with this dear family as they feed people and improve the land in northeastern Illinois. Owners Jeff and Jen Miller, and their two sons, are special people. Be sure to check them out!

What I’m Tuned In To This Month

  1. Ice Age Trail Guidebook and Atlas, I’m wrapping up a special project of my own—soon to come! These two books were excellent resources. 
     
  2. Seeking the Heartbeat of “Our Towns”, podcast interview of Deb and James Fallows, by Everywhere Radio. Great thoughts on small town America.
     
  3. Serving Dumplings: I’ve become obsessed with this food blog. One-dish recipes, each as delicious as the other.
     
  4. It pays to advocate! Speaking up—even in court—benefits everyone. In this case, Wisconsin cottage food businesses can now expand their baking for increased income.

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