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May 3, 2024 —

Why self-care is fundamental to running a small business

Choosing to incorporate small acts of self-care into your work day can significantly impact both your wellbeing and that of your small business, says Emma Benyon
why self care in fundamental to running a small business
why self care in fundamental to running a small business
Emma Benyon
Writer and coach,
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Whether you are a small business owner or not, we all know how important it is to take care of our health and well-being. But it’s not always so easy as we juggle all our many life and work responsibilities.

In recent years, the term ‘self-care’ has become a buzzword and can often feel like another thing we need to add to our to-do list. The expectations surrounding it can feel de-motivating, uninspiring and can contribute to the challenges in working out exactly what is needed and when.

While it might even be considered the zeitgeist of the early 2020’s post pandemic years, and yet the phrase may make some of us wince with its clichéd overuse, it is important. So, let’s break down exactly what self-care is and isn’t, and then we can delve into why, particularly for small business owners, it is an imperative part of supporting both you and your work.

why self care in fundamental to running a small business
Photo: Helena Dolby for 91 Magazine

Self-care isn’t:

  • anything that doesn’t bring you joy
  • anything that has to cost money
  • about doing more
  • about adding more stress and overwhelm to your life

Self-care is:

  • anything that fills up your energy fuel tank
  • anything that makes you feel good and brings you joy
  • anything you can add in to (or remove from) your daily life to nourish and support yourself
  • about setting healthy boundaries
  • about developing a toolkit of practices

Self-care practices work best when they are simple and effective; actions that support our daily ability to function from a place of ease, assists the running of our business and replenishes our energy so that we can deal with stressful situations easier. These practices are personal to each individual and their business because we are all different, and what we need at different times will vary too.

why self care in fundamental to running a small business
Photo: Moyo Studio

As a small business owner, every day can throw up new challenges, and there may be points during the year, for example – the Christmas period – where our busyness peaks and we may be more susceptible to burnout and exhaustion. Juggling running a business alongside other aspects of our lives can add in an additional pressure too. When we become exhausted we are unable to give our business the energy and time it needs, and this may impact not only our income, but also our motivation and our confidence in what we do.

So, when we consider self-care as a small business owner, we need to remember that building healthy habits and a nurturing relationship with ourselves is key. It takes approximately 21 days to build a healthy habit, so if we start simple, we are much more likely to continue the practice and adapt it as we go.

why self care in fundamental to running a small business
Photo: Prophsee Journals / Unsplash
why self care in fundamental to running a small business
Photo: Ekaterina Bolovtsova / Pexels

Everyone will find different things will work best for them and their daily life, but here are a few simple self-care practices you can introduce to support yourself and your business:

  • Set an intention each morning as you start work, perhaps updating your daily to do list to keep you on track
  • Schedule in regular breaks to get up and move about, ensuring you are drinking enough and always taking a lunch break
  • Curate your working environment – a clean and tidy room/desk supports a clear head, so having a space which is inviting and encourages productivity will be helpful
  • Move your body regularly. Movement is a beautiful way to support our mind and body, perhaps going to the gym, a walk on your lunch break or even a kitchen disco as you brew your cup of tea
  • Plan in rest and time off – as a small business owner – especially in the early years of setting up a business – it can mean working more hours, and so it is important to schedule in rest, a holiday, even time off social media to give you the space to be present
why self care in fundamental to running a small business
Photo: Georgia de Lotz for 91 Magazine

Self-care does not mean making massive changes in your daily routine, it is about adding and adapting what you are already doing so that your energy tank is filled, you feel nourished and have the vigour to run your business well. The key is to try and see which practices work for you, experiment, explore and get creative so that you can add a range of nourishing actions into your self-care toolkit.

Starting to explore how self-care can support you in your small business journey is an incredible way to understand yourself further and how you ‘work’ as a person. These learnings can support you to lead a happy, healthy life and run a successful business, without burnout.


Emma Benyon is a self-care and motherhood coach and educator, supporting busy mums who are juggling the school run with building a business using tools to be less overwhelmed and have more balance, energy and clarity.

Emma is a qualified NLP, mBIT and Practical Magic Coach. She is the editor of Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums and host of the Self Care and Motherhood Edit podcast.

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