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Self-care for Creative Entrepreneurs: Sleep

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Friday was national world sleep day which got me thinking and inspired me to write a blog as sleep is something that I have been working on personally and is something I think is so important for creative entrepreneurs.

Everyone knows sleep is vital for health and well-being as well as productivity. Yet it can be so hard to prioritise when your mind is whirring and there is a never ending task list.

I generally sleep pretty well, but can find it hard to switch off during the week when my mind is busy with ideas for things I want to do, should do/ could do better (one of the blessings of having a career you really love and have a passion for). After being in business for over 10 years and realising I probably/hopefully have another 30 to go I have become more aware of my health and well-being and the challenge of maintaining my energy levels to sustain my business activity and hobbies and interests long term. Getting more and better sleep is pretty important for this. Not getting enough sleep leads me to make poor business and lifestyle decisions and means my energy levels slump by the end of the week.

For the last 6 months I have been working hard to get more and better quality sleep. Here are some of the things that have been working for me

Changing my mind-set. This is still a work in progress and for me has definitely the biggest hurdle. Within creative industries and entrepreneurship there is often a glorified culture of working insanely long hours to prove your worth and that you are passionate about what you do (pulling all-nighters is my biggest memory of art college). I still love working late at night and have to fight the temptation to do this on a regular basis as it means I run out of energy by the end of the week so is counter-productive and not sustainable long-term or good for my overall health and well-being.

Meditation and mindfulness. Learning to control my thoughts and emotions has been so important. Running a business (Blick) along with all its mini projects (Womenfolk, Small Town Big Dreams etc) and festival (Belfast Design Week) means there are always more things I could and would like to have time to do. The possibilities are endless so learning to control my thoughts and emotions makes a massive difference.

Taking social media off my phone. I don’t really use social media personally, but do use it for business so have found this challenging but really effective.

Giving myself time to unwind. I need at least 3 hours to properly unwind so I can switch off and get to sleep, so find starting to work earlier in the day and finishing earlier makes a big difference. I still have to work some evenings at Blick and just accept the fact that on those days I won’t get to sleep until late and will be tired the next day.

Fresh air and exercise. I have 2 dogs and walk them every day for at least an hour no matter the weather.  I also spend a lot of time travelling between our South Belfast and CQ studios and have discovered it’s almost as quick to walk between the studios as drive or use public transport so have started doing that more.

My next aim to to get an alarm clock and leave my phone outside the bedroom.

If you have any advice or tips let us know what works for you

Christine

 

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