I’ve written more than once about the importance of taking time to rest and yet I was still working far too much. I think women like me are difficult to tame. We know we’re doing too much but we ignore the messages our body sends us because we think it’s just a phase that we can get through by sheer willpower. I recently went out for brunch with friends, all of whom are entrepreneurs like me. We talked about overworking and how it can sometimes distort our perception to such a degree that every bump in the road becomes an insurmountable obstacle. We talked about how we sometimes ignore our body’s cries for help until it’s too late and it simply shuts down. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s not easy to admit to ourselves that we are not impervious to everything, and it’s harder still to write about it here. We want to seem indestructible. We tell ourselves that as business owners, we have chosen the life we’re living and the work we’re doing: we can do it all. Wrong! We need to stop, rest, and sleep because like it or not, we’re only human.
I went for an early morning run last Thursday with a good friend of mine, Sophie Boyer, owner of Audvik. Sophie knows me well. Our runs keep us in shape and give us time to talk about the ups and downs of our work and our respective businesses. That particular morning, I started feeling queasy during the first leg of our run. Soon after, my stomach could take no more. Although I had planned to take it easy that week, circumstances outside of my control had left me with less than 5 hours sleep every night and still, I kept saying yes to everything, throwing myself into one project after another. I didn’t slow down. I didn’t listen.
That Thursday morning, as I was jogging, which is something I love to do, my body reminded me that overworking leads to exhaustion and I had definitely reached my limit.
It is often said that when you are an entrepreneur, you stop counting the number of hours you work. Yes, we work for ourselves, we create our net worth, but it would be a lie to claim that every hour we work means more money in our pockets. It’s reality and we accept it; however, we need to learn to set limits for ourselves.
The problem isn’t that we work too hard; it’s that we don’t listen to our body’s needs.
The beauty of growing older is that we learn to better understand ourselves. I’m stubborn. I often do whatever I set my mind to, be it for better or for worse. Working hard is good but it’s important to know when to take a break and rest. That’s why it’s so important to learn to recognize the messages our body sends us so that we don’t overwork ourselves.
There’s more to life than work.
I write about it and I believe it but I have a really hard time putting it into practice. This morning, my friend Sofia Sokoloff, owner of Sokoloff Lingerie, congratulated me for taking time for myself over the past year… at least according to what she had read on various social media networks. She was glad that I had done some travelling and that I seemed to be paying more attention to my private life, all of which is true. However, I was also working harder than ever, my personal life over the past few months had become pretty intense, and I hadn’t even realized how much it affected me. But my body knew.
And that’s good.
I’m grateful that my body sent me a very clear message right from the get go. I’m writing this article as I sit in front of the television watching Netflix and relaxing instead of working (too much) on this rainy Saturday. Although I normally would push myself to write as many articles as possible, today, this will be the only article I write. Don’t forget about yourself, ladies!
Blazer – Intemporel Canada
Photos – Sarah R Photographe
Layering Made Easy!