YBC Academy : Being Fit for Business

Starting and running your own business is hard, rewarding, tiring, stressful, lonely, and hectic, especially in these unusual times. I am going through this myself and find our regular networking a weekly sanity check!

To be the most successful version of yourself whilst under this amount of pressure, remember to look after yourself. You will be no good to your business if you end up burnt out, or ill. I am including a few tips to keep yourself functioning in top shape so you can focus on your business!

1 – Sitting Still.
It is so easy to become engrossed in what we are doing, that before you know it, the day has passed, and you have not moved from your desk. Not only is this bad for your posture, but for your entire body and brain! Make sure you set a timer, every hour, get up, walk around, get a drink. Try to look away from your screen every 15 minutes to give your eyes a break. It is also a good idea to invest in a blue light filter too. Especially if you spend a lot of time looking at screens.

2 – Social Media rabbit hole
A lot of us must rely on Social Media to advertise our Business, but these platforms do their job very well. You go on to do something business related, and before we realise, we are looking at something entirely different and have forgotten what we are there to do in the first place. This is where the Pomodoro Technique is good for training you.

3 – Hydration
Sounds obvious? A hydrated brain is a better functioning one! If you have a busy day ahead, take a jug of water to your desk…. aim to drink at least 2 litres a day. This can include tea, coffee, and other non-fizzy soft drinks. If you drink a lot of coffee, try having a glass of water after. You may find you will start to drink less!

4 – Switching off.
Make a mark in the day when you stop work. Stick to it. When we run our own businesses, we very rarely “switch off”, so make use of the apps out their like Trelo, ToDo List, or just a good old fashioned notebook! Keep one by your bedside, so you can write things down and “get them out” of your brain. This helps you get to sleep.

5 – Sleep
This is an important one. Our cells rejuvenate when we are asleep. If you can, try to get into a regular sleeping pattern, whatever it maybe, try to go to bed and get up at the same times every day. This really helps ease brain fog, and leaves you feeling a lot more alert. If you have trouble getting to sleep, try keeping away from all screens for an hour before bedtime. The blue light given off from these devices stimulates Cortisol that prepares your body for wakefulness.

To help release Melatonin, try taking your mineral supplement at night, a handful of almonds before bed can help as they contain melatonin. A magnesium supplement can also help aid sleep.

6 – Diet
Did I Eat That?!
A healthy diet leads to a healthy gut, which leads to a strong immune system as well as a good mental health. If you can, plan your meals weekly, this avoids you reaching for the desirable, but not-so-good-for-you snacks. If you cannot keep away from the biscuits, split the packet into portions of 3 or 4, and just have a few.

One of the primary reasons we are still hungry after fatty, sugary high carb food is because these C.R.A.P (Carbonated drinks, Refined Sugar, Artificial, Processed) foods are nutritionally empty. So, you have eaten food, but your body still does not have the nutrients it requires to keep going. Therefore, sends message saying you still hungry!

7 – Supplements
Supplements are exactly that, SUPPLEMENTAL to your diet. They should never be taken in place of a particular nutrient. You will only get the best out of supplements if you have a good diet to start with!

Unfortunately, our food is no longer as nutritionally dense as it once was. If we had a plate of salad from 1970 and wanted to match it in terms of nutrition value with the same food items now, we would need approximately 50 plates to match the one from 1970.

So, taking a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement can really help your body get what it needs. Good quality means: know what is in it! A lot of food supplements on the market today are packed with fillers. The essential vitamins and minerals are: Vitamin C, E, Beta Carotene (A precursor to Vitamin A) and Selenium. By essential, I mean our body cannot make them and we must get them from our food. Vitamin D is also an important one in the winter months here in good old Blighty. The angle of the sun’s rays between October to March means we do not get enough UVB rays for our body to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can be one of the most common reasons for excessive fatigue symptoms.

8 – Lunch some health options
Always have some protein at lunch – e.g., skinless chicken, turkey, fish, lean ham, low fat cottage cheese, eggs, lentils, or beans.

Buying your lunch:
Choose from a good quality café or supermarket such as Pret-à-Manger, Crush, Eat, M&S, Waitrose, etc. or a local, good quality salad, sandwich, or sushi bars:
• Baked potato – hollow out some of the flesh and add some protein such as tuna, chicken, beans, cottage cheese or hummus. Have with plenty of salad.
• Salads with some protein, e.g., chicken, fish, egg, lentils
• Omelette (if not too greasy) with large salad.
• No Bread’ sandwich from Pret or a sandwich with one piece of bread.
• Fresh soup (not tinned or packet). Go for the chunky vegetables – the thicker the better. Lentil and bean-based soups are a good choice. Avoid creamed soups. Make sure they contain some protein (e.g., chicken, beans, or lentils) or have some on the side, e.g., hummus with Ryvita/oatcakes or crudités. You could even add a tin of beans (e.g. cannellini, butter beans etc.) to a vegetable soup for extra protein. Covent Garden is a good brand of fresh soup, or you could make your own. Take a minute to check the sugar and salt content and wheat and dairy if you are avoiding these.

NB If you have a sandwich, choose the ‘grittier’, more solid bread. Rye bread is best. Aim for open sandwiches or discard the top slice. Avoid mayonnaise – yogurt is a good alternative.

Making your own lunch:
Top tips:
• Make extra helpings of your evening meal, so that you can take some into work for lunch the following day.
• Think about preparing several lunches at the weekend and then freezing them so that you have a lunch for every day of the week.
• Salads are cheap and easy to make. Even if you only take a basic salad into work, remember you can always buy extra ingredients such as a tin of tuna or some chicken and top up the nutrient content (see below for salad ideas).

Below are some ideas for home-made lunches during the week or at the weekend:
Bean Salads
• Use a can of beans – kidney, haricot, or chickpeas (rinse before use) and mix with:
• Parsley, cucumber, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, etc.
• Dress with lemon juice or red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, pepper, chilli.

Greek Salad
• Lettuce (the darker green the better), chopped cucumber, olives, sliced red onion, feta.
• Dress with dried oregano, lemon juice, pepper.

Chicken or Goat’s Cheese and Quinoa Salad
• Quinoa with mixed herbs (add coriander, chives, parsley), cherry tomatoes, rocket, and pieces of chicken breast or goat’s cheese.
• Dress with olive oil, lime juice, chilli powder and a small amount of honey.

Mackerel with Salad
• Peppered mackerel with salad such as carrot, asparagus, green leafy lettuce, a hardboiled egg.
• Dress with olive oil, lemon, small amount of hummus (black pepper to taste).

Tuna Salad
• Tuna in olive oil chunks with salad such as carrot, avocado, tomato, green leafy lettuce, and a hardboiled egg.
• Dress with olive oil and lemon.

Rice Salad
• Cooked brown rice mixed with peas, sliced red onion, grated carrot, chopped celery, sunflower seeds, and some protein such as chicken or feta cheese.
• Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.

Falafel and Pitta Bread
• Pack 1-2 brown pitta bread (or rye bread) and falafels in a Tupperware box
• Have with a large salad and some hummus or guacamole.

If you would like to know more about this subject or any other YBC Academy information, please enter your details below and we will make contact as soon as possible.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Help us to help you keep up to date with small business issues by subscribing to our newsletter.
This is default text for notification bar