Freelancer of The Week Yolanda Copes-Stepney

Freelancer of The Week

This week we spoke to Yolanda Copes-Stepney whose background is in PR, events and digital content. Yolanda has just launched an incredible series of events “Speak On Presents: How To Be Anti-Racist” which runs from tonight, 14 July at 6.30pm – 17 July and 21 -23 July.

Speak On Presents: How To Be Anti-Racist

 

Beyond the Black Square
How to be Anti-Racist

A series of online events including talks and panel discussions designed to support and educate people committed to being anti-racist.

” We know it’s not enough to be non-racist, we have to be anti-racist and we’re providing a safe space for people to ask questions”

Speak On have bought together psychologists, academics, activists and more to lead the sessions which will include learning how to talk to explain racism to children of all ethnicities, to processing the shocking images you’ve seen on social media, through to how to help your friends with racial trauma.

Speakers include: Richie Brave, Dr Vanessa Boachie, Dr Yvette Arthur, Vix Meldrew, Ama Peters and many more.

Along with running Speak On, Yolanda owns Speak & Do, a digital media agency which specialises in influencer management, booking and brand partnerships, and also content creation including campaigns and events. And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Yolanda is founder of the Festival Of Confidence, an event series for women designed to build and celebrate confidence, which also has a podcast and YouTube show!

Yolanda Copes-Stepney

 

How have you been affected by the crisis and lockdown? 

One of my brands was being acquired, but that fell through because of COVID. It was a bit sad, but something that we’ll revisit in the future.

I went on furlough from Speak&Do because brands weren’t booking many campaigns. My sister has been taking care of the ongoing deals while I work on my other brands, Speak On and planning for Festival Of Confidence.

How are you feeling and what have you done to manage your mental health?

I’m all good to be honest. I’ve been working out, chatting so much on the phone and video calls A LOT.

I’ve recorded a Podcast and spent time restructuring and sorting out my other companies.

At the beginning I did have a few moments of disbelief and mild peril, but adjusted fairly quickly. I have been working flat out for years, so this gave me the forced break I needed. It’s made me realign and going forward, I am only working four days a week.

What did your normal day look like before and what does it look like now?

Then

Daytime

Work from 8/9am – 6pm, sometimes later. Or I would spread my work out over the whole day with breaks for walks, chat and working out. I work from The Curtain or Shoreditch House. Evenings- Could be any of the following: Cinema, drinks with friends, Soho House or The Curtain events (they have a great selection of things to do), brand events with talent clients. Sofa, films and wine.

Now:

Up at around 8am, a lot of mincing in tracksuits, workouts occasionally (sometimes I am bang on it, other times I am very committed to being on my sofa all day) Around 4 – 5 hours of work 3-4 days a week, a lot of podcasts, audio books and I am pretty sure I’ve completed Netflix.

What do you predict for your industry post lockdown and Covid19? 

⁃Content creators will overtake generic “influencers”, comedians who have been doing the lord’s work when it comes to making us laugh and entertaining us during these times will have increased value at influencers.

⁃Campaigns will have more diversity and inclusion, which is great because I truly have been having this fight with brands since 2016.

⁃Activists and advocate influencers will become more relevant.

⁃Some agencies will give up their offices and the sector will have more digital nomads with staff based globally.

⁃For a while, working hours and opening hours will decrease as we all want work/life balance.

⁃Brands will consult more on content instead of just relying on the echo chamber of their offices in an effort to strike the correct balance with campaigns.

Thank you Yolanda for taking part.

 

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

Shop 

 

 


Six ways that freelancers can future-proof their business during Covid-19

Six ways that freelancers can future-proof their business during Covid-19 by our Founder, Nikki Kitchen. 

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent effect on businesses has hit the freelance economy hard, with many clients cutting their freelance support overnight. 

A recent survey of PR freelancers by the PR Calvary has found that half of the participants have lost 60 % of their income, and many of them cannot claim the rescue package help from the government in June, due to their length of time in business or the nature of their business set-up. 

Although there is some good news, with several fortunate freelancers reporting new business wins, most people are finding that they suddenly have a lot of spare time on their hands. 

With that in mind, here are six things that you can do to survive and future-proof your business during the Covid-19 crisis. 

  • Start to think strategically for the future and get your house in order 

The freelance and gig economy has grown exponentially over the last few years, with nearly 64% of businesses employing freelance support. In 2017, People Per Hour Founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou, predicted that half the UK workforce would be freelance by the end of 2020, and whilst a lot of freelancers have lost work, as the crisis starts to ease businesses are more likely to turn to flexible, agile support rather than employing full-time staff. 

Until things start to get back to the new ‘normal’, it’s a great opportunity to work on your business rather than in it. Do you have a strong portfolio, and is your website up-to date? Use the extra time to get your house in order so you’re ready to go when new opportunities start to appear. 

Do you have robust terms and conditions in place? Do you need to rethink how to structure your business? Lots of freelancers rely on a couple of big clients for their income and that isn't the best approach because they can (and have!) disappeared quite literally overnight. Of course, it’s easier said than done to try and secure new clients right now, but when it does start to pick up, which it will, work towards creating more balance in your business so you’re not so reliant on one or two clients. 

One thing that this extraordinary situation has taught freelancers is that anything can happen, whether that be a global pandemic or a personal crisis, now is the time to think about how to protect yourself going forward. 

  • Learn new skills

Whilst we’re all probably a bit sick of being productivity shamed (what’s wrong with daytime drinking and Netflix bingeing anyway?) if you do want to use the time to upskill, there are some amazing free and heavily discounted courses available. 

Google’s Digital Garage is a fantastic place to start and I highly recommend the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with 26 modules covering SEO, SEM, social media, and content marketing. You can complete it at your own pace, and the modules will be of great use to most freelancers. 

Udemy has some incredible courses which have all been heavily reduced and Jolt London offers specific courses for start-up businesses led by world-class experts. The Open University is also offering a variety of free courses. 

The PRCA and CIPR are both offering free webinar series and short courses to help PR freelancers navigate the crisis as they go along. 

  • Set business goals

Although it might feel tricky to set goals when we don’t know what the heck is going on (or what the world will look like when this crisis finally starts to pass), you can start to think about what you really want for your business. Why did you start freelancing in the first place? What type of clients do you want to work with? 

Start to reflect on your freelance career and be honest about your achievements - have you been going in the right direction, and on the right trajectory? Do you want to increase retained monthly earnings by a certain percentage? Attract different clients from new sectors? Write a book, start a podcast, or branch out into a new area? Write down your goals for the year and break them down into quarterly and monthly actions where you can. 

So often, we can get caught up in just paying the bills and forget about the work we’re really passionate about, so use this time to get clear on your ‘why’ and what’s next for you. 

  • Work on your mindset and focus

Most freelancers and business owners have been through a whirlwind of emotions during the crisis, from anger to anxiety, to grief to acceptance and back again! Members of The Freelance Kit community have reported various mental challenges, but many seem to be arriving at a positive place of acceptance and have started to have more of a growth mindset. As a side note though, it’s totally fine if you aren't in that place, right now is the time to be kind to yourself and go at your own pace. 

The Freelance Kit is running a free weekly Facebook Live expert interview series and we spoke to qualified business and freelancer coach, Matt Essam about the future of freelancing. 

Matt commented that this situation was a “great time to pause and reflect” and think about your business and where it is going. He also talked about how we can use this time to change our mindset from focusing on what we ‘do’, to focus on how we can solve problems for our clients (and future clients!). 

For example, by offering a free brand audit, you put yourself in a stronger position to deliver the actual work and position yourself as the knowledgeable guide solving a problem the client didn’t know they had. 

Think about who you can approach, both previous and potential clients, and what problems you can solve right now. Start with a list of five contacts and see what happens, there might not be paid work immediately, but you’ll be first in mind when there is. 

You can join our free community here where all of the Live videos are available to watch. We’ve already had weekly expert interviews on mindset, finding purpose, and mental health and have upcoming discussions about accounting and marketing your freelance business during the crisis. 

  • Collaborate 

Now is the perfect time to look for collaboration opportunities or expand your network. By reaching out to other freelancers, you never know what opportunities you might be able to access or help out with, or they may be able to introduce you to other clients and connections looking for support. 

Starting to reach out in an authentic way right now will build relationships for the future, so think about other freelance skill sets that your skills complement. For example, are you a graphic designer who might be able to help a PR with social media content, or a digital marketing whizz able to help a traditional marketer take a business online?

The best place to start is in freelance social media groups, there are tons of brilliant ones including Freelance PR’s, The Northern Creative Collective and The Freelance Kit. All are safe and supportive spaces where you can look for opportunities to collaborate and start building a network of like-minded people. 

  • Rest and recharge! 

Now the initial panic is (hopefully!) starting to pass, we can start to reframe the extra time as an opportunity to just rest and ‘be’, so sleep, relax and do what makes you happy.

Ditch the screen time, take the dog out, do some yoga and leave the phone charging while you spend some time in the garden with the kids. 

Resting and recharging your batteries will do you the world of good, so when the crisis has passed you can come out fighting and raring to go.

Stay well.

Nikki x 

Nikki Kitchen

Grab your FREE Ultimate Guide to Freelancing HERE. And join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, join here. 

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier. 

Shop

 


Freelance advice

7 Ways For Freelancers to Weather the Covid19 Storm

Seven Ways for Freelancers to Weather the COVID-19 Storm 

The freelance and self-employed community is well equipped to survive working from home for prolonged periods, but the business closures and lockdown situation due to COVID-19 has already had a devastating effect on many sectors. 

So, in this shaky and uncertain climate, and in this unprecedented global situation, what can freelancers do to weather the storm and prevail?

Here are seven ideas that may help...

  • Think about alternative options for work 

Firstly, if you have lost clients or feel like this could be a possibility, it’s important that you find more work - and fast! There are still opportunities out there and freelancers are pulling together online to pass work to each other. 

Facebook has some brilliant groups for different sectors and skill sets - Freelance PR Jobs for PR’s for example, or No 1 Freelance Media Women for writers, and there are larger all-encompassing groups like Freelance Heroes. There are also platforms for freelance work, such as The PR Cavalry and People Per Hour and lots of regional business and networking groups to tap into. 

Check in with old clients and contacts, you never know who might need a hand as things change on a daily basis, and check Twitter and LinkedIn for leads by searching for freelance jobs hashtags and using specific jobs terms in the search option. 

Lastly, try calling recruitment agencies who are looking for emergency freelance support across a variety of sectors.

Whilst we know that many businesses have taken a hit, others have pivoted their offer to create products to help during the crisis. Some sectors are even seeing huge sales uplifts,  especially those in wellbeing and fitness, home furnishings, tech, some food and drink and home entertainment. So, don’t lose heart completely, have a think about the businesses who might actually be busier as a result of the crisis and in need of support. 

  • Look for different ways to support your existing clients

Some businesses may have to reduce output, but will need to carry on and try to weather the storm the best they can if they are to come out the other side. 

Many companies will have had to furlough staff, or have shortages due to illness, so there will be opportunities to offer up your services to help out where you can and plug the gaps with flexible support. This might mean using your transferable skills to do something you don’t usually do, the key is to be flexible and be willing to roll your sleeves up. 

  • Work out a survival budget

Whilst it’s always great advice to have some money saved up to cope with any sudden loss of business, it’s not always the reality for many of the nation’s freelancers. 

Regardless of your savings situation, do a quick inventory of the money that you do have, and think about what bills and payments are necessary, which can be postponed, and which things are easily cancelled for now. Have a look through your direct debits and standing orders and cancel any unnecessary subscriptions or things you don’t use. Councils are starting to offer council tax breaks for those who have lost work because of the crisis, so speak to them early and find out what help you can get. 

Call your creditors and arrange payment breaks, most are now offering some sort of help, whether that’s a payment holiday, reduced or interest-only payments. You can also speak to your landlord or mortgage firm to ask if a payment holiday is possible. Again, do this as soon as possible so you know what your options are, don’t wait until you just can’t pay. By applying for a mortgage holiday properly, it shouldn't impact on your credit rating, but if you just cancel the direct debit or don't make the payment, it will.  

  • Find out what you’re entitled to

The government has now announced a self-employed rescue package that has left many freelancers, and those with Limited Companies, in the lurch and quite confused about what they’re entitled to. 

At the time of writing, petitions have already been set-up to lobby the Chancellor to offer more support for the self-employed and those running their freelance businesses as Limited Companies. On the flip side, some self-employed freelancers will be able to access up to £2,500 per month. 

Financial support options currently include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan which will be delivered by the British Business Bank, however some applicants are reporting that you must have a turnover of over £100k ,which won’t be the case for most freelancers.  

For the self-employed not eligible for statutory sick pay, Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable, at a rate of £73.10 a week if you are over 25, for eligible people affected by Coronavirus or self-isolating in-line with official advice. This will be payable from day one of sickness, rather than day eight which is usually the case.  

To summarise the help that freelancers can claim:

For sole traders - Income support, Universal Credit, Self-assessment/tax deferral scheme and a taxable grant of up to £2,500 per month depending on profits (available from June) and possibly the Business Interruption Loan. 

For Directors of Limited Companies - It has now been confirmed that you can furlough yourself and claim 80% of your PAYE salary but NOT dividends. Directors will also be able to defer tax and VAT and those in premises already receiving small business rates relief will be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000. The Business Interruption Loan may be an option depending on your turnover and Universal Credit for those who don’t pay themselves a PAYE salary. 

You can read more about the ever-changing government support for small businesses here

  • Help each other 

As a freelancer, you’ll be well versed in working from home and coping with isolation, self-motivation, time-management and looking after your wellbeing, but remember to reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who might have had a harder time adjusting. Helping our fellow humans is essential in times like this, and it will help you to feel empowered and in control, too….

There are Facebook groups popping up for local Covid-19 Mutual Aid, so if you are able to help, consider seeing how you may be able to provide assistance for vulnerable neighbours or elderly members of the community.

Freelancers can stay connected to each other and chat about issues affecting them by joining Facebook groups, which all help to bolster the feeling of community amongst the self employed. The Freelance Kit has a free closed group which allows members to ask questions and share advice in a private environment. You can access the group here

  • Stay connected but look after your mental health 

It goes without saying, but staying in touch with friends and family is more important than ever right now. Human contact, even via video call, is crucial to maintain sanity and ensure we all stay connected as much as possible. 

However, as much as it’s important to stay in touch, make sure that you also take the time to have phone and device breaks, switch off, leave the social media feeds alone before bed and get enough sleep. There is so much information out there right now and it can become confusing and overwhelming and impact our anxiety levels. Having a digital detox period every day is really beneficial for your wellbeing and mental health. 

If you feel stressed out, don’t bottle it up - speak to your friends and family and vent/ask for advice in freelance community groups. 

  • Use the time to rest, plan and think! 

Whilst the situation is scary and uncertain financially, try not to panic and go into frantic survival mode. We’re going through a life changing experience which will undoubtedly leave us in a very different world when the crisis has passed, so it’s important to think strategically about what’s next for you. What is your business vision, what is it that you really want to achieve? 

Also, it’s OK to rest! Most self-employed people are always on the go, always on to the next thing, but treat the time as a gift and a chance to rest and recuperate. Look after your health as a priority, catch up on sleep and switch off from the news and social media as often as possible. 

Stay safe and well. 

Nikki Kitchen, Founder of The Freelance Kit

You can find our top 45 tools and tips for working from home and managing your freelance business in a handy FREE downloadable guide HERE. We also have a FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, join HERE

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

SHOP


freelancers

Freelancing and mental health - 8 steps to happiness

Going freelance might seem like the answer to all of your prayers. More control, a flexible lifestyle, time off whenever you feel like it, more time to spend with friends or family and no boss to answer to. Sadly, freelancing isn’t always as straightforward as that, and working for yourself can throw up some different stresses and life hurdles to deal which with may impact on your mental health and wellbeing

In a recent Guardian article (1) that examined the very same topic, Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at MBS Manchester University said:  “Isolation, financial pressures, irregular hours and an inability to switch off can have a real impact when not managed properly. For self-employed people, it’s a real problem. It can lead to the common mental health disorders - stress, depression and anxiety.”

So how then do freelancers manage the balance between work and life, and learn to embrace the unpredictability that self-employment brings? After all, our time is valuable and taking time away from work to deal with mental health issues and our own wellbeing can seem like a bigger stress in itself.

Here are eight practical tips to help...

  1. Stay in control - remember your WHY

Like many freelancers, you probably took the leap into self-employment because of a desire to design your own life and be in charge. Working for yourself can be life affirming, empowering and inspiring, and if these qualities seem like they’re slipping away, it can be useful to take a step back and remember WHY you decided to go freelance.

Write down the reasons you decided to go it alone, and make the decision to take control back. Perhaps you need to learn to say no, set clear boundaries with clients about working hours, stop doing pro bono work for a while or make sure your diary and to-do list is up to date and clear.

It IS possible to design your own life, and if your reasons for going freelance included being around to pick the kids up from school, being able to take Fridays off, or attending a regular exercise class, take back your entitlement and do it. It’s so easy to let things slip away from you (we ALL do it) and end up lurching from procrastination to being up at midnight trying to make a deadline. Take back control.

  1. Cover yourself

Having insurance for things like illness, professional indemnity, cyber security and public liability makes sense. Don’t cut corners or put things off, get these things sorted so your sense of security can take a step up. Insurance isn’t an unnecessary expense, it’s just sensible - and things like this will add to your overall wellbeing.

Additionally, using a simple contract with regular clients can help you to feel more in control and professional, and can help both parties if you decide to part ways or move on.

There are new platforms to help freelancers popping up every week, and one of our favourites is new platform Penny Freedom which takes the stress out of getting paid. You get paid within 24 hours and Penny chases the client. Dream!

  1. Focus your stress

It’s nice to think that a zen lifestyle awaits us all if we could just leave our stress behind us, but realistically that isn’t life for anyone who isn’t a Tibetan monk, and everyone feels stressed from time to time.

Stress is a natural reaction, and “framing” your stress and using the additional adrenaline to propel you into networking or taking a brave leap into a new area might be just what you need.

Appreciated, that isn’t easy, but thinking of your day to day stress as a (potentially) positive thing could help you to feel more empowered and driven.

If stress becomes too overwhelming though, then focus on your own self-care, work can wait.

  1. Practice self-care

This one is so important. Without proper self-care, we simply cannot function day to day, week to week, month to month. Something’s got to give and it's usually our mental health.

Like the old adage of making sure your oxygen mask is attached before you help anyone else in the event of an airborne emergency, you need to look after your own wellbeing or you’ll be no use to anyone else. We all know what to do - get more sleep, deactivate your Facebook account for a while, drink more water, drink less wine, get up and dressed in the morning and get some regular fresh air and exercise.  Simple? Maybe...

One positive step that is surprisingly common with freelancers is dog walking! Whether it’s buying your own canine buddy or signing up to a dog walking scheme such as BorrowMyDoggy, the responsibility of taking Rover for a walk once a day will give you a kick up the bum, provide a solid reason to get out of the house and take a well-deserved screen break, and get some fresh oxygen into your lungs.

By taking care of yourself and putting yourself first, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how a few little changes can have a positive affect on your life - including your concentration levels, motivation and overall health and happiness.

  1. Be sociable

Isolation can truly be one of the most soul destroying things for a freelancer, especially if you come from a buzzy office environment where the social aspect was taken for granted and after work drinks were a regular occurrence.

Joining a co-working space or even taking your work to a park bench or coffee shop can shake things up and allow you to feel like you’re part of the world once again.  Human contact is important, and sometimes, having someone to natter to once or twice a week and bounce a few ideas off can make the difference between feeling isolated and lonely and feeling like you’re winning at life.  Go for it! You might even make a new friend.

  1. Know when to switch off

This one can take time to nail as a freelancer, as work and life can blur so easily. And even though that can be a nice thing occasionally due to things like digital nomadism, realistically everyone needs to take time completely away from work in order to function properly.

It may take a while to get your finances to a point where you can take a week off here and there, but it’s worth taking these things seriously. Use a flexible savings app, and when you have enough money to cover a week’s work, plan in a holiday, even if it’s just to bum around the garden or go and visit your mum.

Additionally, have a cut off point where you put the devices down and step away from your emails every night. Use an out of office with a phone number listed for urgent things if it makes you feel better, but having a clear distinction between work and life can help massively if you are feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Delegate

Delegation isn't a new concept, but outsourcing aspects of your life makes massive amounts of sense if things are feeling too much.

Examine your pain points, and make a plan to delegate the tasks. Hate admin? Hire a virtual PA. Getting a bit bogged down by your finances? Take on an accountant or book-keeper. Sick of feeling like your house is a tip? Get a cleaner. Yes, these things cost money but your time will be freed up to focus on yourself, look after your wellbeing and focus on areas of your work and home life that makes you money or drives your business forward. Makes sense? You bet it does.

  1. Get help

Above all else, if you are struggling with your mental health, please - get help. Remember, you are NOT alone, and we are lucky to live in a society where mental health and wellbeing are (finally) being taken seriously.

MIND offers a free counselling service in many areas of the UK, and freephone numbers if you’re not sure where to turn. With therapy, CBT and other services on offer by the NHS too, help is there if you need it.

Please do not suffer in silence, talk to friends, ask advice in social media groups, reach out to a caring stranger privately on social media - so many people are willing to give advice and lend an ear, remember you are amazing and there is always support.

 

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/08/i-felt-vulnerable-freelancers-on-the-stress-of-self-employment

 

You can find our top 45 tools and tips for working from home and managing your freelance business in a handy FREE downloadable guide HERE. We also have a FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, join HERE

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

SHOP

 

 


6 tips to thrive when you're self-employed by Kara Grant

On an intellectual level, I’m sure you know self-care is a good thing. Looking after your health and wellbeing is one of your priorities, right?

But in day to day life, when you are working to deadlines or looking for clients or in the midst of an amazing creative streak are you actually implementing and doing it every day?

Taking time to relax and recharge works on so many levels. Obviously, and importantly it gives your body and mind time to switch off from action mode and into restore mode. It can prevent reoccurring illnesses by boosting your immune system as well as avoid burnout and fatigue physically and mentally. But alongside the myriad of health benefits self-care creates so much more momentum and value for your life and business

It gives you:

  • Perspective and insight that you DON’T get when you are sitting in front of your laptop for hours waiting for those emails.
  • Creative inspiration and a deeper understanding of what is important for you and your work (when you aren’t glued to your phone)
  • The ability to be an all rounded person – who can connect with their families, partners and friends: peaceful, happy and present.

 

There are some misconceptions about what self-care actually is. Here are some things I hear regularly from my clients:

“I don’t have the time for self care”

“I can’t drop anything that I have going on at the moment so I don’t know when I’ll do it”

“I get my nails done/go to the gym once a week, isn’t that enough?”

So, let’s clear this up. Self-care is essential me-time maintenance. It’s not all about retreats in Bali and weekends away, though that is all good. If you have time to brush your teeth (you do have time for that don’t you?) you most definitely have time for self-care.  I regularly start working with clients and find they have at least an hour a day that they could use by either dropping something that really doesn’t matter like watching reruns of box sets or by getting support like asking someone in your house to help with housework.  If there was an actual emergency you would drop everything so think of self-care as the step before that emergency.  But for it to become part of your every day life you need to do it every day – getting your nails done every few weeks or going to the gym  once a week is great but it’s the daily commitment that is going to pay off for you, your business and your relationships.

Here are 6 steps I suggest for you to get really successful at your self-care and flourish in your work and life.

-Get really clear on where you are spending your time every day

What’s essential and what’s not. Be really honest. This is your life, and yes, you have commitments but ask yourself “What’s draining me and not contributing to my life and work.

- Identify where you have time to spare

I recommend finding at least 30 minutes a day and using that time as your dedicated self-care time

-Schedule + hold yourself accountable

-Choose self care that works for you

Try things out. See what works for your life, location and needs. Some people love reading as part of their self-care to switch off. For you you might prefer to get outside and take a walk (without your phone) Mix it up as well. Don’t let yourself get bored or feel your self-care is another thing on your to-do list

-Do things (apart from work) that you love

This is such a powerful and simple exercise that I work with my clients on. Draw up 3 sections on a sheet of A4. In column one: Write out 10 things that you love to do (NOT work – I know you love what you do but work doesn’t go down on this list!) Things that genuinely light you up make you feel good and create joy in your life. In column 2: write down how often you do each of these things daily/weekly/monthly/never. Then in column 3 write down an action you are taking to start doing each more often or more consistently.

-Remember self care is in the moment as well

Crucially so much of it is down to your mindset. Think about yourself as your best mate. What would you tell them if they wanted to feel more relaxed and happier in their life? Practice mindfulness as the healthiest habit you can ever have. Self-care is also how you talk to yourself and how you support yourself. From making great choices and setting good boundaries to switching off more often from tech and acknowledging when you have done something really well. Your relationship with yourself will nurture yourself, your business and your relationships more than any spa day could.

Above all else let go of having to do any of this perfectly. Commit to taking on board these 6 suggestions and let yourself make mistakes with it. Track how you feel when you do practice self-care and remember, you will have so much more energy, inspiration and enjoyment from your work when self-care is as important as checking your emails.

If you want support to access your creativity and calm this summer, enrolment is open for Kara Grants online Summer School starting on Monday 30th July. All you need to do is find 10 minutes every day and you get a weekly practice video emailed to you with daily tips, support and motivation to keep you accountable. Within 6 weeks you will be calmer, more creative and more connected.  For more information or to book on please click here: https://www.soulconfidence.co.uk/the-spiritually-soul-full-summer-2/

Kara is an award-winning entrepreneur coach, consultant and author. She supports change makers to create compassionate change in the world. You can connect with her on social here https://www.facebook.com/sensitivesuperstars

Instagram: karavgrant

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