Women entrepreneurs on how self-care adds value to their entrepreneurial journey
Since time immemorial, women have been cast in the role of perennial caregivers. And somehow, the moment they try taking care of themselves, they are called selfish. In fact, many women themselves believe that self-care is selfish.
In the last few years, with books, talks, and healthy discussions around self-care, women are gradually realising that is looking after yourself is not just important, but crucial to one’s growth and success.
For entrepreneurs, self-care is critical to ensure that they take care of themselves, and make time for their needs and wants. This could range from daily work assessment to exercise, meditation, playing a sport, journalling, art, or even cooking. It could also just mean taking some time for yourself - to breathe in solitude.
HerStory spoke to three women entrepreneurs about their self-care habits, and why every woman should have some too.
Jayalakshmi Manohar, Co-founder of Streak
As a woman in tech, Jaya’s self-care habits include smart planning and daily assessment, which help her track her progress and improve.
She says, “Reflecting on your day for just 10 minutes will go a long way in not just decluttering your mind but also helping build a better ‘you’. Remember to note the areas where you could have done better and areas where you've progressed.”
To Jaya, good planning is crucial for success. “Often, while planning our day or week, we tend to get carried away with the things that seem important in the moment but don't add value in the long run. Always think long term.”
Alicia Souza, artist, illustrator and entrepreneur
Alicia works from home, taking care of all things creative for her brand Alicia Souza. The one habit that makes her successful is the ability to prioritise. She says that it is the key to her success.
"Allow yourself to prioritise, no matter how busy the day is. Choose one activity that takes a decent amount of time and makes you extremely happy, relaxed, or joyful. This could be exercising, cooking, knitting, or even just taking a long bubble bath. The key is to prioritise."
Kirthi Jayakumar, Founder of Red Elephant Foundation
Kirthi advocates peace and gender equality through digital advocacy, training, and storytelling and her foundation also addresses issues like violence against women.
Talking on self-care she says, “The first thing I do is to work towards ‘not fighting’ what I'm feeling. This means either accepting what I'm feeling or at least acknowledging it - both positive and negative. Once I do that, I try to find a way to express it. I generally keep to myself and don't always reach out and keep people around me updated on what's troubling / worrying me, and I'm working on that part."
"Instead, I turn to something like scribbling on a sheet of paper, doodling, and even just writing whatever comes to mind. It helps me channel all my energy into a simple task that does not have a defined outcome that I have to conform to, and lets me just keep at it until I find my peace.”
So, whether it’s assessing your work at the end of the day, getting your priorities right, or just finding peace - self-care is different for different people. What matters is that you understand why it is important and why you need to make it a habit.
After all, when has a bubble bath ever hurt anyone?