When we hear the words “self-care,” it usually brings to mind deep breathing exercises or candle-lit bubble baths. And while a spa day may help you relax, self care for handmade sellers during a recession involves a little more. In part six of my series on Recession and Handmade Business, I’ll share eight tips to help you develop the resilience, health, and balance you need to guide your handmade business through uncertain times.

Self-Care: Candles and Bubble Baths Won’t Cut It

[00:00:00] Good morning. It is time for Crochet Business Chat. I’m so happy that you’re here today. We’re going to be talking about self-care and how to manage to not get burned out in the midst of trying to run your business during a recession or during hard times. And as we all know, things are weird right now. They’ve been weird for the last few years and they’re still weird. And knowing what to do and what things are going to look like is virtually impossible.

[00:00:36] So all of that can bring up anxiety, and worry, and fear, and doubt, and spur us to perhaps become workaholics, trying to figure everything out, or spur us to depression and to where we can’t get out of bed. And I don’t want either of those two things to happen for you. So let’s talk about how to take care of ourselves in the midst of these uncertain times running a business.

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Transcript: What Does Self-Care Really Look Like?

[00:01:07] If you’re new here, my name is Pam Grice. This is Crochet Business Chat where we’re going to talk about all the things you need to know to run a profitable crochet business. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I have not been around for a while. I have been moving into the household, waiting for the house to get done, and that was extremely stressful. And it’s still not 100% done which is extremely irritating.

[00:01:39] But as you can see, I’m in my new office. It is not decorated. I have stuff on the floor. We’re going to pick up the rest of my office furniture today. So then, next week, hopefully we’ll be all decorated and pretty and all of that. But for now this is it. And I know we’re a little bit echoey. I need to put some felt, or some tapestry, or something on the wall behind my computer so we’re not all bouncing sounds around.

[00:02:08] But welcome. If you are a crochet business owner, or a knitting business owner, any kind of fiber artist, and you’re looking to grow your crochet business be sure to click “subscribe” below, and be sure to like this video, and you’ll get informed whenever we have new live videos, which is meant to be weekly. It hasn’t been weekly because, honestly, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t face getting on video. I was so exhausted. My body was rebelling against me. It’s been a pretty rough few weeks but I think we’re back on track. So I’m excited about that and I’m excited to be here with you today.

Burnout is Real

[00:02:53] Let’s talk about some things. I’m going to pull up the all the things. So we’re going to talk recession and handmade business. This is part six in a series. If you haven’t checked out the series, at the end of this video, there will be a link for you to watch the entire playlist. And you can catch up on everything we’ve talked about regarding recession and handmade business.

[00:03:17] So this is number one. Burnout is real. Honestly, I believe this is what I was dealing with the last few weeks. I think this is what I was dealing with just pure and simple burnout. I couldn’t face my e-mails. I couldn’t face creating a new video. I couldn’t face doing a blog post. I couldn’t face launching a new product. I had plans to run a workshop. I didn’t do that. It was just a bunch of stuff and I was exhausted. And I couldn’t even think straight. It was just too much. I really feel like I was struggling with burnout.

Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Your Business

[00:04:00] And it’s not a fun place to be. You can’t care for your business when you’re not caring for yourself. So remember the whole airplane oxygen mask thing where they say to put your oxygen mask on yourself before you help those around you? That’s because if you don’t put your own oxygen mask on, you’re not available to help those around you because you’re going to be passed out. If you’ve ever been on a plane when the oxygen masks dropped, you’ll know that’s true.

[00:04:56] On my first plane ride, we had the oxygen masks drop as well as the plane drop. It was frightening. I had my one-year-old son with me on my lap. So I had to live this story where they say, “Put your own mask on before you help your children or help those around you.” And it really is true.

Eight Self-Care Tips for Handmade Business Owners

[00:05:19] So some things to think about. I have eight tips for managing take care of yourself in the midst of these uncertain times. So I’m just going to go through them one by one and we’ll chat about those. And if you have questions, go ahead and leave them in the comments. When I’m done, I’ll pop over the comments and answer any questions you might have. Or if any of these are things that you do, just raise your hand and tell us, “I do that. I do that.” Or if you struggle with anything, let us know that as well.

Tip 1: Define the Line Between Your Business and Your Personal Life

[00:05:53] So here’s number one number one is define the line between your business and your personal life. As you know, we were living in a camper for two years. And the only space I had was at the dinette with my computer in front of me. So no matter what we were doing, I was sitting in front of my computer. And if I’m in front of my computer, I’m going to be working. So I was working from the moment I got up in the morning until the moment I went to bed at night. I was in front of the computer and I was working. And it was too much.

[00:06:30] And I didn’t set boundaries and say, “Turn the computer off. Just turn it off.” I could have. I could have said, “At 5:00, the computer goes off and the rest of the evening is mine.” But I didn’t set those boundaries for myself and so it created this situation for burnout and exhaustion. So remember that you’re in charge of that. You’re in charge of your behavior and you’re in charge of creating that line of, “This is what time I start working. This is what time I stop working.”

Crochet as Work Versus Relaxation

[00:07:02] Or if you’re one of those people who you work on the computer during the day and you crochet in the evening, that’s okay as long as you’re taking time to use the crochet as relaxation rather than pressure to get it done. So if you say, “I stop working on the computer at 4:00. Then I cook dinner, clean up, spend some time with the kids, get the kids to bed. And then I crochet in the evening.” You can do that but just set some boundaries for yourself so that you can know, “Am I pushing the boundaries or am I taking care of myself?” So that’s number one.

Tip 2: Take a Holistic Approach to Self-Care

[00:07:40] Number two is take a holistic approach to self-care. You might have seen the thumbnail that said, “Candles and bubble bath won’t cut it.” Candles and bubble bath have a place—a place for quiet meditation, a place for rejuvenation. But it’s just a very small place. There are other things you need to think about when we talk about self-care. Are you feeding your body healthy foods? Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting enough rest? Are you moving your body? Are you exercising?

Check in with Your Lifestyle

[00:08:19] You might see I wear a Fitbit. And this is embarrassing to say but when we were in the camper, some days I wouldn’t even get in a thousand steps because we’re living in 300 square feet so it’s only like 10 steps from one end of the camper to the other—10 steps or less. And so I wasn’t moving around. I would get up, make my coffee, sit down and work, make dinner sometimes, sit down and work. And I just wouldn’t move around. So my body started rebelling. My joints hurt. My legs would swell. It was bad.

[00:09:00] So now that the house is finished, I’m getting at least 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day, just going back and forth in the house, going out from the house to the barn, or the house to the animals, doing things like that. And I think being inside the house has given me more life and more energy to want to do those things, where I didn’t want to do them before.

[00:09:23] So getting in those steps to move your body is very important. Cooking homemade foods, fresh foods, real foods is important. Getting enough sleep is important. All of those things. And then any spiritual practice that you might have, engaging in that.

Check in with Your Relationships

[00:09:41] And then also, checking in with your relationships and the people in your life. How are you staying connected to people? Even if you’re an introvert, you still need people. So if it’s a Facebook group you need to check in with, if it’s a mastermind group, if it’s a group of your girlfriends and you want to do Zoom calls, if you want to get together for drinks, whatever it is that you want to do that gives you life as you connect with people, it’s important that you do that, too. So all of those work together holistically to care for your being so that you can care for your business.

Tip 3: Be Honest About Your Limits and Your Vulnerabilities

Number three, be honest about your limits and your vulnerabilities. So often, we just try to be superwoman, supermom, superman as we’re growing our business. We just think we can do all the things. And for me, I forget to acknowledge my own physical limits. Having some autoimmune issues, having some chronic illness issues, I forget or I purposely put that aside and don’t pay attention to it. And then when I don’t care for myself, all of that kind of snowballs and gets worse.

[00:10:55] So if you acknowledge, “These are my limits. This is what I’m going to do to take care of myself,” and then you ask for help, either by hiring a VA, or hiring a babysitter, or having someone who can clean house. Trade those kind of things with your friends. You take care of their kids for a couple of hours they take care of your kids for a couple of hours. It doesn’t have to be something that you spend money on. But finding help that either you pay for or you barter with is going to be really important so that you can take care of those things that are your own personal limits and your own personal vulnerabilities.

Tip 4: Pay Attention to Your Body and Your Behavior

[00:11:38] Number four, pay attention to your body and your behavior. So stress and burnout have this tendency to show up sideways. It’s what I call sideways. So sarcasm can be kind of sideways anger. Are you angry about something and you take it out on somebody in your family? Are you binge eating? Are you eating lots of junk food? Are you headed for the ice cream? Are you headed for the chocolate? Are you headed for the alcohol? Are you over-exercising, because for you, that’s your addiction? I already mentioned angry? Are you worrying? Are you anxious? All of those things.

[00:12:21] Check in daily with your body. Check in daily with your emotions and say, “How am I doing? Am I doing okay?” And then create strategies for taking care of yourself in all of those areas.

[00:12:37] I don’t want to forget this. Specifically as a crocheter, check in with your pain, like, “How’s my shoulder doing?” So often, we just ignore all of this stuff. So really take time to check in and say, “How’s my shoulder feeling? How’s my elbow feeling? How are my wrist joints feeling? How are my fingers feeling? How’s my back feeling?”

[00:12:58] For me, I have a spinal stenosis so sometimes my neck will just … But I won’t pay attention to it because when you have chronic pain you just kind of check it off and put it in the back of your mind. But really check in and say, “How’s my neck feeling? Do I need to stretch? Do I need to go to the chiropractor? Do I need to do something to take care of myself in that area?” So check in with yourself.

Tip 5: Tap Into Joy

[00:13:28] All right, number five. Tap into joy. So often, when we’re focusing on our business, we’re getting stressed out. We’re focused on, “I have to do my goals. I have to do my social media. I have to do this. I have to do that.” And we forget about, “What do I want to do? What things do I love to do? I used to love to crochet and crochet would bring me joy. Now it’s my work. Do I still love to do that or do I need to find a new hobby that brings me joy? Does singing bring me joy? Does dancing bring me joy? Does hanging out with my friends bring me joy?” Whatever it is.

[00:14:07] Is it playing with your kids? Is it walking in nature? I’m trying to think about all the things I love. Is it just sitting on the porch and reading a book? So all of those things, check in and say, “Am I doing the things that bring me joy?” Because your work, yes, can bring you joy but it also brings its own stresses. So I want you to take time, even if it’s 15 minutes, even if it’s two minutes. Take time to tap into those things that bring you joy.

Tip 6: Address Issues Now Rather Than Worrying About Them Long-Term

Number six, address issues now rather than worrying about them long-term. So often in our business, things will happen and we’ll be like, “I’ll deal with that tomorrow.” We get all Scarlett O’Hara on it. Or, “That’s a tomorrow me problem. That’s not a today me problem.” But then we worry about it. And we let that anxiety reach into all the different things that we’re doing in our business.

[00:15:03] So when there are things that you notice you’ve thought about it two or three times and it’s causing you anxiety to think about it, take care of it right now. If you need to make a phone call, if you need to take care of a bookkeeping issue, whatever it is, if there’s you know a customer you need to address their problem and you’ve been avoiding them.

[00:15:25] Whatever it is, reach out and take care of that now rather than worrying about it because the worry is not only causing stress but it’s stealing the joy out of this moment and you’re taking from the future in order to take care of today. If you take care of the issue right now, then the future will take care of itself, if that makes sense.

Tip 7: Develop Resilience

Number seven, develop resilience. This means develop strategies that help you get through the day. Develop strategies on how to address the things that are happening in your business. Develop strategies for, “If I see my income dipping, if i see my views dipping, if I see my engagement dipping, what strategies am I going to use to take care of that?” so that you’re not faced with these problems without a strategy. That’s what brings stress.

[00:16:21] Develop optimism. Start seeing all of this as, “I get to run my own business. I get to be the master of my destiny, knowing that my success is inevitable if I continue to be consistent, if I continue to move forward, if I continue to look at what’s working today and doing more of that.”

[00:16:50] Be sure to have a community, whether that’s within CBA VIP, whether that’s within our Crochetpreneurs Facebook group, whether it’s your own friendship group, your family. Whatever it is, have a community of people that you can talk to about what’s going on in your business and in your life so that you can foster that resilience and you can get through whatever times are hard.

[00:17:14] And then have drive. So I think most of you, if you are crochet business owners, you’re business owners, you’re small business owners, you already have drive. Tap into that and let that pull you through any times that are hard in your business.

Tip 8: Rest

[00:17:30] And finally, rest. I mentioned it before that I’m not good at this. Maybe this is what the bubble baths and the candles are for. And even then, I’m not good at this. I do purposely leave my phone out of the bathroom when I’m taking a bath. And I do love to take a bath. But I do still find my mind going, and going, and going. And then I still can’t sleep at night.

[00:17:58] So be sure that you’re getting seven hours of sleep at night at least and that you’re taking time throughout the day to rest, whether that’s just a two-minute … It’s nice that the Fitbit has a little option where you have to put your hand over the glass and it monitors are you resting for two minutes? Are you able to rest for two minutes? And it just reminds you to do that throughout the day. So you can do that yourself. Just set a timer and say, “Every two hours, I’m going to stop and I’m going to rest for two minutes.”

[00:18:40] Or if you’re a napper, take a nap. Take a short,15-minute nap. Or if you’re one of those people who needs a full sleep cycle, take an hour-and-a-half nap. Whatever it is that you need, be sure that your body’s getting the rest that it needs so that it can continue to address any other issues that happen in your business and address the stress that naturally comes with the craziness of the world that we’re living in right now.

Community Q&A

[00:19:06] So those are my strategies for you. I hope you find that helpful. I’m going to come check your comments. If you have any questions, I’ll address those in the comments. If you’re watching on replay, be sure to let us know in the comments you’re watching on replay and ask any questions there. And I’ll be back to answer those later.

[00:19:26] Hello, Florida. Hello, UK. Oh, Shawndra’s also dealing with burnout. It really isn’t fun. Please take care of yourself. Yes, boundaries. Yes, “If you don’t take care of your body, you’ll be forced to listen to it.” Yeah. Your body has a way of saying, “Okay, if you’re not going to do what I need, I’m going to force you to do what I need.” And that’s just not very fun place to be.

Wrapping Up

[00:20:01] Okay. We don’t have any questions in the comments. So I’m going to let you go get back to your day. It’s so great to see you again here. We’ll be back next week with a new topic, perhaps a new series. I’m going to brainstorm this week and decide what that’s going to be all about. And I hope you have a wonderful week. Again, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll be back later to answer them for you. Don’t forget to like and subscribe. And I’ll see you next week for Crochet Business Chat. See you later.

Get Your Free Know Your Customer Workbook!

Before you go, just one last thing. Just like the stresses of the recession are affecting us as handmade business owners, they are also impacting our customers. And that’s why it’s important now more than ever to know your target customer. That way you can offer solutions that speak to their unique needs, wants, emotions, and pain points. To help you figure it out, sign up for my e-mail list using the form below and I’ll send you my free Know Your Customer Notebook.

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