By: Bianca Buliga, Digital Marketing Manager
Entrepreneurship is a daunting task – any seasoned entrepreneur would warn incumbents of the scatterbrained feelings associated with long work days, sleepless nights, rushed meals, and skipped workouts. To those of you already nodding in agreement or reaching for your fifth cup of coffee, I would like to offer a friendly reminder: you cannot serve from an empty vessel.
There will come a day (or several) when your alarm clock will blare obnoxiously, and you will press snooze a few more times than you should. Whether this is a result of prolonged exhaustion, dread for the hectic day ahead, or general anxiety about bringing your venture to life, these thoughts and feelings are perfectly valid. Your body and mind are in constant need of maintenance, and it is your responsibility to pencil in crucial appointments for self-care.
Thankfully, the Internet has made it easier than ever to customize a routine that works with your schedule, your personal needs, and your budget. To aid you in the discovery of your own routine, I have compiled a list of ten apps suggested to me by entrepreneurs, graduate students, and other overwhelmed professionals that have found solace with help from their smart phones.
+ Advertised as “your gym membership for the mind”, Headspace insists that practicing meditation and mindfulness has a positive impact on psychological stress, anxiety, focus, creativity, and even interpersonal relationships. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting approximately 40 million adults ages 18 and older, or an astounding 18% of the population. While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those struggling receive the treatment they need. By engaging in ten-minute meditation sessions once a day guided by Andy Puddicombe, co-founder of Headspace, you learn how to de-clutter your mind from the burdensome tasks of everyday life and allow space for imagination and innovation to grow uninhibited.
+ Helping you to stay hydrated throughout your busy day, Waterminder motivates you to stay hydrated for a healthier and better you! This app provides two-week history graphs of your water intake and provides you with frequent reminders to take a sip out of your water bottle. A fairly simple app with ample customization capabilities can make a world of difference in how you think, look, and feel! Plus, studies show that drinking water regularly promotes weight loss, improves skin complexion, increases energy, and flushes out harmful toxins that linger in your system. No matter how you put it, ingesting the recommended two liters of water per day can only have positive outcomes (minus more frequent trips to the bathroom.) Seems like a win-win situation!
+ Becoming an entrepreneur can oftentimes leave individuals strapped for cash and time. But that is no longer an excuse for putting off daily workouts! Seven creates innovative seven-minute workouts that require nothing more than a chair, a wall, and your own body weight. Rather than splurging on gym memberships only to humiliate yourself in front of bodybuilders, Seven is a free option that uses helpful illustrations, visual and spoken cues, and tactile feedback to get you hyped on toning and bulking. Even the busiest and most ambitious entrepreneurs can find seven minutes in their daily schedules to pump some iron!
+ Tired of tedious web searches to locate a nearby doctor? Tired of listening to boring elevator music while you are on hold with a doctor’s office? Zocdoc is your cure! Entrepreneurs are oftentimes so caught up in making a sale or new connection that they fail to prioritize their health. Luckily, Zocdoc makes it easy to browse primary care physicians or specialized doctors in your network and read real patient reviews to decide which doctor is the best fit for you. Bypass the headaches associated with scheduling doctor appointments regularly, and prioritize annual checkups to stay happy and healthy.
Five Minute Journal
+ Calling all writers out there – has your overwhelming schedule made you ignore your passion for writing? Five Minute Journal has revolutionized the ability to write out your thoughts. While some people enjoy journaling early in the morning to set their intentions for the day, others prefer to write as they wind down at night. This app provides you with the opportunity to identify what you are grateful for, what you are frustrated with, and what your long-term goals are. Rather than verbalizing your intentions, writing them down holds you to a higher level of accountability and better organizes your thoughts.
+ To be a successful entrepreneur, you must know how to leverage social networks to affect positive change within society. Why should it be any different for your workout routine? Fit Focus, a SEED SPOT alum (woo!) and social hub for fitness enthusiasts, lets you explore an active exercise community in the realms of running, hiking, biking, and walking. You can partner up with other workout buddies and stay motivated to get in shape! The creators of Fit Focus also post fitness-related articles of interest that members can comment on, much like Facebook or other social media platforms. Exercising does not have to be a bleak solo task – tap into the resources and community that Fit Focus has to offer to change how you view exercising!
+ You know those resolutions you made in January? You know, the ‘spend more time with your kids’, ‘go to the gym’, ‘drink more water’ resolutions that stopped mid-February. Studies show that if you engage in an activity for 21 days, it becomes a habit. Streaks allows you to choose six tasks you want to turn into daily habits, ranging from flossing to learning a new language. Each time you complete a task, your streak is extended. However if you break the chain, your streak will reset to zero days. Regardless of what life changes you want to make, Streaks helps you establish habits that balance out your hectic work schedule.
+ While we have all pulled all-nighters at one point or another, Sleep Genius helps us preserve our beauty rest. Developed in partnership with NASA to help astronauts sleep, Sleep Genius identifies your ideal bedtime and encourages you to fall asleep within that same 15-minute window every day. When it is time to wake up, Sleep Genius gently awakens you with soothing sounds that gradually increase in volume and frequency. Studies indicate that with time, your brain will learn a new wake rhythm allowing you to rise naturally without help from an external source. Keep Sleep Genius in mind next time you are trying to catch some ZZZ’s.
+ As an entrepreneur, you are likely cash-conscious and thinking about saving for your company. But what about for you personally? Acorns makes it ridiculously easy to set aside small amounts of cash regardless of your budgeting skills. Labeled “the new millennial investing strategy”, Acorns automatically invests life’s spare change to gradually grow your personal wealth. This micro-investing initiative connects your accounts and cards, encourages you to spend normally, and then rounds up your spendings to the nearest dollar to invest your spare change and stimulate your savings. If you set aside five dollars every couple of days, you will inevitably set aside a whopping $1000 in just a year. Sign me up!
+ Every entrepreneur de-stresses in a different way, but some of you might may be a little more reliant on your yoga mat than others. Finding the time to attend yoga classes regularly can seem nearly impossible – cue Pocket Yoga. This app allows you to build, edit, and share complete yoga practices to fit your body’s unique needs. Whether you need to focus on balancing your chakras or opening up your shoulders, Pocket Yoga can be used to ease physical and mental stress points while playing music from your own library. Studies show that regularly participating in yoga practices boosts your immune system, reduces food cravings, improves cardiovascular health, and benefits those struggling with depression. What are you waiting for?
To conclude, social entrepreneurs spend their days fighting passionately for the causes that consume them, but so rarely go to bat for their own well-being. You probably would not skip an oil change for your car or ignore a software update for your smart phone. So why are you skipping essential steps to ensure your success, happiness, and self-confidence? Caring for yourself is not self-indulgent or selfish – it is a constant process of nourishing your body, mind, and soul for maximum social impact. I challenge you to radically transform your self-care routine by downloading an app that intrigued you. Stick with it – we are excited to see how self-care can propel you towards your full potential!
Start your entrepreneurial journey today.
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