Entrepreneurs live and breathe their startup, sometimes the consequence of this, is that less time is dedicated to looking after themselves. Late nights tend to mean exercise is skipped and take aways are ordered, sometimes not choosing the healthy option. While this is fine every now and then, after a while fatigue and burn out will start impacting the business. When your personal health takes a dive nobody will be there to step in and replace you. You need to strike a work life balance and not let your startup baby take over your life. Below are a few ways you can keep in shape both mentally and physically.
1. Weekend Trip:
Nothing like an adventure weekend to inject some energy back into you and recharge the batteries. It’s great to get out of the city, to breath in the fresh country air and get back into nature. It’s in this environment that we can rejuvenate. There is a great new Irish startup called Escape Goats.
No they don't offer a rescue service for stow away billy goats they offer experiences, though chasing after a goat I suppose would count. There is concrete evidence that buying experiences increases your happiness compared to the ephemeral joy you might get from a material purchase. So don’t rock the goat and get out and freedive in Sligo or go for a murder mystery dinner in Galway.
As an opening deal if someone signs up to their mailing list, they’re in the draw to win a €25 Escape Goats voucher. That will get you on a sea safari in Antrim. If someone buys an activity, they are automatically in the draw to win a €100 Escape Goats voucher. You can learn to fly for that price, I think about it every night and day…
2. Work Out:
It’s recommend that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. This can be easier said then done when you’re burning the midnight oil, trying to get your startup motoring, but you need to make the time as there are countless benefits. Sessions in the gym lower your chances of diabetes, cancer and heart conditions but also keep your mental health in check. It’s a great way to clear your head at the end of a hard day’s work and to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. There is a website called Gyms.ie which is an aggregator for gyms that finds the one most convenient for you. You can also sort by the training you want to do, saving you time. There are also a number of 24 hour gyms, so you can work out when the birds are catchings worms. Flyefit.ie have gyms in Ranelagh, Baggot Street, Macken Street and Georges Street. So if you’ve just tweaked the last bit of software for your app and it’s 5 in the morning, you know where you can go to blow off some steam.
3. Eat Breakfast:
According to Caroline Daniel of The Financial Times, Ray Kurzweil Google’s leading futurist believes eating the following breakfast can allow you to live forever.*
- Berries (85 calories for a cup)
- Dark chocolate infused with espresso (170 calories for an ounce)
Smoked salmon and mackerel (100 calories for a 3-ounce serving)
- Vanilla soy milk (100 calories for a cup)
- Stevia (zero calories)
- Porridge (150-350 calories for half a cup)
- Green tea (zero calories)
Check out The Breakfast Club in George’s St Arcade for healthy breakfast options or join a Cinema Breakfast Club to meet interesting people while you chow down.
*may not lead to highlander longevity
4. Order Healthy Food:
New kids on the block Deliveroo are going to make a lot of people happy. I’ve often had a hankering for Branzino from Carluchios, now I can have one in the comfort of my home. The company has delivered to over 400 thousand hungry Londoners since 2013 and we can thank founders William Shu and Greg Orlowski for the brilliance of luxury food in your pajamas. They have already signed up Carluccios, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Diep Le Shaker and Unicorn so avoid getting dominos and be kinder to your body.
People with close friends and family are healthier, so meet with people for lunch and try to find time for family. Chatting with close friends could even give you some inspiration for how to enhance your startup. People with different expertise are always worth having a coffee with to get a fresh set of eyes on something. I’ve digged out 3 apps that are cool for meeting new people.
Meetup (free; iOS and Android):
This one is purely platonic or as much as that’s ever possible, but a long way from Tinder anyway. The app is handy as it will update your calendar when you’ve an event and will keep you in the loop about who’s attending or not, so you can back out of the one you fancy drops out.
Peoplehunt (free; iOS):
Connecting individuals with reciprocal interests. You can meet a Brazilian to practice Portuguese or maybe learn to cook with a Parisian, possibilities are endless.
Foursquare (free; iOS and Android):
This is all about locality and finding people to hang out with that live or work in close proximity. There are people who will foursquare to find buddies to have a coffee with in their local. When I’m drinking a coffee in Cafe en Swan, I will often use foursquare and its sister app Swarm to let people know the kettle is on and the toasties are toasting.
The benefits of yoga are many,it kills two birds with the same yoga mat, both forcing you to be mindful and increasing your strength and flexibility. There are yoga clubs popping up all over the city, even in some unusual places like the local pub. The Yoga Union now operates out of the MVP pub on Clanbrassil Street and the Bernard Shaw on Saturdays. There are also a lot of yoga studios that have classes that you could slip out to on your lunch break. The YogaHub on Camden Place and Samadhi on Cows Lane, Temple Bar operate all day long.
Buddhist monks have been meditating for thousands of years but it only recently arrived on our shores. You practice by sitting quietly and focusing on your breath. Thoughts start racing through your mind but instead of reacting to them you take a back seat and just watch them float by. When you first start meditating you will notice the mind is very active and you chase thoughts down the rabbit hole, but in time you learn to allow them the time and space to exist without judgement or analysis. We spend most of our time planning predicting and analysing so it’s nice to allow the mind to rest and just be, for a while. After a session of meditation you will feel refreshed and might notice problem solving skills have improved,through increased clarity of thought.
Check out the free meditation courses at dublinmeditation.com.
Headspace is a really good app for meditation and great for beginners.
8. Avoid Sugar:
It’s a classic mistake thinking that because you are stressed out that the bar of chocolate will calm you down. Added sugar gets turned into fat in the liver and carrying excess fat is a leading cause of a multitude of illnesses. Sugar gives you an illusion of satiation, but it only lasts while you are demolishing the galaxy bar. Fructose doesn’t reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin so once you have one brick you will eat the whole bar and still feel unsatisfied after it. Sugar has a strong effect on the dopamine receptors so it’s hard to break the habit of eating it but you will be better for it, sugar is the single worst ingredient in modern diets.
Try reading Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar, by Dr Robert Lustig to shock yourself into quitting.
9. Join a Boot Camp:
Some people need a boot up the a*se to get them to commit to a fitness regime. Camps combine military style commands with the gentle nattering of weekend gossip. Ideal to get you in shape for the summer. These groups are run from parks so great for the summer and a chance to hear the birds chirping and not the vein popping weight lifter forcing out his max rep. We spend most of our lives in a small confined office so it’s a good antidote to that stressful environment.
10. Drink Coffee:
People who drink a few cups of coffee a day are less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than people who drink more than this or no coffee at all. Calcium deposits give an indication that there may be early signs of heart disease. 3fe Dublin on Grand Canal Street is both a great place to drink coffee and an Irish owned startup. You will overhear many budding entrepreneurs plotting and planning while sipping a flat white.
11. Get The PIP:
I’m not talking about the annoying thing you can’t eat inside a grape, this is a stress management device with bio sensors. You play games and try to reduce your stress levels. There is also a mini lie detector on it so could be useful for interrogations. It’s fascinating also that it was entirely kickstarted. Check out our article on crowdfunding your startup a really easy way to raise capital through individual donors.
Michael is a recovering accountant. Having subjected himself to a litany of exams he decided that life is too short to count beans so instead he wants to chance his arm writing. When he is not with ink and quill you can find him levitating in a local yoga centre or baking caramel squares. Freelance content and copywriter, covering short and long content pieces across various different media forms. Don't forget to connect with Michael on LinkedIn or ping him on Twitter.