Self care when working from home

Self care when working from home

Self care when working from home is often overlooked.

Women who work from home are increasingly oblivious to their own health and safety.  We work for long hours, usually seated, whether at a computer or making things.  We forget to eat regularly and healthily and forget to get up and move around.

Well, I do anyway.

We end up hunched over our desks for hours upon hours each day and soon find ourselves struggling with backache, shoulder, arm, hand and even finger pain!

I have regularly been a victim of this myself so recently I decided to undertake a health and safety audit. No, not of my business, but of myself.

After deciding to review my self care when working from home and undertaking my health and safety audit, I decided to invest in a few items to help me take care of my own health and safety in a more proactive manner.

Items to help with self care when working from home

Activity tracker

Firstly, I set up my Garmin activity tracker. As most people know, activity trackers do what they say on the tin. They record your activity during the day.  After you have been online and put in a few details about yourself, it sets you a daily goal to ensure you undertake some physical activity during the day.

This can vary from jogging for an hour, walking for a couple of hours or up and on your feet doing light housework for 7 hours (really!!).  It also counts the steps taken in a day and calories used.

The key bonus for the one I have is it sends an alert when I have been sitting inactive for too long.  The fatal flaw with some activity trackers that I had in the past was that whilst the alert flashes on the wristband if I was wholly engrossed in a piece of research or sat on the phone, I didn’t see the flashing.  Therefore, I made sure my most recent purchase vibrates to make me aware of the alert.

When wearing my activity tracker, I am so much more aware of my daily activity levels and keep checking to see how much more movement I have to do to reach my goal and to get the ‘fireworks’ going off on the display when I have reached my target (small things please little minds).

Computer alert

If you don’t have an activity tracker to wear on your wrist there is a fab little program you can install on your computer called Workrave.  As their site states, Workrave is a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The program frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.

When I installed this program a while ago, I was amazed at how quickly the time goes by when working on my laptop and how lapse I was in taking breaks previously.  The fun, but very useful, part of the app is that on the longer breaks, it gives you a set of exercises to do.  (check out my article on some fun office exercises)The break lengths are pre-loaded but these can be customised to personal preferences.  I can certainly recommend this one. And even better, it is free.

Ergonomic office chair

My third purchase has been a decent ergonomic office chair.  When in employed work, I had always managed to find a chair that suited my back but when I started working from home, I have made do with an old chair that I had, as so many of us do.

As the days and weeks went by, so my lower back pain increased.  And therefore I decided to invest in a decent chair.  And what a difference it made.  After the initial fight of having to put it together myself, once constructed, I took a seat and wow!  What a difference.  My back was firmly hugged and supported.  Could this be the start to pain-free work?

Ergonomic keyboard and mouse

If you spend a lot of time typing, an ergonomic keyboard and mouse can be super helpful in avoiding RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome. They can help relieve arm and wrist pain and help support your posture.

Yes, they can take a bit of getting used to but persevere and see what a difference they can make for you. They are designed to support your hands and wrists and take off the pressure when you are working for long periods of time.

ergonomic keyboard and mouseI swear by my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard.


It’s slightly bulky if you have a tiny desk but in my opinion, it’s the best I’ve found. If you’re looking for an ergonomic mouse there is a huge range to choose from. Prices vary hugely and there are a variety of colours. I personally use a low-cost wireless Tecknet mouse that does the trick for me.



How about you take a few minutes out of your day to assess your self care when working from home. Take a close look at how you work and become aware of what action you may need to take to protect yourself from aches and pains and the detrimental impact to your health when sitting for long periods and not moving.

If you were the MD in a large corporation you would want your staff to be comfortable and protected in order to do their job to their best ability wouldn’t you?  So do the same for yourself.

How to get your business back on track

How to get your business back on track

What to do when you wake up and realise you are going in the wrong direction and need to get your business back on track

Just recently, on my coaching calls, more than one person has had the same feelings.  They were feeling uneasy because their businesses weren’t fulfilling them as much as they had expected.

They weren’t full of excitement when they thought of doing what they are doing now in 10 years’ time.

They had come to the realisation that rather than following their absolute true passion, they had taken the easy option of doing something they were good at and brought the money in quickly.

Whilst this could be viewed as a sensible option to start with, it’s just not sustainable.

Two particular ladies were going through difficult times and had lost all excitement and enthusiasm for their business.  They just felt as though they had fallen off track.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

What you need to learn in building a successful business, is to be adaptable.

You need to be prepared to amend your success plan and goals subject to mitigating circumstances.  We never know what is around the corner and how our plans may have to change.

Take circumstances over the past two years as an example.

Covid hit, business tightened their belts when they couldn’t trade, and many business owners say their customers dwindle, myself included.

I had to diversify as business coaching clients dropped off and members of The Small Business Kit started to cancel.  I joined forces with another businesswoman I knew and we set up a new marketing company to do the hands-on work to get businesses seen online so these could still attract customers through the lockdown.

I had no idea this new marketing business would become all-consuming. We were run off our feet and turning work away, even after taking on additional help.

Lockdown finished during which many people had decided they didn’t want to return to their 9 – 5-day job. They valued the time freedom they benefited from during the lockdown. But as I had been so busy with the marketing company, I had taken my eye off The Small Business Kit. I had been taken down a different route and found myself running from one thing to the other and getting more and more frustrated as something didn’t feel right. I was in a complete muddle – can anyone else relate?

Go back to the drawing board to get your business back on track

I had to go back to the drawing board.

I looked at what my original plans were and knew I wanted to go back to focusing on The Small Business Kit. I had to limit the number of online coaching clients I had and stop taking on any more marketing clients. I started passing any new client to my fabulous and more than able colleague so I could put my full focus into updating The Small Business Kit and getting it relaunched once again.

This was where my passion lay and I loved it and missed it. I knew it helped so many women starting and growing their businesses, many of whom tell me they wouldn’t be where they are today if they hadn’t used it. I have members who have gone from home baking to opening retail premises. I have members who were struggling to make ends meet and who now have six-figure incomes. And I wanted to return to help more do the same.

If you wake up one day and realise you aren’t where you want to be, you need to find a way to get your business back on track.

If you aren’t feeling the love for your business anymore, dig deep to find out what your passion truly is and look for what changes you can make to keep your passion, and business, alive long term.


How to overcome self-doubt

How to overcome self-doubt

How often do you wish you overcome your self-doubt and those self-limiting beliefs so you can move forward with your business with confidence?

Quite often I suspect.

This past week alone I have spoken with a number of clients (all women I may add) who have all told me they are doubting their abilities, feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of running a business on their own and are lacking the confidence to be able to move forward.

Does this sound like you? Overcoming self-doubt is one of the top challenges faced when running your own business.

You start off guns a blazing with a fantastic idea running around in your head and the world is rosy.  You are going to be a millionaire by year 3 – and then reality kicks in.  Things don’t take off quite as quickly as you had hoped.  The hours you have to put into your new venture are far longer than you anticipated.  You feel guilty for not spending as much time with your family as you had hoped.  So the self-doubt creeps in. Maybe you aren’t cut out for this after all.  Maybe your fantastic idea isn’t quite as wonderful as you first thought.

How to overcome self-doubt

Overcome self doubt quote

Firstly stop what you are doing. Stop right now!

Sit back and instead of thinking about all the things that you haven’t achieved and the things that haven’t worked, write down all the things that you have learnt along the way and how you have grown personally.

Look at all the things you have achieved, no matter how small. Take a blank piece of paper and let all your thought spill out into written words. Get them out of your head where they are swirling around and on to that piece of paper. Then take one thing at a time and work out how you are going to get back on track.

This may be re-evaluating a time frame for getting that event off the ground. It may be changing the way you are marketing your business as what you are doing at the moment is just not working. It may be a realisation that you need external help as you really cannot cover every aspect of the business on your own. Take some time to re-plan and regain your focus. Then put some practices in place on a daily basis to help keep you on track.

  • Each day, write down 3 things that you are grateful for. This will help you focus on what you do have in your life that is working well and will help you stop focusing on the negative.
  • Read a chapter of a motivational book each day or listen to an audio. This can be a great way of keeping inspired and finding new ways to keep motivated.
  • Find a mentor, whether on a professional basis or a friend you can turn to when sometimes all you need is someone to listen and hold your hand. Find someone you trust and respect and who can help reassure you in those times of doubt.

Whatever you are feeling, remember that you are not alone. Self-doubt is a normal process that happens to everyone at every level of success. Take some time out, refocus on the positive, then pick yourself up and move that tiny step forward towards your goal.

If you would like help with your mindset and motivation, access the modules available in The Small Business Kit.

How to stay stress free working from home

How to stay stress free working from home

Top Tips To Stay Stress-Free

Running a business from home isn’t always the easy, relaxed lifestyle that we initially envisaged.  All too often little things can build up and leave us feeling stressed and frustrated.

Follow these tops tips to stay stress-free as much as possible when running your business from home.

Keep your calendar organised.

When someone asks you to do something go check your calendar. If you already have something written on there, tell them you are busy. If you have work scheduled, do not double book!  It is all too easy for friends and family to think we can drop everything because we work from home.  Yes, this is the case if you are running a hobby, but if you are running a professional business, you will give it the time and dedication it deserves and control your calendar accordingly.

If you want to stay stress-free, you need to control your calendar and not let your calendar control you.


Be fit and healthy and always exercise. Remember, just a little is better than nothing and the endorphins that exercise releases can help us stay stress-free. Try simple walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, yoga or an exercise class/DVD.  If you can fit this into a morning routine before you start your working day, then all well and good.  If not, make sure you get up and move about at regular times during the day and get in at least a 20-minute walk at lunchtime.  You will feel so much better for it.

Little and often

This applies both to your business and your home.  Breaking your work down into small bite size chunks that you work on regularly can sometimes be better than trying to tackle a mammoth task that leaves you feeling stressed and demotivated.  With your home, clean a little every day (I do a short 20 minute burst both morning and evening) to ensure your house is not too dirty which will then require a full day of cleaning at the weekend.

Oh, and if your other half comes in and asks why the house isn’t clean, just show them this picture which I saw recently and made me laugh.

why isn't the house clean

Get work done!

This is a big problem with stressed people.  How often have you put off that task that you know needs doing, but you are simply dreading doing?  As in Brian Tracey’s book Eat That Frog, do your worst tasks first thing and get it out of the way.  You will feel like a weight has been lifted and you will be able to focus on the rest of your work with a feeling of relief.  As in the ‘little and often’ tips above, if you a large task to complete that seems overwhelming, stop worrying and start working! Set a timer for 20 minutes and do nothing but focus on the work required. You will be amazed how much you get done.

Don’t argue.

Learn to agree to disagree with your friends and family, or just anyone you are having trouble with. Getting into an argument rarely solves anything. Whether it is someone who is trying to tell you how to run your business, or someone disagreeing with your political, religious or moral views, state your opinion slowly and calmly and then agree to differ. The world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything all of the time. Don’t waste precious energy trying to change someone else’s opinion to fit with yours.

Control your anger.

Accidents happen. It is not the end of the world if your laptop blows up or you spill coffee over your new notepad.  Yes, it might cause disruption and a delay in your work but getting angry will blow it all out of proportion.  As the saying goes, don’t cry over spilt milk.  Learn to control your anger.  Stay calm, count to 10 and deal with the situation. You will feel so much better.

Get on with life.

Breathe slowly and don’t rush your life. Take time to enjoy the here and now. We spend so much time focusing on what we want in the future that all too often we forget to enjoy the simple joys of life in front of us right here and right now.

What tips do you have to stay stress-free when running a business from home?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

How to get into a positive mindset by removing negativity from your life

How to get into a positive mindset by removing negativity from your life

Having a positive mindset is crucial to running a successful business. But at times this can be easier said than done.

We hit hurdles. We lose a client. We have stress at home. We get tired and run down.

Sound familiar?

To create and retain a positive mindset we need to reduce the amount of negativity we are surrounded by. Things which affect us and can turn a positive mindset into a negative one are who you surround yourself with, what you see on social media and what you watch on the television. 

If we are surrounded by people who are negative or draining, this rubs off on us and we start to feel drained and fed up with ourselves.  If we constantly see posts on social media or the news full of doom and gloom this is going to start to weigh us down and have a negative impact on our mental wellbeing. 

To help retain a positive mindset, or regain it if yours is somewhat lacking, try the following three tips.

1. Distance yourself from negative people

This is something I did a very long time ago when I attended a workshop. It isn’t easy but I promise you it works.

Grab a piece of paper and write down the people you spend the most time with. Then add to this list people you don’t see very much but would like to see again. Try and get at least 10 names (you can have as many as you want). Include absolutely everyone from friends and family to colleagues and occasional acquaintances.

Now, on another piece of paper write down the numbers 10 to -10 in a column as below.

people you spend the most time withtip to regain a positive mindset

The next step needs to be done quickly and without much thought. If you have someone to help you, it can be easier. Get the other person to randomly read out the names you have written down with just a short pause between each. As they read out each name, you write down the name against the relevant number. Number 10 is for when you feel a surge of happiness and excitement at hearing the person’s name and the thought of seeing them. Minus 10 is when you feel sick to the stomach and would do anything to get out of meeting the person whose name has just been read out. This exercise can be quite telling and may well shock you. It may that you spend a lot of time with a family member but you mark them as minus two. Don’t feel guilty about this. You must be honest with yourself.

Now for the difficult part!

Cut out the negative people

Take a look at anyone in the negative bracket. These are the people you want to start to distance yourself from. This of course can be easier said than done, particularly if this is a work colleague or someone in your family who you live with. It could be your current ‘best’ friend but who over the years has turned into a moaning Minnie and who always has a drama going on. When you meet them you always come away feeling drained. Start to cut back on the number of get-togethers you have. Make yourself busy with other things or pre-book to go to events/meals etc with other people. This is going to feel uncomfortable to begin with and it’s going to take time, but it can be done. Believe me, as I’ve done it myself many years ago. The relief over time is huge!

Surround yourself with positive people

Now, look at the people in the positive bracket, particularly those in the higher range. Start to bring these people into your life more often. Arrange to meet up or have a chat on the phone. Maintain regular contact with these people. These are the ones you are going to bring positivity and happiness into your life. You don’t need to start stalking them or hanging out every week but just knowing they are there can be a huge boost. 

2. Cut out negative social media

There is a huge amount of negativity which surrounds us on social media and here is tip number 2.

Go to your social media channels. I personally use Facebook for most of my social media. And so that was my focus.
Start to scroll down through your newsfeed and identify the repeat offenders who consistently post negative chatter. These can be the people who constantly post and share scaremongering stories, conspiracy theories, political diatribes or just moan and groan.
Pick out every post you see where you feel your energy instantly drain from you, or even just by seeing a particular person’s name, you feel your energy drain.

Remove the negativity

Now, do one of two things. 

  1. If this is someone that you really do not care whether you ever see or speak to them again in your life, I suggest that you simply go and unfriend them.
  2. However, if it’s someone that you feel you would like to keep in contact with in the future just unfollow them. They won’t know that you’ve done this, they will stay as your friend, but you will stop seeing the negative chatter popping up on your newsfeed, day after day.

You can follow this procedure with groups you are in where all you see is negativity and arguing.  Simply unfollow.

Surround yourself with positivity

The next thing to do is to go back through your newsfeed and look at the people who when you see their name instantly feel your energy being lifted, whether because they ooze positivity, or whether it’s because they make you laugh.
Now select those to pop up in your newsfeed first.  You want to be filling yourself with these positive-minded people to help you stay in a positive mindset.
Honestly, I promise you if you do this, you will feel so much better.
Get rid of the mood hoovers – those people that suck the energy out of you. And fill your life with people who make you feel good.
To unfollow or add friends to the top of your newsfeed, watch the video below.

3. Choose more carefully what you watch on tv

Start to become more aware of what you watch on television and how the programme or movie makes you feel. I for one have drastically cut back on watching the news. No, I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and become oblivious to what is going on in the world around me, but I also know that watching the News at Ten and seeing children being killed in a war zone is not going to give me a good nights sleep.

We are constantly being bombarded with news articles and documentaries on global warming, crime rates, soaring energy costs and the like. No wonder we start to feel anxious and lose our positive mindset. You don’t need to cut these out entirely, but do limit the amount you watch. Anxiety and watching television are well documented.

If you are going to watch tv, start to watch things that make you feel good. Watch uplifting movies or documentaries or choose a good comedy. Schitt’s Creek is my all-time favourite for a good belly laugh. And cut out the binge-watching. Again, binge-watching television has been shown to affect mental health. This can be due to tending to binge-watch alone, increased inactivity and disturbed sleep. Try to switch to reading a good book or taking up a hobby rather than getting suckered into the television.


Follow the three top tips above and see how your mindset improves. 

Why You Need To Book A Date With Your Loved One

Why You Need To Book A Date With Your Loved One

When was the last time you had a date with your significant other?

Too often we get so wrapped up in our work we forget what we are doing it for.  In most cases, it is to build a stable future for ourselves and our loved ones, so why do we lose the importance of spending quality time with our loved ones whilst building our businesses?

I know I was guilty of this in years gone by.  My husband would suggest going out for a drink but I always had something to finish.  He would come into my office to have a coffee and a chat but I shunned him telling him he was interrupting me. He would say “let’s do something this weekend” but I was either buried in work or too tired to want to do anything but hide under a duvet.

Where was the sense in that?

I was directly sabotaging the very thing I was trying to achieve with my business!  I wanted to build a successful business that would give us both the income and time freedom to do what we wanted when we wanted.  It was right there, right then under my nose already but I couldn’t see it.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, then stop.  Go book a date with your significant other.  If you live alone this may be a close friend or family member.  Give them the time they deserve.  Life is short.  We need to remember to enjoy the moments we have here and now and not be blinded by the bright lights of the future.

There is a powerful book called the Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle which is worth a read.  It changed my outlook completely.

Mr T and I now regularly have dates.  We book them ahead in the diary and don’t let anything get in the way.  These dates vary from a couple of nights away in a cottage somewhere to a simple afternoon walk with a picnic.  The important thing is that we spend quality time together with no interruptions.

And we must be doing something right as yesterday was our 31st wedding anniversary (yes, I was a child bride – not really).  And we celebrated with a tiny bbq and a bottle of fizz on the beach with family.  Just perfect.

Get your diary out now and book that date.