De ultieme gids voor zelfzorg voor startende oprichters

Oprichter zijn van een startup brengt heel wat uitdagingen en hoofdpijn met zich mee.

Long work days, company growing pains, lack of time for a social life, meetings with investors and much more can lead to added startup stress in your day-to-day life. 😰

It doesn’t help that this era of “hustle porn,” as Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian describes it, gives off “the idea that unless you are suffering, grinding, working every hour of every day, you’re not working hard enough … this is one of the most toxic, dangerous things in tech right now.”

But you’re not alone. There has been a sharp increase in stress levels over the last few years, and it seems to continue to get worse and worse. 👎

zelfdestructieve gewoonten zelfzorg

Een verhoogd niveau van opstartstress kan op korte en lange termijn gevolgen hebben voor je gezondheid en algemene welzijn.

And yes, while some people “relax” by working, that doesn’t mean it’s safe or healthy to work 24/7 and it still results in raised stress levels over time.

Thankfully, this emergence of increased stress has led to a movement combating the stress in healthy, sustainable ways: self-care. 🧘‍♀️

Zelfzorg is in wezen elke activiteit die we bewust doen om te zorgen voor onze mentale, emotionele en fysieke gezondheid. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan meditatie, yoga en lezen.

And while self-care has become more and more popular with the Insta-influencer crowd over the years, self-care is for everyone – including startup founders. 😎

zelfzorg mijn beste leven leiden

Starting and building a company is stressful, yes, but it also needs to be sustainable. The last thing a company needs is a founder who gets so sick or burned out that she/he can’t work anymore.

Besides, there’s a difference between a bit of healthy stress and conflict that empowers you to charge forward with your company and the kind of stress and conflict that prevents you from being a functional human being.

So, let’s explore self-care and how startup founders can implement it into their daily lives! 👊

I have work to do, I don’t have time to take a long bath or meditate for three hours.

There’s a common misconception with self-care in that it only encompasses spa-like activities: face masks, yoga retreats, taking a long bath, etc.

zelfzorg aap gezichtsmassage

But it’s much, much more than that (and in many instances, none of those things at all).

As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s the deliberate act of doing something that helps our mental, emotional and physical health. That means self-care can be as simple as drinking enough water during the day or taking your prescribed medications on time.

Self-care can include a long walk around your favorite park, re-reading your favorite book and, yes, if you’d like, some meditation in the morning. 📚

That’s the beauty of it: there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to perform self-care. Every self is different, meaning the care can vary.

zelfzorg verwen jezelf

OK dan, waarom zou ik me zorgen maken over zelfzorg?

Startup stress is a very real thing, and it can have dramatic consequences in the long-term. 🙅‍♀️

Fysieke stresssymptomen zijn onder andere hoofdpijn, spierpijn, slaapproblemen, pijn op de borst, vermoeidheid en, volgens de Mayo Clinic, kan het bijdragen aan veel gezondheidsproblemen, zoals hoge bloeddruk, hartaandoeningen, obesitas en diabetes.

Bovendien kun je je door stress angstig, overweldigd en prikkelbaar voelen en depressies verergeren.

zelfzorg stress

And while startup founders have a lot of added stress, this can trickle down to your team and change the dynamic among your colleagues – not good.

Een gestrest en opgebrand team kan leiden tot een hoger personeelsverloop, meer spanningen op kantoor en, nou ja, je bedrijf een slechte reputatie geven als een plek voor talent om koste wat het kost te vermijden.

No one wants that. 😐

Self-care is not only something that startup founders need to embrace personally, but it’s also something they need to encourage among their teams.

Wat moet ik doen? Hoe begin ik?

Fortunately, self-care in itself is quite simple. The trick is to make sure you’re realistic and disciplined enough about your goals (and to avoid any judgement or shame if you forget to do something).

If you’re someone who works too much and never has time to exercise or see friends, for example, start small and work your way toward a more balanced life. ⚖️

Beloof dat je op tijd van je werk vertrekt en spreek een keer per week af met een vriend. Sta 's ochtends 30 minuten eerder op en ga hardlopen (nog beter als je samen met vrienden of je partner gaat hardlopen). Kleine stapjes kunnen grote veranderingen teweegbrengen en je stressniveau astronomisch verlagen.

zelfzorg bewegen

Zelfzorg is er in vele vormen, dus zoek uit waar je je gelukkig en energiek door voelt en concentreer je daarop.

En dit geldt ook voor je werknemers. Als je een langdurige betrokkenheid bij je bedrijf wilt, moet je er een leuke, productieve en toch evenwichtige werkplek van maken.

Does your company have a culture of expecting everyone to always stay late? That needs to change. 😳

It’s about working smarter, not harder. Yes, the occasional deadline or launch will call for a late night in the office, but this should be the exception, not the rule.

If Slack can pull it off, I’m pretty sure your company can, too. 😉

slap overwerken zelfzorg

Enkele extra bronnen

There are some awesome resources out there focused on self-care – many of which have sprung from the tech community. 📱

In terms of apps, there are plenty of fitness apps out there, so if exercise and meal planning is something you’re wanting to work on, just pick a favorite app and go from there (I’m neutral on this one because the apps you use also greatly depend on which wearable tech you’re using/not using, so this is entirely a personal preference thing)!

Voor meditatie en mindfulness is Headspace een van de beste apps die er zijn. Er zijn ook apps zoals Calm, 7Mind en Meditation Studio, en veel online yoga en diepe ademhalingsroutines die je kunt vinden.

headspace zelfzorg

Voor algemene zelfzorg kunnen iPhone-gebruikers Aloe Bud gebruiken, een app die gericht is op zelfzorg en die je op het juiste spoor houdt met je routines.

For more in-depth care processes, You feel like shit is an online flowchart that helps you get through routines and ensures that you’re taking care of yourself.

But just downloading an app doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking care of yourself.

It’s a commitment, it’s a frame of mind. And while that sounds a bit cult-y, just remember that this can be the difference between a long, fulfilling, healthy life and a life of stress, irritability, anxiety and resentment.

Personally, I’d take the former over the latter any day. 🤷‍♀️

With that said, self-care comes in many forms, so find what makes sense for your life. If it’s as simple as eating less junk food and moisturizing every day to make you feel less stressed and healthier overall – go for it!

Just make sure that the life and the company you are building are sustainable – mentally, physically and emotionally, just as much as they are financially.

We need to end the “hustle porn” epidemic – it’s toxic and unproductive in the long-term, both personally and professionally.

Instead, we need to pave the way for self-care to drive how we lead our lives and our businesses, however that may look for you. 🚀

This would lead to healthier, happier startup founders as well as healthier, happier startup employees. It’s a win-win for everyone.

high five zelfzorg

We hopen dat je deze post leuk vond. Als je het leuk vond, vertel het dan verder!

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Ali Colwell