The Self-Care Blueprint for Entrepreneurs: Strategies for Success

The Self-Care Blueprint for Entrepreneurs: Strategies for Success

Entrepreneurs tend to work long hours and neglect the need for self-care. In this interview, Daniela Wolfe shares excellent insight into simple, practical ways to implement self-care and mindfulness to improve your well-being and effectiveness in your work.

👇 Key Takeaways

  • Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or for large amounts of time
  • Even setting aside that 1 minute, 4-5 times a day will help reduce stress, improve focus, and increase calmness
  • Mindfulness forces you to develop a mental discipline that can be hard to come by in today’s hustle culture


Business Name: Best D Life
Website URL:
Founders: Daniela Wolfe
Business Location: based in the US
Year Started: 2020

Tell us about yourself and your business.

I help stressed and burnt-out professionals ditch the guilt and overwhelm and productively manage their time and daily tasks with ease so they have the space and energy for self-care every day!

I have been a Licensed Master’s Social Worker for over 27 years, working with individuals on self-care, stress management skills, mindfulness, relationships, parenting, and managing all the chaos that life can send your way.

I have also been a busy, full-time working mom of two and have experienced stress and overwhelm. By incorporating my professional background into my real-life experiences, I learned what is necessary to prevent burnout

My mission is to empower all individuals to develop these skills and prioritize themselves higher on their to-do lists. From the “I’ve got this” moments to the “Ugh, I just can’t” moments, I can help you learn the options and strategies to change your schedule and life one day at a time.

When I’m not at work you can find me out on my SUP (stand-up paddleboard), hiking (summer or winter), reading, and traveling.

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

Many years ago, when my kids were younger (five years and six months old), I went through a divorce and found myself at a place where I was trying to manage it all and do it all. I wasn’t great at asking for help. I found myself irritable, snapping maybe a little bit more than I care to, burnt out, frustrated, and overwhelmed.

I recognized and took a step back and saw that something needed to change. This was not the life I wanted to lead. This was not the person I wanted my kids to know. And so I started to “practice what I preach” and found a way to fit in different strategies, different habits, different routines, and intentionally change my focus and my mindset.

Now keep in mind I had a 5-year-old and a 6-month-old, so these weren’t massive changes or huge blocks of time. But they were enough. They moved the needle. By taking a lot of the skills and techniques I had been using to help others at work, I found that I was able to find a lifestyle that I loved that included balance and happiness a little bit more each day. It doesn’t come overnight. It’s not a quick fix. Through intentional, small changes, you can live that balanced and happy life while still being a mom, a worker, a friend, a spouse, etc.

So I found over the years as I’ve made these changes, so many women have come to me as they’re going through maybe their own divorce, having babies, taking care of elderly parents, you know, different life events and asking, “How do I manage it?” “How do I find some of what you’ve been able to do?” And I saw that by helping empower women, not micromanaging, but empowering women to see their options, we’re all looking for that validation and permission to prioritize ourselves on our to-do list.

For entrepreneurs, the term “self-care” might feel elusive or even indulgent. How do you define self-care in the context of a demanding entrepreneurial lifestyle?

When I talk about self-care, I’m not talking about an occasional luxury like a spa day or weekend away (even though I still love these), but daily, practical self-care actions.

Self-care is any activity done deliberately to take care of your own mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s as simple as taking time out to prioritize anything that lights you up, enhances your confidence, or benefits your well-being. That provides benefits to everyone around you as well as your business.

It’s a daily necessity, just like eating and brushing your teeth. Self-care also doesn’t have to be done in isolation and can include hobbies, fun, and laughter. 

What are some of the warning signs of poor self-care?

  1. Feeling exhausted or drained: even after getting enough sleep.  You might also feel physically and mentally drained and have difficulty concentrating or staying focused.
  2. Losing interest in activities: losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy or feeling apathetic or indifferent towards things that used to excite you could be a sign of burnout.
  3. Feeling overwhelmed or helpless: drowning in your work or personal responsibilities, or feeling like you don’t have control over your life.
  4. Increased cynicism or negativity: finding it hard to stay positive.
  5. Decreased productivity: hard to get work done or making more mistakes than usual.
  6. Physical symptoms: headaches, stomach problems, or a weakened immune system.

What are some practical self-care strategies that entrepreneurs can incorporate into their daily routines?

The first tip is to do your self-care regularly.  This may sound like common sense, but unfortunately, this is often the first thing we push off when our schedule gets crowded.  Being able to set boundaries and say “No”, taking regular social media breaks, and really carving out some time for you – even 10 minutes a day – can make a difference.

Examples of what to do include walking, yoga, meditation, journaling, coffee breaks, reading, laughing, and doing something creative. By filling up your own emotional cup first, you’re in a better position to handle the hustle and bustle of the day and help others.

The second tip is to practice gratitude. By focusing our attention on what we’re grateful for, we can have the perspective and the peace that we need to be happy. Gratitude makes us healthier, more energetic, less stressed + anxious, and sleep better.

The third tip is taking regular breathing breaks. Deep breathing decreases your cortisol levels and can help lower blood pressure and heart rate.

The fourth is to take the time to gauge some of your physical self-care needs. Are you sleeping enough? Are you eating healthy? Are you drinking enough water? Are you moving enough? Having these healthy habits and routines in place is important to your self-care and overall emotional well-being.

The fifth is finding time for some self-reflection. Acknowledging how you’re feeling is important as everything may not feel great 24/7. Lean into and recognize where your feelings are coming from. Unrealistic expectations? Stress? Whatever it may be, when you take the time to acknowledge and recognize it, then can you more proactively plan healthy ways to address and cope with those feelings.

The last self-care tip has to do with your tasks and time management. Make sure you’re not overburdening yourself with too many things that can realistically fit in one day. This is important for mental health because not having this balance can increase stress, anxiety, and depression.

How can entrepreneurs integrate mindfulness techniques into their busy schedules to enhance their mental well-being?

Mindfulness forces you to develop a ‘mental discipline’ that can be hard to come by in today’s hustle culture. Too often, most of us have 20 different things jockeying for our attention. Also, while we may believe multitasking makes us more productive (fact, it doesn’t),  we’ve also become much worse at focusing on one thing for extended periods of time. 

To help you start a practice, I want to go back to the basics of the 1-minute practice.  

  1. Simply set a reminder on your phone to go off at various times throughout your day.
  2. Then set a timer at that moment for 1 minute.
  3. For that minute, you can focus on your breath, notice your senses (what you see, what you hear, etc), and maybe even some muscle tension release (i.e. shoulder shrugs, etc.)

Even setting aside that 1 minute, 4-5 times a day will help reduce stress, improve focus and increase calmness. 

How can entrepreneurs effectively balance the demands of their business with personal and family life without feeling overwhelmed?

There are key pieces that play a role in dealing with feeling overworked and overwhelmed that I teach in my signature program, the Exhausted to Empowered Formula.  The area that I believe crosses all three is how to set boundaries so you can achieve work/life balance.

How can you create boundaries that allow you time to decompress and relax?  Here are a few must-haves:

  • Set hours. Decide when you will and won’t work. Do you have set hours each day? Each week? Map them out on a calendar. 
  • Set a work schedule and stick to it. Quit letting work spill into every other area of your life–unless 100% necessary.
  • It’s actually best to under-schedule yourself and overestimate how long it will take you to complete each task.
  • Know you don’t have to show up to every single meeting, say yes to anything outside your set work hours, or take on any last-minute “emergencies” or projects.
  • Take time off. Plan a vacation and close/unplug on holidays. Block them off and stick to them – no matter what pops up unless it’s something you know aligns with your core values so deeply that you’d regret it. 
  • If you don’t put yourself first, no one else will! Again, no explanations are needed. Your time is valuable, and sticking to your boundaries will be an example for your clients.

No doubt, you can probably think of a dozen more boundaries to implement. So use this list as a starting point.

Daniela Wolfe in a red phone booth
Photo courtesy of Daniela Wolfe

What role do social connections play in an entrepreneur’s self-care routine, and how can they cultivate meaningful relationships both personally and professionally?

Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, improve our immune systems, decrease stress, increase happiness, and improve overall well-being.

Where to begin:

  1. Even quick passing moments of connection can nourish. Take a moment to say hello to people as you go through your day—the woman who serves you coffee, the cashier at the grocery store, your colleague or co-worker. Ask how that person is and really listen to the response.
  1. Increase your opportunities to interact with others. Attend professional networking events, try an activity at the community center, take a class,  or go for a walk on your lunch hour.
  1. Engage your strength of kindness to become involved in something larger than yourself. Volunteer together at the food pantry or other opportunities to give back.

Entrepreneurs often face unpredictable schedules and high-pressure situations. How can they adapt their self-care practices to accommodate the dynamic nature of entrepreneurship?

Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or for large amounts of time.  Simple practices, even as short as 10 minutes, can have a big impact when done consistently throughout your day.  Having a range of options you can choose from allows you to adapt based on the amount of time you have, inspiring that the action itself still happens. 

What strategies can entrepreneurs use to regularly assess their well-being and track their self-care journey over time?

While I believe you can’t have too much self-care, making sure you’re getting enough is worth knowing.  Here are some strategies to help you assess where you’re at.

  1. Check-in with yourself regularly, perhaps weekly or monthly, to reflect on your well-being. This could be a dedicated time to assess how you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically. 
  2. There are tons of wellness apps out there that can help track your self-care journey. Whether it’s a mood tracker, a meditation app, or a fitness tracker, find ones that work for you and integrate them into your routine.
  3. Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. Write down your thoughts, emotions, and experiences related to self-care. If that’s not your style, you can also track habits, gratitude,  or progress toward your wellness goals.
  4. Keep track of your sleep quality, stress levels, physical activity, and mood. Regularly track these metrics to stay on track.

When should entrepreneurs seek professional help for mental health struggles?

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between when you need to take some tasks off your to-do list and when you’re dealing with a more significant mental health issue. Individuals should consider seeking professional help for mental health struggles when they notice persistent or intense feelings of sadness that impact their daily lives and last for 2 weeks or more. 

Also, increased substance use as a coping mechanism, withdrawal from social interactions, or physical symptoms like chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, or headaches can signify the need for professional help. Prioritizing your mental health and recognizing when professional support is needed can lead to improved well-being and the ability to manage challenges effectively.

How can business owners foster a company culture that values and promotes self-care among employees?

Business owners can foster a company culture that values and promotes self-care among employees by setting a positive example through their own behaviors and actions. This can include prioritizing self-care, boundaries around work hours, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This sends a clear message to employees about the importance of well-being.

Additionally, business owners can create initiatives that support self-care, such as flexible work schedules, wellness programs, and access to resources like mental health services and wellness apps. 

Overall, by integrating these strategies into the company culture, business owners can create a work environment that supports employee well-being and contributes to a happier, more engaged workforce.

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