Five Ways to Promote Self-Care in Your Startup

When running a startup business, the hours can be long, and the tasks can be substantial. Both the owner of the business and employees can quickly become burnt out if they aren’t careful. The advances in technology that make remote work possible, also make it hard to unplug from work and make time for self-care.

Whether your business is in healthcare, customer service or anything in between, promoting self-care within your startup is of the utmost importance for your continued success. Here are five ways to do just that.

Be Mindful of the Hours


Not only is it essential to be tracking hours to see what work is getting done and keep track of payroll, it’s also important to analyze them. If you notice an employee (or yourself) putting in a lot of weekend hours on their Humanity app, ask them to consider taking a weekend off.

You may also devise a reward system for when you reach certain time milestones. If you have a major project coming up that will require a lot of work to launch, everyone might be putting in extra hours. Find a self-care related activity for which you can purchase a gift certificate as a reward. Remind people not to work themselves to death.

Learn About Your People

If your startup includes a lot of remote workers, you can go years of working together without actually meeting in person. Meetings are usually meant to discuss something specific, eliminating the opportunity for small talk at the water cooler.

Take time to learn more about your people and start your meetings with some brief conversation about life outside of work. You may also create an employee onboarding kit which includes a brief form asking about interests and hobbies. Bringing up the subjects that matter to your employee will remind them how much they enjoy it, and encourage them to find time to engage in that activity.

Put on a Time Cap

Another way to promote self-care is to implement a time cap, letting employees know that they are only allowed to work a certain amount within a two week period. Enforce it by making it a budget issue– employees who go beyond the time cap without permission won’t be paid for it.

This approach sounds harsh, but it ensures that your people aren’t working themselves too hard. It also helps you determine who is more efficient as a worker by seeing who gets more done under the time cap versus who is padding their hours and intentionally working slowly.

Start a Wellness Challenge

Start a wellness challenge amongst your employees or set monthly wellness goals. The latter could have something like drinking enough water as a challenge for one month and getting outside for 20 minutes each day being another. There can be rewards for the challenge or competitors can battle for the glory.

If you work alone, you can still have a wellness challenge for yourself! List the habits you are tracking and check them off as you achieve them each day. Reward yourself if you hit a certain number of points, as you would with a child’s reward chart. Set your reward as something you really want but wouldn’t usually do for yourself.

Incorporate Vent Sessions

Incorporating vent sessions into your schedule gives everyone a chance to sit together– whether in person or remotely– enjoy a beverage of choice, and complain about their week. The idea is to unwind, build a rapport, and get work off their chest before the weekend begins.

When you start hosting vent sessions, it’s important to prioritize ending on a positive note. Get the negative things out first, then go around and have everyone share something positive that happened throughout the week, no matter how big or small. Finish off with everyone saying something they’ll improve upon next week or something they look forward to.

By incorporating self-care into your startup, your people will last longer, your productivity will improve, and you’ll experience long-term success.