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image of palm trees against the sky text: let's be business owners that take health and wellness seriously gracequantock.com

Business can be beautiful, but sometimes it’s felt like I had 2 options: to be ‘successful’ or to practice self-care.

It felt like it wasn’t an option to do both.

Like the company that wanted to take my work all the way (across 5 continents) but only if I disregarded my health and wellness for their schedule. I said ‘no thank you’. Because if I’m not happy, if I’m not congruent and if I’m not me, then it’s not really a success, is it?

This can happen on a large scale – the boss that says you’ll get the promotion if you ‘put in the hours’ or on a smaller scale, where you push through the project to reach the deadline, to be done, to rest but collapse on the other side. And each time it happens, each collapse over the finish line is eating away a little more and a little more still at the very ability to do such work, or get dressed, or live your life.

In my case, my wellness is hard won and so fiercely protected. If you care so little about me that you want to impact my health for your profits, then we won’t be working together, thank you.

Being a business owner comes with a lot of responsibilities. It’s easy to feel like that isn’t enough hours in the day to get each and every task completed. It’s far too easy to overwork yourself and to fail to spot the signs that you or one of your employees (if you have any) is in need of some help.

The good news is that when it comes to taking health and wellness seriously, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money or effort. It’s just a case of understanding what impacts these things and how to make life easier and less stressful for everyone.

I’ve always admired people who manage to take their wellness seriously without letting it take over their lives. I always said I didn’t want to fuss so much with cure-seeking and postpone the life I am able to live now, but there’s something in between searching for a cure and ignoring your body’s needs to live a “normal” life or run a “successful” business.

With that in mind, here are some useful tips and ideas for making health and wellness a priority as a business owner. These relate to your own health and wellness as a business owner, as well as the health and wellness of your employees (if you have any).

1/ Make Movement Motivating

How tempting is it to sit down, plough through your work and promise yourself a yoga session at the end of the day?

And how often do you get to that yoga session, once you’ve spent all your energy working?

I know that to work well, I need to practice compassionate awareness. I need to be tuned in to my body, listening to it’s needs and take regular breaks, including movement breaks.

This applies to you and any employees. As part of the work day, try to incorporate exercise, and encourage your team to do the same. There are lots of simple ways that you can do this; it’s just a case of determining what works for you.

Whenever I run a meeting or conference we have regular movement breaks every hour, as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to one of my international Trailblazers’ Conferences.

In college (where I’m furthering my counselling qualifications) we hold impromptu people in pain yoga sessions in the breaks, to lie down, to meditate, to stretch and get moving.

If you crave the accountability to engage in regular exercise, check out if you have access to any workplace classes. These could be held at the start and end of the day and could be anything, from yoga to meditation.

If you work from home or freelance, could you take a class – physical or virtual – with a friend or colleague

What do you need to do to add movement (visualised or physical) to your day?

2/ Make Your Workspace Work for Your Mood

Where are you, right now? Take a look around your workspace and consider whether it is an effective space for working productively.

The truth is to be able to work effectively, the environment that you’re working in doesn’t need to be perfect. I’ve written some of my best work on my phone at 3am, in the back of old notepads, while crying in grief. I’ve worked at train stations, while in hospital, around screaming babies. Showing up to the page, to the work is a practice that can be developed. 

But if you have the opportunity to create a space that encourages you to work productively and makes it easy to do so, then let’s make it shine.

Right now, I’m working from my studio, the walls are painted mellow sage, and yes, I choose it for the name, not just the colour. I have a beautiful peace lily blooming next to, my altar, paintings, day-bed and my harp…

Can you take some time to consider what it takes to make a space feel like a good environment for working? Think about things that feel good, what motivates and energises you, but also adequate lighting, a well-designed space, and equipment that suits your body and needs.

Take lighting for instance, for work space, the advice from a lighting contractor would be to opt for lighting that’s as close to natural light as possible. This is because lighting that’s overly bright can cause headaches, I can get migraines from office lighting so working out the right lighting has been especially important to me.

3/ Thinking About Fuel and Fun

You know and I know that eating healthy, wholesome foods is the way to go for your body and your business. 

But how to do it when you’re low on energy but the stakes are high and the deadline’s drawing nearer? That’s the secret.

One of my favourite ways to go this is to let the making and eating of food be the break I’m craving. Instead of grabbing food and heading back to work, what if making a smoothie, a dip and some cucumber dipper sticks or a salad with a delicious dressing could be a fun team activity. I love making food with my PAs and business partners, plus I get to learn their favourite recipes.

If you want healthy, affordable, accessible recipes, check out mine here.

When it comes to running a business, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into account. This means that it’s far too easy for important things to sometimes get missed.

However, if there’s one thing that shouldn’t be missed, it’s taking health and wellness seriously. 

I’m supporting and celebrating you in your path of wellness, healing and life.

What’s your best experience in business and wellness? Let me know in the comments?

This post contains content that allows me to run this site.


paint and pastels, text: wellness and freelancing: 3 ways to make it work gracequantock.com

You want to set your own schedule.

You crave earning your living doing what you love. 

You need to share your talents, to be of service to the world. 

You desire a life that allows space for you, your needs, your self-care, your wellness.

So you are considering freelancing, but with all the conflicting, (and all too often inflated) information online you are wondering if it’s possible for you. And if so, how?

You will hear a lot about people saying going freelance is the best thing they ever did. But make no mistake about it, setting up on your own can be a tough challenge. You are your own boss, yes, but you are also the marketing department, PR, sales, billing, accounts and the cleaner too. Wow whee, it’s a lot.

With this in mind, you might think it impossible to even contemplate embracing wellness as a freelancer.

Well, today, I’m going to look into making wellness and freelancing work. And, in fact, I hope to show you that it can improve your business, rather than take you away from it. Let’s get started with some of the basics.

Continue Reading Wellness & Freelancing: 3 Ways to Make It Work

Photo of a white stone building with a white framed window. White rectangle over it transparent with text: is your business disability friendly? Creating accessibility for all online and brick and mortar access guide gracequantock.com

When you are building a business, finding customers or clients and treating them well is usually a top priority, often being of service is why you got into business in the first place and without customers, you don’t have a business.

But did you know that many businesses are excluding thousands upon thousands of potential  customers in your business every day (up to 6.9 million in the UK [1] and 56.7 million in the USA [2]), because the business isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Not only is this excluding potential customers and perpetuating inequality and prejudice, it’s also, in many cases, potentially contravening the law. Big stuff, big consequences.

Continue Reading Is Your Business Disability-Friendly? Creating Accessibility for All

a hand throwing a red scarf over a field text over: Self-care Sunday: compassion as a healing path a guest post by Christy Tending GraceQuantock.com

[Self-Care Sunday Series: wellness experts worldwide are sharing their self-care expertise, practices, routines and personal stories. Today’s guest post is by self-care revolutionary Christy Tennery-Spalding]

This is part two (read part 1 here), in a five-part series on meditation and how it can help us to cultivate greater feelings of love for ourselves, each other, and the planet. In this series, I’m examining the Brahma Viharas (or the Four Divine Abodes), a Buddhist concept that refers to the sublime states we cultivate through meditation: compassion (karuna), lovingkindness (metta), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). Today, we’ll examine karuna, compassion, and how it arises from and interacts with our meditation practice.

Chances are, you’re already familiar with the concepts of compassion and empathy — the ability to be present with a tone of kindness and love, with ourselves and others. When we are living into our compassion, we are allowing ourselves to be in touch not just with our own humanity, but with the humanity of others. This quality of choosing sweetness over blame is essential to healing.

In fact, compassion can be the path forward not just from our interior experiences of pain and self-blame, but toward a more just, equitable and healthy world. But let’s back up and look at how meditation helps us get there.
When we meditate, the primary action is to observe and witness. Meditation may also include some elements of concentration: on a mantra, an object, or the breath. The main “doing”, however, in meditation is to neutrally observe the mind, thoughts, breath, and emotions as they come and go. We do not cling, fix, or “do” anything to them. We simply bear witness.

With consistent meditation practice, after becoming more familiar our inner realm, we begin to see these events with greater compassion and less attachment. Our thoughts disturb us less, because we know that these pass away eventually. When that is the case, we can react with greater kindness, and experience thoughts with less drama attached.

This perspective, one of neutral empathy, gives us permission to recognize that our thoughts and emotions don’t make us “bad.” They simply make us human, even vulnerable. We might say to ourselves, “Ahh, look there at my chattering human mind! How upset you must feel, dear one.”

With this level of sincere compassion for ourselves, we do not seek to avoid our pain, but to be in touch with it through the lens of kindness. This is how we cultivate karuna, the first of the heavenly abodes, for ourselves through meditation.

But what about everyone else? How do we carry this off of our meditation cushion and into a world that is so obviously hurt and grieving? How do we observe that kind of pain, without doing harm to ourselves or turning away.

Again, compassion is the vehicle, as well as the path.

From my own experience, my first reaction to seeing suffering, injustice or oppression in the world is to try to fix it. (Hint: this is a sure-fire path to burnout.) But beyond its un-sustainabilty, this approach actually isn’t grounded in compassion.

The desire to fix and make right is actually grounded in my ego. The same one that wants to run away with my thoughts during meditation. This approach to pain in others, whether on a systemic level or an interpersonal one, actually robs the other person (or group of people) of their experience. It does not create connection, but rather further division: casting them as the victim; me as the savior.

[A mundane example: raise your hand if your partner has ever jumped in with advice when you’re mid-way through telling them about your tough day. How did it make you feel? Witnessed or dismissed? Their intentions were pure, but their actions felt dismissive, yes?]

Instead, we can respond from a place of compassion, of witnessing first. From that perspective, we are primarily concerned with first acknowledging the dignity and humanity in others. When we do this, we’re less likely to place blame. We’re also better able to respond in a way that feels respectful and safe.

In the larger world, this means listening to others’ stories, before applying our own solutions. This would look like refugees having a say in their own self-determination. It would mean forest communities shaping forest policies. Workers would participate in workplace decision-making on a large and small level.

This is compassion in action.

Compassion, in its purest form, allows us to recognize our interconnection with all beings everywhere. Compassion in our interactions offer us the opportunity of a, “Me too,” moment. The ability to recognize ourselves in one another and to treat others with the gentleness we so crave.

When we approach the world from this perspective, that we are all a part of the fabric of humanity, we can act in a way that lifts everyone up, that build a new foundation of relationships from dignity and respect.

We do not place ourselves above anyone else, whether through blame, problem-solving, criticism or dismissiveness. We can observe those instincts, including toward ourselves, and let them go as we would any other thought during meditation.

A gift: Christy is offering her amazing meditation course Hella Metta at a special discount just for Wellness Trailblazers – that’s you, beautiful, just use the discount code ‘Grace’ for 25% off. Thanks Christy!

Sign up for the newsletter below to get all the posts in this 5-part series on the gifts of meditation. And check out Christy’s work at ChristyTending.com

Christy Tending Headshot Smiling in forest, brown hair, caucasian, wearing a brown tank top

Christy Tennery-Spalding is a self-care mentor, healer, activist, and writer. She works with world-changing individuals to help them craft amazing self-care practices. She is the creator of Hella Metta, a 10-day meditation e-course to cultivate fierce lovingkindness. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their feral cats, Dorothy & Harriet. Find free self-care resources to start your practice on her website,ChristyTending.com.

What is your experience for compassion? Let us know in the comments.

P.S You might also enjoy top 5 mindfulness meditation challenges transformed and ASMR guided meditation for chronic pain.

strength in the tenderest places you are not broken

My strength today is not something with which I was born. It was not simply bequeathed to me in my DNA, nor floated into my crib as a magical christening gift. I didn’t incarnate, fully formed, as a tower of tenacity and stamina.

To me, strength arrived as a circle.

Read the full article on my guest post at my dear friend and colleague Christy Tending’s beautiful site here.