Why is it important to make rest a priority as a business owner? When you love what you do for a living, it can be easy to work more than you intend. While we aren’t here to tell you that your particular level of hustle is good or bad, it is important to be aware of what too much work looks like for you. Failing to prioritize rest as an entrepreneur can lead to burnout and health issues. Taking breaks and scheduling time away from work can be a struggle for bosses but making rest a habit can help you take your well-being and business to the next level. Which is why, here at Being Boss, we truly believe in the power of a mandatory lazy day.

So, how do you prioritize rest as a creative business owner? Five members of the Being Boss Community, share ways entrepreneurs can prioritize rest and how it has helped them succeed in their businesses and life.

1. Don’t Use Rest as a Reward

A belief many have is that rest is the thing at the end. It’s the reward for all the hard work. “Once I do XYZ, then I can take a break.” “If I can just squeeze out three more emails, then I will let myself rest.” Rest is not a reward. Rest is something you are inherently worthy of. It is as essential as food and water. It makes you better at everything else. There is no shame in resting, sleeping, meditating, going for a walk, watching a little Netflix, folding the laundry tomorrow, or never folding the laundry at all. You are not lazy. You still have value. We are all worthy of rest.

Kali Edwards // June Mango Design

2. Integrate Breaks into Your Process

As a designer I find rest imperative to my process. My work is guaranteed to be better after I’ve had a chance to step away from it and gain a new perspective or revisit challenging aspects with renewed energy. It’s critical to make rest part of your process (not the thing you get at the end) and trust that it will bring better results in the long run. By taking incremental breaks along the way you can keep your energy more stable and bring your best self to your projects.

Meg McConnell // Due West Design

3. Establish Strong Boundaries

I find that being in the business of doing what I love has the tendency to make me overwork.  If I don’t put up strong boundaries, I refuse to acknowledge that I need rest when I am in the middle of my work, simply because I love it so much. However when I stop, thanks to the limits that I have set in place, I notice when I need to rest, and when possible take that time to rest and recharge. Every single time when I don’t enforce my own boundaries I easily work too much, and rest too little. No matter how much I love the work, there are physical or emotional consequences when the balance is off.

Kiona Elliot // Lucky Accessories

4. Prioritize Your Sleep & Schedule Your Rest

I wake up slowly on Mondays so I don’t feel a jolt of stress at the top of the week. I schedule monthly chiropractic and massage during my work day and count it as part of what I need to be my best. My brain just cannot function properly without rest. I aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and usually get it. Working in the agency world, I would average 5-6 hours of sleep. Now, being well rested helps me be more productive during my days.

Jolinda Smithson // Shapes & Colors by Jolinda

5. Ease Your Way Back Into Work

Taking a break – a legit vacation or 4 day weekend tends to bring me new inspiration and reignites the drive to do the work. It’s always a great feeling when you’re notably excited to get back to it. However, I also know that I need to ease back in. Jumping back into work too quickly leads me to overwhelm. I try to plan 2-3 days post vacay to slowly get back to normal. Resting after the ‘rest’!

Erika Neumayer Ehrat // Rare Dirndl

Corinne Preston is the Content Production Assistant at Being Boss. With a background as a graphic designer and creative director, she is driven by a passion to learn, explore, and make.