Inner Strength: Balancing Self-Care When Starting a Side Hustle

Inner Strength: Balancing Self-Care When Starting a Side Hustle
Crow pose

At Ard Aalin, I’m dedicated to self-care and understand the importance of balancing physical and mental wellbeing. If you’re starting a side hustle (trying to create a second income for yourself or for your family), you may find yourself under more stress than usual – in this case, it’s worth following some simple guidelines to keep yourself fighting fit.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of exercise in maintaining your bodily health. If you can keep yourself physically active over an extended period of time, you won’t just benefit from improved appearances and reduced weight, but also more energy, better sleep, lower stress and lower heart pressure. This rings especially true for women, who may have felt less included in physical sports and are almost 10% less active than men on a worldwide scale. Starting a yoga practice can help your health, vitality and energy as you juggle your main and side job. Getting up and getting moving is key for staying sane as you burn the midnight oil. But life and yoga are all about balance as explained by Jenny Hatha Yoga

You should always partner exercise with a good, well-rounded diet and the key to attaining improved dietary health is to cook. Cooking will give you more control over what you put into your body and, by using fresh ingredients, you’re more likely to hit your nutrition targets than if you were to eat out or order takeaway. If you’re unsure of where to start, try some of the simple online recipes – salmon and asparagus or zucchini noodles are sure to break up lunchtime monotony.


On the back of a (seemingly never-ending) pandemic, mental health has certainly taken a hit. To overcome the stress and anxiety of COVID pressures and a new side hustle, you’ll need to keep things simple. Your first priority, after getting enough food and exercise, is to make sure that you’re sleeping well. Sleep is crucial for restoring brain function after a long day and if you don’t have enough of it, you can begin to suffer from increased chances of depression and anxiety. You may also find that you’re a lot less productive. Even when you feel you haven’t done enough with your day, it’s important that you focus on getting the requisite hours of shut-eye.

If you’re feeling overly stressed from all the extra work you’re taking on, you may need to adopt some additional relaxation techniques. Aromatherapy is a great place to start! Essential oils can pass the blood-brain barrier, affecting our moods and emotions, when smelled and / or applied diluted to the skin in a cream or a lotion using massage. If you’re unsure of how to get started, it’s worth reaching out to Jenny for guidance.

Simply put, essential oils are concentrated plant essences extracted from flowers, plants, trees and roots. We are beings of nature and have used plants to heal our minds and bodies for millennia. If it is difficult to get outside you could bring nature inside instead?

How to use aromatherapy at home.
A few drops of rose essential oil in a diffuser can take you on a garden walk or cedarwood could transport you into a woodland setting. Try sitting quietly in meditation, focus on the fragrance and see where it takes you, imagine yourself in nature, feel the air around you clear as you smell the oil. A guided relaxation may help you to effectively ‘centre’ yourself after a long day spent in the (home) office.

Lacking inspiration in your new side hustle? 10-15 mins a day meditation heightens frontal cortex response – creative op


Ultimately, your well-being is inextricably tied to the quantity and intensity of your workload. Set regular time aside in your day for your new project. If you want to practice good self-care, you may need to find ways to work more smart than hard. There are plenty of useful apps, for example, that can help you to manage your time more efficiently and reduce any time spent procrastinating. Alternatively, you may need to speak with your clients/employers to discuss your workload or request help in the form of additional staff. Although this can feel like admitting defeat, it’s often crucial for ensuring your own wellbeing.

If you’re freelancing and spending hours upon hours seeking new clients, you can try an online job board such as Upwork. These platforms are built to help illustrators, marketers, copywriters, actors or just about any other remote profession find new employers. You’ll be able to read reviews, keep on top of delivery times, and find out illustrators” target=”_blank”>how much do illustrators make, all from one secure hub.

You may have taken a particular interest in natural remedies to boost your immune system, or in holistic practices such as yoga and mindfulness, and if so, gaining a professional qualification might be the way to gain a secondary income. Not sure where to start? For budding aromatherapists Neal’s Yard Remedies Courses. For budding yogis The Kaivalya Yoga Method for the spiritual yoga teacher,

Managing a new side hustle is never easy, but if you can take the time to balance your physical and mental wellbeing (and if you’re smart about your work processes), there’s no reason you can’t work for a living and build a brighter future all at once.

Jenny James is a professional aromatherapist and experienced yoga teacher. She is a member of IFPA, the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists and registered with Yoga Alliance Professionals.

Article contribution by Sheila Johnson