The demands required of entrepreneurship can feel relentless, and often completely misaligned with both seasonal and personal ebbs and flows. While plenty of people open their own businesses to pursue a sense of freedom, the all-too-common reality entails wearing all of the hats, constantly working overtime, pivoting to adapt to constantly changing external conditions, financial worries, and carrying the acute stress that it all depends on you. These levels of pressure can easily contribute to compromised sleep, nutritional deficiencies, and chronic stress – all of which deplete Yin.
Of course, balance between Yin and Yang underlies all of TCM wisdom as it’s fundamental to the cultivation of radiant health and inner to outer harmony. The depletion of Yin disrupts our inner balance, which can lead to burnout, emotional turmoil, weakness and fatigue, impaired immunity, and nervous system dysregulation. Knowing all too well what a delicate balance it is between running a business and prioritizing personal well-being according to the principles of TCM, here’s some advice for nourishing Yin while getting things done.
Delegate and collaborate. Removing some work from your plate helps minimize the depletion of Yin, but collaboration is also inherently nourishing to Yin. While delegating to others can sometimes feel out of reach, especially during the early stages of a business, there are creative ways to do so. Trading for services, collaborating with other brands to minimize each individual’s workload for a particular event or project, and putting the call out for an intern are all examples of low-cost and high-impact solutions. Many hands make light(er) work, and often the first step is a perspective shift toward feeling deserving of help, and being able to ask for it.
Eat to thrive. The importance of foundational nourishment cannot be overstated, and focusing on nutrient density helps to replenish our deepest energy reserves – required for optimal health. In general, TCM advises to eat according to the seasons, enjoy non-glutinous grains and starches, balanced with high-quality (animal) proteins and cooked vegetables. The tonic herbs we share are also overwhelmingly food medicines, meaning they’re safe for consistent, long-term use and help fulfill nutritional deficiencies. This is godsend for business owners who are often on the go; just think of everything you can easily add extract powders to…
Ensuring sufficient protein intake and moderating the consumption of stimulants is paramount, in my experience. You all know I have the biggest love affair with coffee, but it’s great to strike a balance with some wonderful caffeine-free energy enhancers like Schizandra and Cordyceps. Pu’er tea is another Yin-nourishing alternative that can be enjoyed in lieu of a second (or third) cup of coffee, whenever possible.
Prioritize proper hydration. Yin governs all of our bodily fluids and helps us find our flow on every level. Mineral balance is crucial to proper hydration, which is in turn fundamental for cellular energy production, immune function, detoxification, and nervous system regulation. Unfortunately, most of us mirror our soil and water in being severely mineral-deficient these days. Pine Pollen, Pearl, and high-quality salt are all rich in essential minerals, while herbs like Tremella and He Shou Wu help lubricate and build up our Yin fluids, respectively.
Incorporate adaptogens consistently. In TCM, stress is seen as another disturbance to the body's overall balance and harmony, affecting multiple organ systems and their capacity to interact smoothly. This special category of herbs offers modulating properties that help the body adapt to stress, support balanced metabolic function, help restore whole-body harmony, and regulate immune function. They also build the reserves of adaptive energy so that we can both appropriately respond to stressors and are less susceptible to being thrown off balance by stressors.
True adaptogens include Reishi, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Schizandra, and Chaga.
Get restorative sleep. High-quality sleep is one of the most replenishing and healing medicines available, supporting: cortisol regulation and overall hormonal balance, the restoration of Qi, the conservation and distribution of vital fluids like Blood, and a reprieve from action so our bodies can focus on repair. To help regulate circadian rhythm for better sleep, engage in some kind of movement outdoors during daylight hours and follow sleep hygiene practices, like limiting blue light exposure in the evenings, which can help in regulating circadian rhythm.
Herbal support for a good night’s sleep includes our Shen blend, Reishi, and CBD + CBN. Take some time for yourself in the late evening, and make a ritual out of enjoying your night cap.
These are all great and practical ways to guide the body back into balance, but I want to also remind you to make time for anything that truly fills your cup – whether it brings you joy, helps you rest, or nourishes your body. The work will always be there, but we must remember that ultimately, it is primarily our well-being that will determine the success and longevity of our businesses. It’s completely okay to take breaks, say no, and have boundaries; when we remember that we’re in it for the long haul, we can remove some of the urgency and find a sustainable flow, tweaking as we go.