Being an entrepreneur seems exciting on the surface: pursuing a passion, setting your own schedule and, hopefully, making lots of money. But the responsibility that comes with getting a business up and running can cause immense pressure. Running your own business can be hugely rewarding, but for many business owners having sole responsibility for the company’s success or failure can take its toll. Entrepreneurs are more likely to experience mental health issues than the general public.
While it can be tempting to focus all of your time and attention on your business, it’s also essential that you take care of yourself. As an entrepreneur you can face a range of unique challenges that can affect your mental health and the mental health of your staff.
These are seven ways to maintain your mental health while running a business:
Understand that you’re not alone: 32 percent of entrepreneurs struggle with two or more mental health conditions. One of the most important things for you to realize is that you’re not alone, and support is closer than you think
Put your mental health above everything else: Finding at least a small amount of time for yourself every day is an important part of self-care. It could be as simple as gardening, drawing, reading a good book, taking a hot bath, or going for coffee with a loved one—anything that relaxes you
Learn how to ask for help: With the stigma surrounding mental illness and the effects it has on our society, taking a stand and being open and vocal is necessary.
Avoid unhealthy comparison: Comparison on social media is unavoidable, and psychological research has shown that this kind of comparison leads to a list of mental health concerns. Taking breaks from social media (aside from business purposes) can be very helpful for both your mental health and your focus and productivity.
Create a support network: You can connect with like-minded individuals in person at networking events or through online communities as a way of building collaboration and for a positive effect on your day-to-day well-being, it’s important to maintain your relationships outside of your business as well.
Sleep well, eat well, and exercise: Force yourself to go to sleep by a certain time every night so that you’re getting the right amount of sleep. Make sure to set aside even 30 minutes of time a day to get in some quick cardio or a short one-hour class at the gym. And don’t neglect your diet!
Don’t be afraid of therapy: If the stress of being an entrepreneur becomes overwhelming, get professional help from your family doctor, counselor, psychologist, or other mental help expert as soon as possible.
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