Entrepreneurs: 5 Ways to Tend to Your Mental Health
Running a business may feel like a marathon - both exhausting and exhilarating. But just like how you'd take breaks in the 26-mile-plus trek, following the same strategy while operating your business is critical to prevent physical and mental health burnout.
Entrepreneurs have to devote vast amounts of time and energy to making their business successful, which can take a toll.
"It can be hectic and unforgiving, and business goals won’t be reached by themselves," explains a blog by Online Women Biz.
"And that is exactly why self-care must be at the top of your list of business goals," the blog adds.
According to The Hustle, 63 percent of the 300-plus entrepreneurs surveyed reported going through burnout, and 59 percent said they've experienced anxiety.
Take that breather. "You don't have to be checking off goals everyday on a to-do list," advises Tricia Hersey, founder of The Nap Ministry.
In a story by Atiya Jordan in Black Enterprise about wellness, Hersey stated that hustling and building each day is unnecessary.
It's also perfectly all right to take a break from pushing every day, she said. Instead, Hersey suggests, take time to "just be" and experience "leisure, joy, and rest."
Create a culture of well-being for everyone. Your self-care serves as a model to your employees, and it's your responsibility to create a well-being culture for employees.
"A true wellbeing culture includes support for multiple aspects of employees' lives, including mental health, family and caregiving responsibilities, financial wellness, social connections, and managing chronic conditions, among others," writes Kara Williams, director of Health Coaching at WebMD Health Services, in a WebMD blog.
Track your habits in a journal. Making daily notes about your eating, sleeping, and physical habits can help you spot unhealthy patterns that could use your attention.
"The long hours dedicated to your business can leave you feeling fatigued, stressed, overwhelmed, and lonely," says the Online Women's Biz blog. "We often don't take the time to acknowledge and work on these issues until it's too late - i.e., burnout."
Your log could also track alcohol and caffeine consumption and stress levels. "When our behavior is staring us right in the eyes, we can identify harmful patterns and work on fixing them," the blog adds.
Carve out the time. One of the best ways to find the time on your schedule for yourself? Put it there.
You may feel strange taking a step away from managing business-related tasks, especially if you're keeping everything together, writes Jill A. Chafin in a blog for The Ascent, The Motley Fool service that provides product reviews.
Chafin recommends dedicating time to enjoy personal joys as it will increase productivity. Pushing yourself while feeling drained, exhausted, or overwhelmed means you're working with reduced energy levels, she says.
More than just one thing. For entrepreneur, writer, and certified health coach Kharissa Parker-Forte, running a business taught her that self-care comes in layers.
"And it's not all wine and bubble baths," says Parker-Forte in a column for Kansas City-based Startland News.
"Over the years, I developed and implemented what I call the 7 Pillars of Self-Care into my thoughts, my habits, my home, my body, my career, and any other area that I wanted to see flourish," she writes.
One of these pillars is dedicated to mental clarity, Parker-Forte says, which can lead to learning your wants and areas in need of help. She recommends instilling routines including meditation and setting your intentions to help keep a balanced mental health.