No matter whether you are operating a local brick-and-mortar business or launching a tech startup: building an organization from the ground up is stressful. And, as an entrepreneur and business owner, you might feel that your entire life, routine, finances, and physical well-being are tied to your business’s success – but it does not have to be that way.
While a growing percentage of founders deal with mental health disorders, there is a lot that you can do to continue running your business, restore your health, and boost your productivity. Here are five strategies to try today.
Partner With a Mental Health Specialist
Partnering with a mental healthcare professional is the most efficient way to recover from your condition and regain control over your productivity and motivation.
A therapy journey created around your needs will take into consideration your professional and personal responsibilities, and will help you pinpoint the triggers leading to high-stress levels, anxiety, and depressive episodes.
If you suspect that your business and personal life are undermined by a mental health disorder, a specialized therapist can show you how an Intensive Outpatient Program can help and assist you in choosing the right path for your needs.
Surround Yourself With The Right People – In and Outside the Workplace
A study conducted at UC Berkeley in 2015 showed that 72% of the entrepreneurs surveyed reported struggling with mental health concerns, with particularly high rates of depression, ADHD, substance use disorder, and bipolar conditions.
While mental health disorders also stem from genetics and personal history, chronic stress can contribute to worsening problems like general anxiety and mood disorders.
A great way to reduce stress is to build a solid support system – within your workplace and outside. Professionally, you should consider outsourcing tasks to a team of trusted experts, so that you can focus primarily on strategizing.
Additionally, you should find the support of a mentor or someone who has experience in building a business but is not tied to you by a financial relationship (such as investors or employees).
On a more personal level, local support groups can help you find a safe place to share your experiences and build emotional connections.
Focus on Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Mental and physical health are highly interconnected, and it isn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to see their mental well-being decline as a consequence of a stressful, hectic, and unbalanced lifestyle.
While it is inevitable to deal with greater responsibilities and a packed schedule when you are running a business, changing some lifestyle variables can help.
- Focus on healthy eating and readjust your diet to have regular and nutritious meals
- Avoid smoking, drinking, or using substances. These might seem to help you relax, but they can disrupt the functioning of your nervous system and worsen your mental health.
- Practice mindfulness meditation or mind-body activities daily
- Exercise and lead an active lifestyle
- Plan your schedule ahead to avoid feeling overwhelmed
Don’t forget to take a time-out when you need it!
Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace
As a business owner, the chances are that you will spend most of your day at your workplace, working on your company, or thinking about the next steps to take. With such a large percentage of your life involved in your business endeavors, it is paramount to build the right culture at work.
Taking steps to prioritize your mental health in the workplace – and one of your employees – can help you create a more supportive, diverse, and thriving environment, which will reflect positively on your mental and emotional well-being.
Don’t Let Money Become a Trigger
Financial worries affect nearly 80% of Americans – and entrepreneurs aren’t an exception. After all, your bank account, life savings, assets, and investors’ money are just as involved in your business as you are.
However, financial burdens can take a toll on your mental health and even affect your relationships, giving way to a detrimental vicious circle. That is why it is crucial to focus on your financial education and literacy and work towards living a financially independent life.
Pro tip – while it might be tempting to reinvest your revenue into your business, make sure to pay yourself first. And, keep your personal and business finances separate!