5 steps to stay mentally healthy as an entrepreneur

It can be rough working for yourself, with unusual working hours, high pressure, risk of failure looming, irregular money coming in, and limited social interaction. The amount of small business owners and entrepreneurs are on the rise these days and staying mentally healthy is an integral part of success. Burnout is a real thing, and can be very costly to your business both financially and to your reputation. Here are 5 steps to stay mentally healthy as an entrepreneur:

5 steps to stay mentally healthy Pinterest

Use your support networks

This is important for anyone, but particularly those in business for themselves. It can be a very isolating experience at times! Remember that you have support systems both online and in person, and in your professional field as well as personal. These are integral for both success as well as keeping a good mindset. Have regular catch ups with those in your field to brainstorm but also to vent about how hard it is.

Understand your limitations

You cannot do everything and that is OK! In fact, people who try to do everything usually end up failing at something or falling apart mentally, physically, emotionally.

As Ariana Huffington said “The Western workplace culture— exported to many other parts of the world— is practically fuelled by stress, sleep deprivation, and burnt. This is profoundly— and negatively— affecting our creativity, our productivity, and our decision making: the very things entrepreneurs need in order to succeed.”

Turn off your email at a certain time, have no-tech days, don’t say yes to every opportunity, and say no to things that drain your soul.

Celebrate your wins regularly and reflect on your losses occasionally

As a business owner, you may not have bosses, employees or events to celebrate your wins. So you need to start this practice yourself. Set aside some time each week to recognise any recent wins. You can join a Facebook group of business owners and share your successes. Or perhaps give yourself little rewards (mani-pedi anyone?) for milestones or achievements. This is not a trivial thing, this is an integral part of keeping your mental health strong and your mindset positive.

Similarly, take time occasionally to reflect on any losses and why they may have occurred. Could it be because you didn’t put in 100%? Or perhaps you weren’t that invested in the task in the first place? Maybe, you said yes to something that you should have said no to. This kind of reflection will only help you grow both as a business and as a person.

Related: 7 quick ways to boost your confidence at work

Engage in self care everyday

In our culture, we tend to celebrate the ‘hustle’ and reward those who don’t have the time to sleep and who are too busy building their empire to rest and relax. This is SO unhealthy and creates an expectation that people cannot meet. It results in burnout, stress, health problems and poor mental heath.

Ariana puts it perfect again “We routinely overbook ourselves, fearful of any unused capacity, confident that we can fit everything in. We fear that if we don’t cram as much as possible into our day, we might miss out on something fabulous, important, special, or career advancing. But there are no rollover minutes in life. We don’t get to keep all that time we “save.” It’s actually a very costly way to live.” 

Take time every day to engage in some self care. Hire help if need be, leave the dishes for a day, combine self care with friends, get up 10 minutes earlier to journal your thoughts.

weekly checklist blog post

Seek professional help when needed

If things get on top of you too much you may notice the signs of burnout (anxiety, low mood, poor sleep, irritability, teariness, poor concentration). In this case, chatting to a psychologist may be very beneficial. You don’t always need to have a ‘mental health problem’ to see a psychologist. Actually, it can be an important step to prevent further issues down the line. Think of it as investing in yourself and by association, your business. A healthy, calm, coping woman is a much better business owner than a stressed out one!

 

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Comments

  1. Great post. Being an entrepreneur is a lot like parenting. We tend to put the business first and foremost and ourselves last. Self care is so important because if you don’t look after yourself you risk having nothing left to give.

    1. Jess

      Thats so true. Burnout with parenting and business can destroy all the hard work you’ve put in, so self care is paramount.

  2. Having my own business, I definitely agree with these tips. I’m a finalist in the Redlands Women in Business awards and had to give a presentation a couple of weeks ago, as part of the judging process, about how I achieve work/life balance – funnily enough most of these tips were part of my “secrets to success”! Great minds think alike 😉

    1. Jess

      Hey, great minds indeed! Just goes to show that Self Care=Success!

  3. I love this list – it’s spot on. I do struggle with a lot of these but I’m still relatively new to the entrepreneur world. I really need to turn my computer off earlier in the evening though!

    1. Jess

      Oh Kristy I am right there with you on the computer thing! I am always trying to switch off earlier and its a constant struggle.

    1. Jess

      Thanks Lucy! Yes exactly, when you don’t have a boss or coworkers to give recognition, you need to do it yourself!

  4. What a fantastic post. These tips are absolutely true and as Raycheal said, it is a lot like parenting.
    Thanks for linking up to #MummyMondays

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