Did you know that among the many challenges you will face as an entrepreneur in maintaining a healthy bottom line for your business, the one that is the most important is your mental health?
Yup. No joke.
Which is why we need to discuss how you need to start investing in your mental health today to see major success in your business!
Studies conducted by Morneau Shepell, (prominent Canadian HR Company that offers innovative and very broad human resource consulting) have shown that entrepreneurs are more likely to experience mental health issues than the general public.
So while being a business owner can be quite liberating in terms of being your own boss, it also takes a heavy toll on your mental health. And if not treated or prevented, can have a negative impact on your business.
From Fortune 500 companies to a simple online business run with the help of really good Wi-Fi from the comfort of wherever you are, the challenges of running a business are both harsh and rewarding.
As a new business owner, you are more likely to fail due to stressors such as uncertainty of success, competitive work environment, trying to get a strong foothold in the market, “Founders Blues” (named so because of the pressures you face trying to create and grow your business) and the big one for today: Entrepreneur’s Terror (ET).
What exactly is Entrepreneur's Terror?
ET is a combination of Fatigue, Anxiety, Stress and Fear that form one giant crippling psychological tsunami.
Sounds terrifying, I know. But… calm down.
ET has, at one point, affected every business owner regardless of the industry, however, high powered CEOs might be forced to keep that between them and their therapist (if at all). They practice the oh-so-common practice of Impression Management, a fancy way of saying, “Fake it till you make it”
I know once words like “high powered CEO” and “therapist” and “impression management” are introduced you might start seeing dollar signs, well let me put you at ease.
There are tons of ways to reduce your stress levels that will not wreak havoc on your wallet, which is what we’re here to discuss.
How investing in your mental health is investing in your businesses bottom line.
Did you know that poor performance and absenteeism due to high stress levels and poor mental health cause businesses to lose over $200 billion dollars annually? (Let that sink in for a second).
That’s why fortune 500 companies shell out the big bucks when it comes to their employee’s mental health (particularly fast paced, high risk/high rewarding careers).
I know you must be thinking, “But I’m just a small/medium or even new business owner, how can I match all that?” Well, it’s even easier to work on your mental health, for next to nothing.
Here are some simple ways to improve and maintain your sanity amidst all the pressure that comes with starting or running a business.
1. MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE.
I cannot stress enough the importance of balance; you have to keep it 50-50 in all aspects of your life. You can’t just keep pushing yourself to the max all the time; that’s the fastest way to burnout, according to the Australian Institute of Business.
Put in work, but also put in a healthy amount of socializing, catching up with friends and family and even just some time alone to relax, regroup & get your shit together (GYST), that way you will have a greater ability to focus on tasks at hand.
I know you’ve probably heard this lot(if you haven’t check out our previous post on this topic.) Exercise is not only good for you physically, (alleviating those pesky physical manifestations of stress like headaches, tummy aches etc.) but mentally too.
When you work out, you release Endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers. They give you a kind of “high” that just makes everything better – ever heard of runner’s high?
Psychologists have also found that workouts with multiple reps and sets have a calming effect on the mind due to the repetitive nature of the exercise.
3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS- plan accordingly..
More often than not, stress and anxiety have overpowering and almost debilitating effects. You can overcome this by making sure you plan your workload according to your capabilities. Do not overwork yourself.
Start with small and achievable goals, as the more you accomplish, regardless of the size of the accomplishment, the better you will feel and the more motivated you will be. Using the S.M.A.R.T method can also help you further plan your workloads the acronym stands for :
- S- smart
- M- measurable
- R- realistic
- T-time based
Did you know that exposure to sunlight helps your body release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that enhances mood and helps fight depression?
Research published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives has shown that time spent outdoors boosts your confidence and self-esteem, not to mention the many biological benefits it has. So make sure to catch some early morning rays which are also rich in vitamin D.
Hit two birds with one stone by doing Yoga outside. With the prevalence of ET; Mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises coupled with yoga or prayer is another way to calm and quieten your brain to reduce anxiety and stress.
Prayer (if you are Spiritual) is also known to have such effects so just do what works for you.
6. GET YOUR 8 HOURS IN.
You know how when your phone or laptop starts spazzing out and the first thing that comes to mind is to restart your device – that’s the same logic with your body and mind.
Getting enough quality sleep is crucial to performing well at work and completing tasks…
7. KEEP A WELLNESS DIARY.
I know this might sound strange but it’s all about slowly changing your mind-set. In your diary/journal, write down all the things/people you are grateful for or any other POSITIVE thing in your life.
The key is to reduce your focus on the negative which can spark anxiety.
It might be difficult to start journaling every single day but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start. In the beginning, hold yourself accountable to writing in your diary at least twice a week.
8. PERSEVERANCE AND PATIENCE.
At the end of the day, to make it as an entrepreneur you need a whole lot of patience to achieve goals, and even more perseverance for the failures you may encounter.
Starting a business is like a roller coaster, exciting but scary too, and as an entrepreneur you need to be ready for the highs and lows. You will have sleepless nights and failed ventures but you will learn from them all, because you are driven, you are passionate and you are goal oriented.
Never let the fear of failure or of difficulty deter you from your goals. Just imagine if Oprah let all the challenges she faced as a child growing up in poverty and then later the initial rejection she faced in the media industry, get to her. Where would Oprah be today?
Invest in yourself today and reap the rewards tomorrow, until next time, happy conquering! #GirlBoss.
Author: Selam Ahmed
Selam Ahmed is many things: fun, loving, fierce supporter of women, bookworm and an eternal Philomath. She always takes things as they come and is ever excited to see what life has to offer next. She is a foodie that loves to cook, in the best of times and the worst of times, from a very young age cooking has always been a way for her to stay sane. As an upcoming blogger (can you guess what type of blog it will be? hint: FOOD!)and as one of the contributors to the Safe Space blog, she is thrilled to welcome you all to a community that is based on uplifting women. We’ve got your back. Always.