Depression, anxiety, and general sadness are commonly found in people who are under large amounts of stress. A recent study revealed that 72% of entrepreneurs self-report mental health issues. This is significantly higher than the rest of the general population.
1. Physical Health is Everything
Your physical health is as important as your mental health. So many entrepreneurs neglect their fitness simply because they cannot find the time to go to the gym or take a walk. But this allows stress and tension to build. You also have to take into account what you're putting into your body.
Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy D, Founder and Clinical Director of Paradigm Malibu, an adolescent mental health treatment facility in Malibu, CA said, "There is a direct correlation between an out of control physical state and a business that is out of control. Entrepreneurs that focus on their bodies are more likely to lead successful companies."
2. Celebrate the Small Victories
There's nothing like celebrating a small victory. It releases much of the pent-up aggression and tension experienced by entrepreneurs on a daily basis. On such a rough road, even the small victories can make the difference between success and failure.
3. Find a Counselor
You'll be surprised at how talking to someone can make a huge difference to your mental health. Many entrepreneurs lack someone they trust to share their thoughts and feelings with. This is a serious problem because it enables toxic thoughts to blossom and take hold.
Find someone you trust to share your thoughts and feelings with. This may be a close friend or a significant other. Make sure it's someone who will give things to you straight without pulling any punches.
4. Take a Break
One characteristic of entrepreneurs is they spend every day of the year stuck in the office trying to make their companies work. While it may seem as if you are getting more work done, you are actually rubbing away at your mental stability.
It doesn't have to be a long break. A few days away from your business at the weekend every few months is ideal for recharging your batteries.
5. Get a Hobby
You need a life away from your business. Engage other areas of your brain by committing to activities that have nothing to do with the world of work. This will give you the mental space you need to recharge your mental batteries.
You may even find that it gives you more inspiration.
6. Stop Worrying about Others
It's easy to get obsessed with what the competition is doing at any one time. Of course, you have to take them into account for business purposes, but there's a danger of becoming too focused on them. Before you know it, you are worrying about what they are doing, and this is a slippery slope.
Agonizing over them isn't going to make them go away. You can do nothing to change what you're doing. All you can focus on is your activities. Save your mental energy by concentrating on how you can make your product or service better.
7. Take Regular Daily Breaks
Breaks throughout the day do a lot to calm your thoughts and to make sure you don't get carried away with your work. Aim to take 10 or 15 minutes every few hours to do something else. This may include something like meditation. Alternatively, you can pick up a favorite book or watch some television. The only rule is it should have nothing to do with work.
8. Recharge and Balance
If you have spent all day giving presentations, make sure that you don't spend your evening at a business dinner. You need to achieve some form of balance in your life. Furthermore, the only way you can do this is through varying your activities.
9. Work Alone
In an open office environment, you may be interacting with people all day. But even the most extroverted person needs to get away from people to work alone. Create a miniature version of the Fortress of Solitude somewhere in your life. Even if it's only a place for you to answer emails without interruption, it can help you to become less angry and less irritable.
10. Practice and Plan
Attempting to go into every meeting and presentation blind creates more worry and hassle than needed. Practice and plan for these big occasions. Test how you are going to deliver your message and you'll find your thoughts to be far less consuming.
These ten tips will help you to protect your mental health. If you believe you have a mental health condition, don't allow it to fester. Think about how you are going to address your mental health today.