How to Take Care of Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur?
Congrats! You are an entrepreneur!
The bad news is that being an entrepreneur means that you are naturally and continuously under stress and pressure.
Maintaining your mental health can help you be a more effective leader. When you are mentally well-equipped, you’re able to make better decisions and manage your team effectively. You’ll be less likely to get frustrated or angry with your team, which in turn facilitates a healthier environment, more conducive for performance and growth.
There are many peaks and valleys involved in the process of becoming an entrepreneur: from coming up with an idea, launching your product, and developing your business over time, let alone dealing with unexpected challenges that arise on the road. For this very reason, taking care of your mental health is extremely important. After all, your business depends on you!
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health?
Setting manageable, realistic weekly or daily goals can help you meet your priorities and finish your day feeling a sense of accomplishment. Research shows that the more control we have over our goals, the less stressed we feel daily. Breaking down your macro targets into micro-goals allows you to set realistic expectations with yourself and your team about your workload. In my long practice with behavior modification, I highly encouraged setting a small reward to get whenever you accomplish a task (such as taking a 2-minutes’ beak) to induce further achievement. Such technique, also called positive reinforcement, uses a targeted reward every time the wanted behavior is achieved and the contingency is met.
Set realistic boundaries
As entrepreneurs, the line between “work” and “life” can become blurry. That’s why it’s important to not only set boundaries but to stick to them. One way to set boundaries is to identify your priorities as non-negotiable and block those out in your calendar. This could mean blocking out time on the weekends or setting aside time to have nightly dinners with your family to maintain a healthy work life balance.
Create an open working environment
As an entrepreneur, keep in mind that those employees who suppress their depressive feelings only create an environment where these feelings will fester and grow. These feelings need to be addressed with professionals and with managers. By creating an environment in which such talks can happen, you are actively creating a more open and accepting workplace, which in turn leads to more creativity and productivity.
Build a morning routine
Routines are so essential not only to acquire but also to maintain healthy actions that eventually will translate into habits. By creating a morning routine that sets you up to have an efficient and productive day, you are more likely to achieve those things. When you lack a routine, you’re likely to live in a state of reactivity; and that will not translate well for your or your business as an entrepreneur.
I’m a strong proponent of routines. They are your fastest way to building healthy behaviors, especially those that you might find difficult to perform at first. Rapid Transformational Therapy (or RTT) builds in those patterns of behaviors deeply, first during the RTT session itself, then progressively through repetition using an audio targeted towards visualizing those patterns.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet can help prevent depression and cognitive impairment. According to researchers at Harvard, “eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.” In short, try to keep away from meals or snacks filled with sugar- these will literally cut down your energy in half and use up all your power. So skip those free donuts during your meetings, or sugar-filled coffee shakes from your local coffee store, and stick to a protein-filled snack that will pump your energy up, such as a mix of almond, berries and nuts.
You most likely are not able to go to the spa, get a relaxing massage, or partake in many of your typical self-care routines. But self-care is more important now than ever. And busy entrepreneurs need to remind themselves to take time out of their busy schedules and put their mental health first. So, do take that brisk walk out in the sun in between your appointments.
Know that professional help is available
Entrepreneurs often underestimate the amount of work, effort and pressure they will have to deal with, and most likely end up losing their momentum or passion that got them pursuing their passion’ project or career in the first place. Help is within your reach. Share your story with Dr. Carla about your mental health struggles as an entrepreneur to make sure your original dream does not turn into a nightmare.