Entrepreneurs need to be motivated, be able to multi-task and be willing to commit to long hours.
And if all these things are not managed properly, this can impact on our mental health.
There are, however, ways that entrepreneurs can nurture their mental health whilst nurturing the health of their business too.
Here’s how to have positive mental health alongside a positive, healthy business.
- Stress points
Financial worries, loneliness and uncertainty are three factors that can cause entrepreneurial stress.
When you’re first growing your business, you may have periods of uncertainty, regret or self-doubt.
And even once the business is successful, there may be new pressures to face.
Knowing that employees depend on the continued success of the business for their livelihoods can be a constant pressure for business owners. There’s also the worry that things can go wrong or things will only be a success for a short time.
To interrupt any cycles of worry and anxiety surrounding negative outcomes, entrepreneurs may find meditation helpful.
Meditation can help us to prevent negative thoughts from spiralling into overwhelming cycles of worry and stress, and instead allows for more grounded thinking.
Overwhelming and regular negative thoughts can be an early warning sign of mental ill-health. View the others.
- Be yourself
Business owners and entrepreneurs may judge themselves by their business. Aligning personal success with business success, means that if a business fails, business owners shoulder the full responsibility, deeming themselves a failure in the process.
This is a unhealthy cycle that can manifest insecurities, anxieties and depression.
Everyone needs to monitor their work/life balance.Feeling you must dedicate every working hour to your business or it won’t be successful may mean you neglect time with friends, family or yourself
One way to actively maintain a balance between work and your personal life is by scheduling your day.
Set strict working hours and ensure that once the final hour is up, the laptop is shut, the phone is off, and you step away from the office. Immerse yourself in something else: indoors; outdoors: it doesn’t matter what your hobbies and interests are but make sure you make time for something else in your life, away from work.
Failure to create a sustainable work/life balance could lead to burnout, which can take months to recover from and could leave your business, as well as your mental health, in jeopardy. Read our tips about how to identify, and avoid, burning out.
- Create a support network
Just as your emerging business will need a support network that allows it to flourish, you as an entrepreneur need the same.
A good support network can help you shoulder the highs and lows of business, and can provide you with a place to air any fears, concerns or worries.
Support networks for entrepreneurs are often called entrepreneurial ecosystems. They are composed of fellow entrepreneurs and business mentors, but can also extend out to suppliers and vendors. Local entrepreneurial ecosystems can often be found by searching public groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. There, the group will post their next event which can provide new business owners with opportunities to meet like-minded people.
Creating good business relationships as well as personal ones from these meet-ups will enable business-owners to talk about how they are feeling. Being able to openly discuss issues, troubles and problems and get help and support, or even to just not feel isolated and alone can do wonders for mental health.
Looking for more ways to improve your mental health? Read our 8 recommended things that can help, here.
- A healthy working environment
Workplaces are becoming ever-more mentally health aware. And all workplaces should strive to promote healthy wellbeing strategies for leaders and colleagues.
A healthy business environment is classed as one which contains a culture that is open, constructive, communicative, collaborative and supportive. There are aesthetic requirements too. Employee workspaces should be comfortable, spacious, with good fresh-air circulation and as many opportunities for natural lighting as possible.
Healthy workplace culture can be maintained by having employees trained in mental health awareness. This promotes a supportive and open forum for anyone that is struggling, and ensures warning signs are identified and addressed.
A healthy business environment can serve as a miniature entrepreneurial ecosystem. If business owners and employees can talk openly about their experiences, they can receive necessary support as well as begin to implement wellness initiatives into the business processes.
Having a healthy workplace begins by promoting positive mental health within its environment. You can read more on how to do that in our blog here.
- Study self-care
Self-care is an important tool that many of us can utilise in our day-to-day lives. Self-care doesn’t have to mean spa days and massages (although they may help!), it can simply be carving out space for ourselves during the day.
A twenty-minute walk; listening to our favourite music; a long bath; an early night; a favourite book. These are all self-care activities that can be implemented into our busy routines.
If you are prioritising work above caring for yourself, it might be time to reconnect with yourself.
Hobbies and activities are the best way to move away from work and clear your mind. But even if you don’t have the time, or the inclination, for a new sport, just twenty minutes outside in the fresh air can be enough to reconnect us with nature and the world around us. Implementing self-care into a daily routine can boost mental health, simply through relaxing and finding the space and time to enjoy the things we love.
Managing our mental health doesn’t have to seem impossible or untenable. Our founder, Al Chester, has years of experience working both nationally and internationally to specialise in supporting employee wellbeing across businesses of all shapes and sizes. Al knows what it takes to make a workplace healthy for its leaders, and its colleagues. Being a Mental Health First Aider is the first step on that ladder. For more information, or to book a course with us, click here.