This is particularly difficult if you are running multiple businesses or working multiple jobs. So what is the psychological price of entrepreneurship? It has become more important than ever to openly discuss the issue of entrepreneurship and mental health, especially within the context of the global pandemic.
72% of entrepreneurs involved in a study reported that they were dealing with mental health concerns.* While we’re largely aware of the mental strains that come with starting and running a business; but while business owners are constantly working extremely hard to make sure their business is a success, they often forget about the most important thing in running a business- their mental wellbeing.
Mental strain is not exclusive to entrepreneurship, but the challenges of stress, isolation, excessive working hours, uncertainty about the business, and a lack of support can quickly lead to depression or other mental health issues if not kept in check.
According to a 2019 paper in The Journal of Business Venturing titled “Entrepreneurship and well-being: Past, present, and future”, entrepreneurial well-being is defined as:
“The experience of satisfaction, positive affect, infrequent negative affect, and psychological functioning in relation to developing, starting, growing, and running an entrepreneurial venture.”
But where do we start in ensuring we take care of our mental health?
It starts with the little things – in and outside of work. Things like exercising and eating healthier, learning and practicing turning your ‘work-brain’ off and spending more ‘you’ time away from work.
Keeping your mental health in check is not only pivotal to your well-being, but your business as well. Usually people only address these issues when they realise that if they get physically or mentally ill, they can’t work and don’t earn any money. It is then that the penny drops and one starts to place a real value and premium on sleep, bedtime routines and exercising.
Now we know you’re thinking, But where do I start?
- Identify the areas of your life where you feel negativity or conflict. What do you feel your life needs more or less of? Start activities and practices that remove that friction, and build routines around them for more stability.
- Turn new habits into successful routines. There’s no denying that building structure around our lives creates more stability. We can see this being practiced through morning and evening routines which have become so popular among entrepreneurs and c-level executives in recent years.
- Allocate and spend the necessary time building social connections to put an end to any loneliness caused by work pressure and busy schedules. With healthy habits and improved social connections, your business and personal life will thrive.
Now that you’ve identified the areas that might be troubling you, finding that work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues in the workplace. It can lead to physical consequences such as hypertension, digestive troubles, chronic aches and pains and heart problems
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Discover simple ways to find the line between hustle and rest with these quick steps:
- Set Clear Work and Personal Goals
What are you hustling for? Make sure you have clear goals set so you know what you’re trying to achieve. Write down your goals, break them down into tasks, and give them deadlines.
Prioritize your goals. You can’t do everything at once. Decide what are your most important, pressing goals and put the others aside.
It is important to create goals that align with your passions as well as career. What do you want to achieve outside of work? Your career can easily become all consuming, don’t forget your passion and personal life needs to be a priority as well.
- Know when to say no
If you’ve already reached burn out, make sure your prioritise rest over anything else. Yes, this means switching off your phone and taking some much needed R&R. We know that when you’re trying to launch or run your own business you’ll want to give it your all, all of the time, but pushing yourself beyond the brink of exhaustion is not healthy nor productive for your business
- Schedule personal time as you would your work tasks
“Me time”, “family time”, “downtime” are all words you need to get to know. Well. When setting up your daily or weekly schedule, include (and prioritise!) personal time within that schedule. We know how quickly a to-do list can grow and so it is important to allocate chunks of time devoted solely to your personal life, including some good old-fashioned downtime.
- Delegate Work When Possible
It is important that when running your business, you don’t feel obligated to take on every single task yourself. Outsource work when and where you can.
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