Starting and running a business are intense and stressful activities. Even if you love being an entrepreneur and you’re truly passionate about the work you do, this type of role can take a toll on you over time.
If you want to maintain better health and better relationships, it’s important to prioritize your mental well-being.
But how can you do it when you’re so busy?
The Risk of Entrepreneurial Burnout
Entrepreneurs face a unique blend of mental health challenges. With high levels of stress, long working hours, limited personal time, and the demands of leadership, burnout becomes a threatening possibility. If you’re not appropriately managing your mental health, you run the risk of experiencing negative mental health symptoms. These range from depression and heightened anxiety to irritability, mood swings, and constant feelings of exhaustion.
At extreme levels, you may even experience physical symptoms like stomach aches, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and an increased risk of illnesses, heart disease, stroke, and other complications.
Mental Health Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Be Practicing
Fortunately, mental health management is accessible, even if you’re limited on time. Entrepreneurs should be practicing all (or most) of these mental health habits on a regular basis:
1. Attending therapy.
New York therapy sessions are arguably your best tool in the pursuit of better mental health since your therapist will help you find the right combination of tools and strategies that can help you manage and improve your mental well-being. Together with your therapist, you’ll explore your biggest issues, glean a new perspective on your life, and discover the best path forward for your mind and emotions. Even if all you do is talk openly about your feelings, sessions have the potential to be incredibly valuable.
2. Taking breaks.
Entrepreneurs often sabotage themselves by refusing to take breaks. They want to be as productive and focused as possible, so they work long hours and jump from meeting to meeting without ever taking time for themselves. This is counterproductive. You’ll be much more effective, and much happier if you schedule breaks throughout the day and make them a priority.
Mindfulness meditation is a strategy that forces you to focus on the present moment. Instead of dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about the future of your business, your attention finds itself exclusively dedicated to the immediate moment. If this seems simple, that’s because it is. But practicing mindfulness meditation regularly is shown to foster massive improvements in your outlook on life and stress management.
Journaling is another low-cost, time-efficient strategy that can help you get a better grasp on your mental health. Preferably every day, or at least once a week, you should spend time writing down your thoughts and feelings and analyzing where those thoughts and feelings come from. This can help you process the most stressful events in your life, get a healthier perspective on the people and events around you, and ultimately reduce your stress.
5. Practicing gratitude.
Expressing gratitude is shown to boost your mood, both in the short term and the long term (if you do it regularly). Even on your worst days, you can find something to be grateful for. For example, you can be grateful to have a loving spouse, a nice house, or even a delicious breakfast burrito to start your day. Practicing gratitude works even for the little things – so do it consciously and often.
6. Exercising (preferably outside).
Physical exercise is demonstrated to be one of the best ways to reduce stress. As an added bonus, it’s incredibly valuable for your physical health, especially if you exercise vigorously on a regular basis. If you have the option, try to exercise outside, with activities like walking, biking, or jogging. The fresh air and sunshine can boost your mood even further and minimize the impact of even your most stressful days.
7. Sleeping well.
Sleep is closely linked to mental health. If you’re struggling with mental health, you’ll have trouble sleeping. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll struggle with mental health. It’s a vicious cycle, so making good sleep a top priority is one of the most important mental health habits. Schedule 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night and treat it like you would an important meeting.
8. Going on vacation.
Finally, it’s important to take occasional breaks from business to go on vacation. This can be tough for the most dedicated entrepreneurs, but you need to trust your team to carry on in your stead.
If you want to avoid burnout and live a healthy, yet still productive life, it’s important to make your mental health a priority. While there’s nothing wrong with ambition and dedication to your business, you can’t afford to let yourself slip into the dark territory – especially when so many of these habits are easy to consistently adopt.