Running our own business can be overwhelming. Yes, there are many aspects of running a business which are enjoyable, but sometimes the inability to switch our minds off from the tasks at hand or even the self-induced pressure to perform can start to wear us down.
As a business owner, what steps do you take to protect your mental health?
With today being World Mental Health Day, I thought it would be fitting to share a few things which have helped me support my own mental wellbeing, whilst running a business:
Schedule in time to do something you enjoy.
Whether it be reading, going out for a walk or practicing mindfulness, make sure you schedule time for the things that make your soul happy. “Schedule” is the word to focus on here. From personal experience, I know that unless I have specifically reserved time in my diary, the day just flies by, without me having taken a moment for myself. I am however always thankful for the small mental relief I experience when I do.
Identify what causes you ongoing stress and confide in someone you trust to help you find either a solution to the problem or a realistic coping strategy.
Many of us may be solopreneurs, but we are not islands. More often than not, we have a created a circle of people whom we engage with on a regular basis, be it trusted acquaintances, friends or family. We are not alone. Protecting our mental health as business owners implies a certain amount of self-awareness and as such, we need to make ourselves aware of anything that may be weighing us down, on an ongoing basis. Oftentimes, we might not feel the need to share what is aisling us. But rest assured that there will likely be at least one person in your circle who can relate to what you may be feeling and who would be more than happy to offer a listening ear and / or some helpful suggestions. Having the courage to share personal struggles can also reinforce friendships and relationships, which will turn strengthen our mental health.
Be kind to yourself. Talk kindly to yourself.
We may find it cheesy to “talk to ourselves as we would a best friend” but it’s not news that the way we talk to ourselves on a daily basis, especially when things don’t go to plan, can either have a positive or detrimental effect on our mental wellbeing. Remember: your brain believes what your mouth tells it.
Focus on small wins.
I have personally found that focusing on small wins each day works wonders on my mental health. Whether it be successfully setting healthy boundaries between my work and personal life, receiving positive feedback or even reaching a personal goal I had set myself that day, small wins help me remember that even when I face temporary setbacks, I have so much to be proud of and thankful for.
Remember: a bad hour or a bad morning doesn’t necessarily mean a bad day. And even a bad day doesn’t define you as a business owner.
Check out the Mental Health Foundation’s website for more tips on protecting your mental health as business owners. And if there’s anything my team can do to help relieve some of your daily stress, we are only an email away.