Entrepreneurship can be an exhilarating experience with incredible ups, but the downs can be debilitating. Unfortunately, women tend to be more affected than men. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 43% of female leaders burn out, compared to only 31% of male leaders at the same level.
Given the current climate, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of mental health and self-care. As we move into a new normal, we must continue to prioritize these areas to ensure we have the mental clarity needed to tackle the day-to-day of running a business.
A checklist of support tools and strategies is essential for maintaining emotional balance and avoiding extreme highs and lows. Here are three tips to help promote mental well-being.
Seek professional support
You don’t have to wait until you’re in crisis or depression to get therapy. Regular sessions with a suitable therapist can significantly influence your outlook on life and business.
With the right therapist, you will be held accountable and guided on the most effective ways to organize your thoughts and prioritize your tasks. Plus, unbiased advice from someone uninvolved in your day-to-day life or business can provide refreshing new insights. “Therapy is useful for everyone, including entrepreneurs who experience high levels of stress. Engaging in regular therapy sessions provides benefits such as building a roadmap, setting goals , reducing stress, and setting healthy boundaries,” said Brenda Heidrich, Ph.D, of Santa Monique, Calif.
If therapy isn’t right for you, other alternatives exist, such as life and business coaches. Find someone familiar with your industry who keeps you upbeat and motivated.
Create a consistent routine
Unlike a 9-5 job, running a business doesn’t have the same level of consistency. A business owner must continuously find solutions to various challenges. Unfortunately, this constant problem solving can lead to burnout without a clear roadmap of goal setting and deadlines.
Maintaining a consistent schedule is crucial for good mental health, especially when running a business. We frequently hear stories of successful people who religiously start their day at 5 a.m., read for an hour, meditate, and exercise before most of the world wakes up. Many people feel like they have to catch up or believe they have to stick to this plan to be successful. However, only some people thrive in the morning, and some perform best in the afternoon or evening. “Everyone is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to success. To optimize your performance, try waking up according to your natural body clock, scheduling important meetings when you are most alert, and engaging in physical activity around These strategies can help you maximize productivity, stay focused, and achieve your goals,” said Erica Rooney, CEO and Founder of From Now to Next and keynote speaker.
Invest in your physical health
Good physical health is crucial for mental clarity and peak performance. So start your day with a 30-minute walk while listening to your favorite podcast, or mix up your routine by hitting the gym or signing up for ClassPass.
As a business owner, it’s common to overlook the importance of healthy eating, falling into the trap of mindlessly forgetting to eat or snacking at your desk. Instead, make every meal a ritual by logging out of your phone and email. Meal prep can help you stay on track with healthy eating. Invest in a water bottle encouraging you to drink more water to stay hydrated.
Finally, prioritizing your sleep by creating a consistent routine is vital. Joshua Roland, Physician and Sleep Medicine Expert, MD, FAASM says, “Sleep is essential for health and well-being and for optimizing cognitive function and productivity. Simple changes in behavior can sometimes lead to significant improvements in sleep. For example, good habits such as consistent sleep and wake times, having a relaxation routine, eliminating caffeine in the afternoon, and avoiding screen use in bed can help maintain regular, healthy sleep. .
As an entrepreneur, prioritizing mental health is essential for your well-being and the success of your business. Seeking professional advice, committing to your physical health, and creating an achievable schedule will lead to sustainable growth.