urturing your mental health as an entrepreneur is crucial to your wellbeing, not just as a startup business owner, but as a human being. The last year or so definitely hasn’t been easy on any of us, but it’s also highlighted the importance of looking after ourselves, beyond our businesses. When things go wrong, (or in this case, a global pandemic happens), we need to find a way to cope, so when the good comes, we’re ready to welcome it.
The pandemic has led to entrepreneur mental health levels dropping to worryingly low levels, and I’ve seen first hand the impact this has had on clients, as well as myself. A global study by King’s College Business School reported that overall entrepreneur life satisfaction was on average 12% lower than pre-pandemic levels. Only 50% said “they found enough time to mentally recover from work”, and it really hit home.
Entrepreneur life can be incredibly challenging, but also extremely rewarding – if you let it. However, being constantly overworked or stressed just to keep your head above water isn’t where any of us want to be, so it’s important to learn how to deal with the roadblocks that may come your way. So, I’ve put together my own little wellbeing guide to help you keep on track.
Whether that’s breaking even, or acquiring your first client or customer, it’s all worth celebrating! As a startup business owner, you have every right to do a happy dance every time someone makes a purchase or you get the OK for acquiring a new client. In fact, I’d highly recommend it.
The aura of those around you can have an even bigger impact on your mental wellbeing than you might realise. Surround yourself with individuals who empower you and lift you up, in both your personal life and your business. It might be family and friends, or mentors, suppliers and customers. I have a truly lovely business coach that I go to for business advice – and I genuinely couldn’t do this without her.
Being your own boss, it’s easy to forget that you have your own needs, wants and goals to tend to as well – you’re only human after all. What self-care acts would really help boost your wellbeing in the long term? This doesn’t have to be something as cliché as a bubble bath – though dive in, if you fancy one! You could simply carve out some time for one of your favourite hobbies, or sitting down with a hot brew in the morning before work. Make a list and prioritise absolute musts, and things that can come later.
When you’re not clocking into an office from 9-5, it can be difficult to monitor just how much time you’re spending hunched over on your phone, and before you know it, an hour has passed. Try time blocking out your daily to-do list and factor in some tea breaks and gentle stretching, especially time outside and away from a screen. I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro technique.
If you struggle to stick to a routine, why not put your working hours into your email signature? This will also let your clients know when you’re having downtime and help manage their expectations.
You’ve heard it all before, but it really does do wonders for your wellbeing in every way. Aim to unwind an hour before bed, minimising your screen time, and aim to get a good seven to eight hours of sleep to make the most of your energy. Move your phone to an unreachable location if checking your emails is too tempting.
Getting outside in nature has been proven to reduce feelings of stress and anger, as well as improve your physical health and mood. Take a mindful walk on your own or with a pet and take in the beauty around you with zero distractions – no phones allowed! Even 10 minutes can do wonders.
Let’s face it. We’re all going to have bad days, especially as entrepreneurs. It’s likely that every day will present a new set of challenges. By applying a tried and tested strategy to your life, you can better cope with stress or burnout when it inevitably comes along. Some examples are journaling, yoga, meditation, reading, cuddling pets or going for a walk.
This doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Simply having your own safe space to go to recuperate and be productive can help make you feel more at ease. Why not decorate with a pinboard and hang up some inspirational and motivational artwork and messages? Really make it your own.
Plan to dedicate a decent amount of your week to free time. Having that extra bandwidth to do what you enjoy will help recharge you for days to come and keep your energy levels higher for longer. Don’t let extremely long work hours become the norm and put some time aside for self-care.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Your business earnings don’t define your value as a person – you were put on this earth to do more than make money! If things aren’t where you want them to be right now in your business, that’s okay. We learn and grow every day. This doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of love and success. Business is a marathon, not a sprint.
By applying just one or two of these practices to your life, it could make a huge difference to your mental wellbeing, leading to you hitting burnout far less often and making room for bigger and better things in your business. As time goes on, you’ll instil habits that will stay with you for life, letting you make the most of your time and energy.
If you’re struggling with self-care and boundaries in business, feel free to reach out to me via Instagram for a chat at @ebbflowandgrow. My DMs are always open for those in need of support. Or send me an email at email@example.com
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