There’s no doubting the numerous benefits being your own boss can bring. Flexibility, control, passion and intrinsic motivation are all often at an entrepreneur’s finger tips. But with these often comes toll of mental anxiety that other workers of nine-to-five positions just might not have to balance. In order to maintain good self-care, we offer our fellow small business owners several mental health tips to follow that might help carry business owners through tough times and keep a steady work-life-balance for the better.
When we run our own small businesses, we often carry a heavier mental load than most. The added stress and responsibility of being our own provider is not an easy one to navigate. Be sure to take the time to check in on your mental well-being and not let it reach a tipping point of no return. Remember that mental- wellness and success often go hand-in-hand!
- Mental health days are not for the mentally ill. It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and to not be afraid to take a step back and take a day off when it’s feasible (and sometimes you need to make it feasible). As long as you don’t make a habit of it, cancelling an occasional meeting or taking a day to relax and relieve anxious tension can truly be invaluable.
- Know your limits. Try to not compare yourself to other small business owners who might be comfortable always on the run with back-to-back meetings. We can’t and don’t all operate that way, and for some of us it’s disastrous when we do. Schedule what works and makes sense for you, and don’t overdue it.
- Stay in-network. That is, find your tribe of fellow small business owners to touch base with on the regular. This isn’t to compare yourself to them as we warn about above, but to be held accountable and participate in something larger than yourself in a collaborative setting. It’s often helpful to keep bigger picture things in perspective when you can engage with others in a similar boat and see what works for them.
- Therapy is for all. Today, society is finally taking steps to make the world understand the numerous benefits of therapy for individuals from all walks of life. Even if you don’t need to meet with a therapist on a regular basis, know an individual or two by name or referral (perhaps from your network above), so if you do find yourself struggling, you don’t have to start at square one to find help. And on that note…
- Get help if you need it. Being a small business owner is no easy feat, and the mental toll can sneak up on us if we are not careful. If you start to experience lack of sleep, panic attacks, sudden anxiety, or other symptoms that you find are related to your work (or personal life for that matter) don’t wait to get help. Meet with a professional for therapy, or even to get a prescription if they feel that it might be warranted and helpful to you as a patient. Doing so might end up saving your small business by giving you the tools to push through.