May marks Mental Health Month in several countries around the globe. Over the next few weeks, we’re taking this opportunity to focus on an area of entrepreneurship that often goes neglected – the mental health of business owners.
Entrepreneurship is often noted to be a lonely endeavour. Sure, you get to pick and choose your own hours, what contracts to work on and who you do business with, but it’s a double-edged sword. If mental health isn’t given equal importance, it’s all too easy to make poor choices when it comes to healthy living. Your diet may slip, you’re sleeping less, and suddenly you can find yourself struggling.
We’ve been there, we know how it feels, and we’re here to tell you that you aren’t alone.
The Vicious Cycle of Time
Ask any business owner what their most precious resource is, and they’ll respond that it’s time. Finding the time and energy to devote to healthy dietary and lifestyle habits is a challenge. Especially when we’ve been conditioned to think success is only attainable by drive, self-starters who possess a strong work ethic. Your first step along the path is to acknowledge this isn’t the case. It’s just as important to maintain your mental health alongside your business. Here are some pointers for achieving this goal.
Make Your Mental Health a Top Priority
In everything you do, whether it’s work or your personal life, make mental health a top priority. If you plow on and ignore the signs of physical and mental fatigue, eventually your health can decline to the point you’re unable to work. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in every five Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem in any given year. Even if you feel fine, don’t take your mental health for granted. Make a conscious commitment to yourself to prioritize your mental wellbeing.
Health Flourishes with Routine
To successfully implement any change in your priorities you’ll need a routine. Business owners struggle with creating and maintaining a regular structure in their lives due to the challenges of business pulling them in several directions at once. Start simple, try to maintain a routine with your sleep and waking times, meal times and exercise. Make sure to work out, optimally in the mornings, as exercise is proven to help with stress reduction and fosters a more positive mental outlook.
Learn to Delegate and Let Go
Business owners want to do it all – but there are only so many hours in the day. You won’t be able to develop a routine or devote time to self care if you’re too busy handling every facet of your business. It’s time to relinquish some of your control and delegate tasks to your people. You hired them because you trust them. Using them to their full potential won’t just free up more time for you, it will help them grow as people and achieve their career goals.
Take an Active Role in Stress Reduction
Even if you follow all the above steps, some daily stress is still inevitable. The good news is there are tried and tested ways to cope with this and counteract our body’s stress response. The first step is to be mindful of the stress and how it is affecting you, rather than trying to ignore it, repress it, or act like nothing is going on. Take an active role in minimizing the impact by adopting practices like yoga, meditation, deep breathing and mindfulness. Introducing regular time for self-care will have an invaluable impact on your mental health.
Let Us Help
GD Commerce can step in and handle several tasks that will allow you to devote more time to mental health. Contact Us and find out how we can lessen the load.