Why is good mental health for entrepreneurs so important?
Being an entrepreneur has many advantages. It allows you to follow your passion, set your own schedule, and be your own boss. But any experienced entrepreneur will tell you that the road to success does not go without challenges or obstacles. Working through problems is a priority as a startup business owner, but mental health for entrepreneurs needs to be given the same level of importance.
Why is mental health important for entrepreneurs?
From a mental health survey of more than 300 entrepreneurs, 63% reported dealing with burnout and 59% dealing with anxiety – a far cry from the glamourized entrepreneurial lifestyle that populates our Instagram feeds.
Although being an entrepreneur can be an amazing lifestyle, in reality, it is common for individuals to have stressors over finances, the day-to-day, or keeping a work-life balance. To ensure these natural thoughts do not escalate into larger problems, knowing how to properly identify signs of poor mental health and its effects needs to be more openly discussed.
Common symptoms of poor mental health amongst entrepreneurs
- Inability to focus
When you feel overwhelmed by the laundry list of projects you need to complete, it can be extremely difficult to focus on any of them. This can lead to feeling more stressed or overwhelmed because it is taking much longer to scratch tasks off your list.
Regardless of how much sleep you are getting, chronically feeling mentally and physically exhausted is a sign you are headed for burnout. When you no longer have the energy to do the work you once loved, this is something to take note of.
- Decreased performance
Due to exhaustion and an inability to focus, you begin to notice a decrease in the quality of your work. Creativity and innovation are best fueled by a clear mind, but when you have a lot on your mind and you are not well-rested, this can hinder bringing forth your best self.
Feeling anxious all the time is a sign that something needs to change. Experiencing a small dose of anxiety over an upcoming investor pitch or sales meeting is quite common, but this anxiety should not be a daily occurrence.
- Lack of patience
If you tend to be a fairly patient person but find yourself becoming short with team members or others around you, this can begin to negatively affect relationships which can impact your business.
How can entrepreneurs manage their mental health?
- Practice self-care
Rest, sleep, exercise, eat healthily, meditate, and disconnect.
- Don’t keep emotions bottled
Chances are if you do, it will build to become worse. Talk to other entrepreneurs or trusted people to who you can vent and go for advice.
- Slow down your pace
Entrepreneurs often have many jobs on the go. Sometimes the best way to lower stress and have better mental health is to take a breath and slow down.
- Take up a hobby
When you are already super busy, adding another element to your life can seem impossible. However, taking time to focus on a passion unrelated to your business can bring more joy and balance to your life.
- Set clear boundaries
We know that at times you would be able to fill 24 hours of your day with work. This is why it is healthy to set clear boundaries such as firm working hours, device-free time, and when you have set aside time for yourself or your family.
- Join a startup incubator
Startup incubators help entrepreneurs work through all the steps to launch and grow a successful business. Having mentors to keep you focused and stay on the right track can alleviate a lot of stress and overall, improve your mental health.
Visit Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas to discover how they help entrepreneurs launch, grow, and scale their businesses in a welcoming, inclusive, and stress-free environment.