As a self employed entrepreneur that works from home, mental health is always at the top of my mind and something I strive to make a priority. Working for yourself and being your own boss has many perks but for someone that deals with any sort of mental health struggle, sometimes those perks aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be.
Before putting my own thoughts together, I wanted to do a little research on the topic of entrepreneurs and mental health. Not to my surprise, Googling the term “mental health and entrepreneurship” yielded over 27 million results. Some, like this Forbes article, referred to entrepreneurs and how the same qualities that make them fantastic entrepreneurs are the same qualities that make them susceptible to mental health issues. Others discussed the astonishing amount of entrepreneurs that deal with mental health disorders and ways to generally manage your health as an entrepreneur; recognizing some of the obvious stresses that come with entrepreneurial path.
Regardless of which aspect you relate to, there’s an obvious correlation between the two. As someone who works from home and has done so for quite some time, I feel blessed to have a career that allows me to work in my pjs if I choose. Likewise, I also understand the struggles that can come from that.
I’ve found the best way to maintain positive mental health is to treat it the same as you would your physical health. You take vitamins, make sure to get plenty activity, and eat your greens, so why shouldn’t you have similar practices for mental health? The following are some tools and practices I’ve felt to be the most beneficial for myself.
Make yourself leave the house, even it it’s just to go get coffee. Sometimes the simple act of removing yourself from your usual, daily routine resets your mind and allows you to get back on track when you may be feeling off.
Make sure your diet and workouts are in check. One of the first places I start to lack when I’m in a bad place is the exact areas that help keep me not only physically healthy but also mentally healthy. Even when I may be feeling poor in other areas, if I stay consistent with those two things I bounce back a bit quicker.
Set small goals to start out your day followed by the biggest thing you have to do. I’ll make a goal of brushing my teeth, washing my face, and putting on real clothes before I even go to my computer or check my phone. It may sound stupid but there have been days when I would wake up and walk straight to my computer and then realize at 3:00 pm I’ve completely neglected my self care. Not only does it make yourself a priority but it also sets you up for the mindset of productivity. If you’ve already gotten 3 items off your to do list for the day, then what’s stopping you from crushing that one big item of the day? Once that’s done then the rest of your day is smooth sailing.
Do as much batch work, planning ahead and prepping as possible. It can be easy to purposely stretch stuff out so that you have specific things to do every single day. When it comes to deadlines and deliverables, get as much done ahead of time as possible. Don’t overwhelm yourself by planning too much in a short period of time and then feel like you’re in shut down mode.
Allow yourself time off. Just like doing large batches of work over the course of 2-3 days, also allow days where you may not have to be quite as productive. As long as the work is getting done and your business is reaping the results than it’s okay if you’re not at 100% work capacity every day. Don’t forget to also take a vacation every now and then, even if it’s just taking a Friday off.
Find a support system of other people who may be going through similar issues. Having a network or even a small group of people who are experiencing the same life situations as you can provide you with some of the additional resources you need.
Find a counselor or therapist if you’re really feeling like you just can’t get out of it. I’m a firm believer in seeking out professionals in any area of your life you feel like you need growth. Someone in this field is not only going to be able to help you dig deeper into whatever issue you may be having but they’re also going to be able to provide you with whatever YOU need specifically for yourself to HELP yourself.
Remember to appreciate the fact that you are your own boss. As much we may notice the negatives there are A LOT of positives to being in charge. Remember the freedom you’ve created for yourself, the ability to pursue your passion, and the personal talents you have that you’re able to share with others in the way YOU want to share them.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. We are always our own worst critics and often fail to recognize the positives, the successes, and the growth and rather focus on the opposite. Take time daily or weekly to journal and try to make note of the things you’re grateful for, the successes or wins no matter how small or large, and the ways you can make life easier on yourself. Don’t forget to actually stick to it and be consistent!
Is there any of these that stick out to you specifically? I’m interested in your feedback and to learn what you do, don’t do or plan to do in regards to this topic. Something you feel like I missed? Let me know in the comments!