The busy end of year period is almost upon us. How is your mental health doing? If you’re feeling short of your best, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Anxiety, stress, and doubt are perfectly normal reactions to the times we live in.
As we approach the end of year, demands on our professional and personal time quickly increase. Now, more than ever, it’s important to be kind to yourself and open yourself up to self-compassion. When stress and anxiety are allowed to roam unchecked it can have a devastating effect on our health and well-being.
A crucial first step you can take is to recognize what you can and cannot control. Sure, we usually can’t control what’s happening in the world around us. But we do have complete control over how we let it affect us. With that in mind, take five minutes from your day to read these five suggestions for caring for your mental health during the holiday rush.
Invest Time in Yourself
Entrepreneurs are busy folks who make big and impactful decisions. At some point in the journey, stress is inevitable. Learning how to deal with it is going to be key to your future success. One of the best ways to de-stress is to invest time in positive actions, hobbies or distractions that take you out of the stressful mindset. For some people, this can be exercise, meditation, sports or even adopting a healthier diet.
Consciously making time for yourself will activate your relaxation response and take down stress levels in your body. We know that time is at a premium as a business owner. This small investment in yourself can’t be over-emphasized in importance.
- Finding ways to deal with stress is key to your future success
- Invest time in hobbies, positive actions, or distractions that take you out of the stress mindset
- Time is precious as an entrepreneur, but finding time for yourself is so important
Have a Plan for Elements You Can Control
A great way to deal with anxiety is to channel it towards useful action. No matter how carefully you plan your business, there are always going to be aspects you can’t control. For everything else, plan what you want to do and attack it. Use your anxiety as a motivator and an ally in the process.
The more areas of your business you get a handle on, the fewer opportunities there will be for anxiety to appear and derail your day.
- Accept there are things you won’t ever be able to control
- Focus on the aspects you can control and channel your energy towards them
- Use your anxiety as a motivator and an ally in getting things done
Draw Clear Boundaries
There’s a temptation as an entrepreneur to always be switched on. It’s likely there’s a perpetual “to do” list running through your mind but don’t let this list become your master. Try to develop a clear boundary between work and your personal life. It will be a habit you have to work to perfect, but the impact it will have upon your mental health will be massive.
From chatting with entrepreneurs, here are some suggestions we’ve heard for how you can start this process:
- At the end of your workday, take a walk without your cell phone. Force yourself to disconnect.
- Meditate daily or take up yoga.
- Switch your phone to a mode where work apps or phone calls aren’t disturbing your free time.
- You can’t always be “on”
- Create a clear separation between home and work
- Consider a buffer activity that tells your mind it’s time to wind down
Talk to Someone
Whether it’s a trusted friend or family member, or a professional therapist, it’s so important to share how you’re feeling and open yourself up to help. We’re all carrying struggles others aren’t aware of. When you share these challenges with somebody, it will reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and may even lead to solutions you hadn’t considered.
When it comes to how many people you choose to share with, there’s no right or wrong answer. You are the expert, and you should decide on what’s best for your unique situation. Entrepreneurship has often been described as a lonely journey, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Talk to someone, seek out the help and support you need, and it will massively boost your personal and professional well-being.
- It’s important you don’t face your struggles alone
- Talking and sharing is key to reducing stress. You may discover solutions you hadn’t considered
- How many people you share with is entirely up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer
Enjoy the Journey
There’s no blueprint or instruction manual for entrepreneurship. Mistakes are inevitable. They’re part of the journey and not something that need to be agonized over. Embrace your journey into entrepreneurship and accept that mistakes will happen.
Use any mistakes or missteps as learning opportunities along your path. Many of the best lessons we learn arrive this way, and it’s ok to let go of your fears and embrace it. You may eventually come to welcome their arrival.
- Mistakes are inevitable in entrepreneurship and don’t need to be feared
- Use them as a learning opportunity
- Give yourself a break, there’s no instruction manual for what you’re doing
Small Business BC is Here to Help
SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our selection of business articles.