Being an entrepreneur can mean plenty of sleepless nights, stressful days, and even an increase in anxiety or onset of depression. The lifestyle is difficult and exhausting, leaving you with little to no mental fortitude at the end of a hard day if you’re not careful. Keeping your brain healthy is crucial to your success, as all the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not happy. Keep reading to learn how to reduce anxiety and depression while increasing your productivity.
MAKE Time for Yourself
Whether you’re in the middle of the biggest deal of your life or a sobering existential crisis, it’s vital that you make time for yourself and your mental health. Entrepreneurs have a habit of becoming consumed by their work, and while on the one hand, hard work is a necessity for a successful business, there is such a thing as too much. Taking time for yourself to either seek professional help or simply take a day off is an important part of maintaining your mental health.
It’s not uncommon for hard-working entrepreneurs to experience guilt when they’re taking time off, and while it’s certainly a normal occurrence, it’s unnecessary mental baggage. We’re taught that hard work is what brings success, and while this is partially true, you’ve got to have a sound, intact mind to even enjoy that success when it comes. That means taking some days off now and then; after all, you can’t work all day every day! Taking time off has actually been proven to help boost productivity as well, rather than hinder it. Dual benefits!
Set Realistic Expectations
Part of taking care of yourself is creating realistic expectations, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. You’ve probably got some pretty big dreams, and while that’s all well and good, you also need to put things into focus and know what to expect from yourself. When you set expectations unrealistically high, you’re opening yourself up for plenty of disappointment when you don’t meet those expectations.
It’s ok to set high standards for yourself, and you should. You just need to know when things are realistic and when they’re not. For instance, expecting yourself to provide a high-quality service is absolutely reasonable, but expecting both the business and your employees as well as your management to be completely flawless is simply unrealistic. We’re human, we all make mistakes, and those should be taken as learning opportunities rather than chances to bash our own progress.
The worldwide expanse of the internet has created more than enough opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and support each other. If you’re feeling a bit isolated because of your entrepreneurial status, joining an online support group or Facebook group for entrepreneurs can be a good way to find your community.
A sense of community is important for anyone to feel like they belong in the world, and when you choose a career path like entrepreneurship, the community can seem small and difficult to find. Attend seminars and workshops as well, not only to boost your self-confidence by learning new skills, but also to network with people who are on a similar path. Having people around you to support and encourage you can alleviate stress and boost your self-esteem and confidence.
Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
While you’re on your journey, don’t forget to acknowledge everything you’ve accomplished so far. It can be incredibly easy to get lost in what you did wrong and forget about all the things you’ve done right. In fact, obsessing over the things you didn’t do correctly can make your depression and anxiety worse and decrease productivity.
Focus on how far you’ve come already. You’ve started a company, you’ve made a name for yourself, and now you’re managing the company. That’s all very impressive, and not something that just anyone can successfully take on!
Don’t Forget About Those Around You
Getting caught up in the lifestyle can sometimes mean neglecting those around you. You’ll need to stay at work late, make important meetings even when they conflict with important family events, and more. It’s important that you don’t forget about the people around you, as this can lead to further feelings of isolation and depression.
The people around us help make up who we are and provide a sense of community and support. While support groups are great, at the end of the day, they aren’t family or friends. We share a special connection with those in our lives, and these relationships shouldn’t be forsaken just because you start a company (unless they prove themselves to be incredibly toxic and unsupportive of what you’re doing). Don’t let personal relationships wither on the vine while you plant new roots; maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life for the ultimate entrepreneurial experience.