Entrepreneurs drive the economy forward with innovative solutions to big problems in business. How different businesses have weathered the pandemic this past year is proof of that. However, while entrepreneurs generate success for their businesses, one aspect of that role isn’t discussed enough: their mental health.
According to Dr. Michael Freeman, a psychiatrist who studies how entrepreneurship affects the brain, entrepreneurs are more susceptible to a number of mental health conditions than non-entrepreneurs. They’re 30% more likely to suffer from depression, 29% more likely to live with a hyperactivity disorder, and 11% more likely to fall on the bipolar spectrum. These numbers for lawyers specifically are even higher.
The confidence of your customers and workforce depends, at least in part, on your mental health, which is why every entrepreneur should consider seeing a mental health professional. However, abiding by a few basic principles can also help you nurture a healthy mental state.
PIVOT WELL AND STAY POSITIVE
The unexpected will happen. Ironically, that’s all you can expect as an entrepreneur. So, when you put together plans to grow your business, make contingency plans as well. Just because you have those backup plans does not mean the worst will happen.
If something unexpected does happen, instead of immediately considering all the possible negative outcomes, think of the potential positive outcomes instead. Remember that just because the steps to achieve your goal might shift, it doesn’t mean your goal has to change.
SCHEDULE TIME TO DO THINGS YOU FIND RESTFUL
We have a pretty good idea of how to improve our physical health in various situations: If we’re cold, we throw on an extra layer. If we want to lose a few pounds, we exercise and eat some vegetables. However, when it comes to improving our mental health, we might be at a loss.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the best way to rest your mind is to force it to work on a singular task, such as a puzzle, craft, or exercise routine. So long as you find the activity restful and it takes your mind off work, you should set aside time to do it for the sake of your mental health.
LIMIT THE NOISE AROUND YOU
The world is a chaotic place — it always has been. The only difference is that now, we have the means to see everything happening on our planet through our computers and smartphones. It’s good to stay informed, but when we let the media noise dictate how we feel on any given day, it might be time to curtail social media exposure. The world will continue to turn, even when we’re not looking.
The above tips are by no means prescriptive. You can take parts of one or a couple of them and leave the rest. The point of sharing these tips, however, is to encourage you to do something. As an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to ignore your mental health and hope everything is okay. So, take some of this information and use it to build success in your business and your life.