Being an entrepreneur is a duality of experience. On one hand, it’s incredibly exciting to be in control of your own success and to shape your business to deliver something of value to the industry, and to the public. On the other hand, it can be a grueling and monstrous responsibility that takes an incredible toll on one’s own mental health.

When running a business you are constantly playing a balancing game. Between investors, employees, and your own ambitions. It’s not hard to see why this can begin to have a negative effect on you as a person – An often overlooked facet of being in the game. Today we decided it would be a good idea to sit down and look at some mental health tips for entrepreneurs, and how you can begin applying them to take better care of yourself in the hyper stressful environment many entrepreneurs find themselves in.

You’re Not Alone – Working to Understand This Fact

A woman crying with her hands covering her face
A woman crying with her hands covering her face

Working as an entrepreneur often begins as a solitary affair. This is liberating on many levels but also works to create a mindset that makes dealing with mental strain a challenge. Whilst it may seem obvious, it’s vital that you remember that you are not alone in this.

Just as you put in work to maximize your business success, you also need to put work into the social circles that support you as a person. As your business success as an entrepreneur is more closely linked with your own personal mental health than other business pursuits.

This is also true for those invested in businesses, and hold high levels of responsibility within those corporate constructs. Your team relies on your ability to make sound decisions, and if mental health is getting in the way of that, your team, your success, and your health will suffer.

Place Your Mental Health above Everything Else

It’s no secret that running a business is a full-time job, with a key emphasis placed on full-time. Entrepreneurs will be expected to invest incredible amounts of their time to even have an opportunity at success, and it’s this environment that mental health professionals regularly point out to avoid.

Yet you can’t avoid it. That’s the reality of the game. So you need to place the same energy you place into your business into your mental health. Make sure to find time for yourself, and forcefully carve out that time to allow yourself to decompress.

Do not treat this as a sugary treat you get to enjoy, but a vital asset to your ability to perform in your business environment. This is an investment in your ability to grasp your future, and be able to invest those long hours into the future of your business.

Avoid the Comparison Mindset

With the advent of social media, we are all living in an age where the comparison with others is impossible. According to social media, everyone is widely successful, living their best lives, and has everything they want.

Whilst we may be able to conceptualize that this is a false reality when you suffer a bad day at the office, this pressure can play a key role in a breaking-point scenario. It’s important that you be mindful of allowing yourself to compare your current struggles to others, and your own journey to that of people you look up to.

It is the game for others in the business to exude an air of success. This is the key that allows people to unlock many business opportunities. But keep in mind that this is part of the game, it’s not the reality. Don’t look down on yourself for struggling, and instead learn to be kinder to yourself.

You are human, they are human, we are all human, and we make mistakes. We all have bad days, and our journey is not strictly defined by the successful journey of those before us or around us.

Sleep, Eat, and Exercise

An entrepreneur practices yoga in her bedroom
An entrepreneur practices yoga in her bedroom

An awfully mundane point, no doubt, but at the foundation of all success if this principle. To function at our best, humans need to sleep the right amount, we need to eat the right foods, and we need to exercise enough to keep our bodies healthy.

This very principle will be the first question any mental health professional asks you, and there is a good reason for that. For many of us, our stress, anxiety, and overall mental state are most closely linked with what we’re eating, how much we’re sleeping, and how often we get out and move around.

Force yourself to make time to go out for a run, make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet and don’t sacrifice your sleep just to get some extra work done. Neglecting these areas is a 100% guaranteed method of destroying your mental health, and no mental health professional will debate that point.

Don’t Shy Away From Therapy

A woman in therapy talking with her therapist
A woman in therapy talking with her therapist

If the life of an entrepreneur becomes too overwhelming, don’t feel that it’s a mark of shame to seek professional help. Take some time to speak to your family doctor, and honestly express what you are experiencing. They will often refer you to a psychologist or counselor that is professionally trained to provide you with the help you need.

It can be easy, as an entrepreneur, to place the responsibility of your mental health square on your shoulders. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and shouldn’t be that way. Mental health professionals work just as hard to learn the tools to help you, as you work to build your business into something successful.

There will come a time when professional help is required if you’ve fallen too deep into a mental spiral. These mental health professionals have worked hard to learn the tools that can help you get back out of it, and become your best self again. Take advantage of their years of learning, and try not to place your ego at the center of this decision.

What steps do you take to manage your mental health while running your business? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally published on GREY Journal.