We usually — and unfortunately — overlook mental health when running our businesses. Instead of caring for ourselves — and the mental well-being of our employees — we tend to focus more on day-to-day operations and generating new revenue streams. While this is the norm, it’s not sustainable in the long run.
As an entrepreneur for nearly 30 years, I’ve had ups and downs like every other business owner. One moment I’m closing a deal for a new customer, and the next, I’m putting out a fire for a current one. The back and forth is stressful, making you question why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Running a business is grueling, and if you don’t take care of yourself, your mind will suffer. Overcoming this is less about stepping back, and more about finding a physical and emotional balance, and managing your anxiety about the unknown.
Sometimes it’s necessary to give yourself a pep talk when you’re stressed. When I’m feeling the pressure, I usually take a moment to analyze the situation by asking myself a few questions. “What is the worst thing that could happen?” “Are my feelings based on my actual situation?” “What could I do differently?”
It also helps to know what matters most to you and what keeps you in check. Even though this is different for everyone, priorities keep you grounded. Everyone should have them. Do you know what yours are? For me, my family is first, and my business is second. Everything else can wait.
Fall back on your community when you need support. It helps to have people around you whom you can confide in about how you feel and gain perspective. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It means you’re human. Most importantly, talk to a professional if your distress continues for an extended period or if nothing is helping.
Don’t ignore distress signals. The longer you do, the more of a toll they’ll take on not only you but also your team.