These days, being an entrepreneur means being on the go constantly. Whether you have a new business you’ve just started, are looking for potential business partners and funding or are expanding the startup you’ve been running for the past few years,doesn't it seem like there’s always -- always! -- more to do?
While being on the go can feel thrilling (most of the time), it can also be detrimental to your mental health, especially during this stressful holiday period. Working constantly means being stressed a lot of the time, spending less time with your family and friends and neglecting to take care of yourself. But if you care about your health -- and about the health of your company, then you need to keep your mental health in check.
Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to stay emotionally healthy, even when you’re a busy entrepreneur. Here are a few of the best ways I've found to prioritize your mental health without sacrificing the health of your business.
Detox from social media
Chances are, you’re spending a lot of time on social media. Whether it’s for personal use or for a check on your business, you’re probably spending more time on these platforms than is healthy. According to a study from MIT, the average American is spending 24 hours a week online.
Even though there’s nothing wrong with spending a little time watching Netflix when you unwind at the end of the day, it’s likely that a lot of that internet time goes to scrolling through your phone when you could be going for a run or checking up on your company's latest budget spreadsheets.
If you aren’t sure how much time you’re spending on social media, download an app to track how many hours you’re losing a day --the number might surprise you. Additionally, if you think you might have a problem -- an actual social media addiction -- you may want to talk to a therapist or try out some detox techniques.
Open up about your feelings
Speaking of therapy, it’s likely that you need to let go of some of the stressors in your life and discuss them with someone. For some of us, that means opening up to a close family member or friend or even keeping a journal about what’s going on to understand how we’re feeling. In a recent survey conducted by Accountemps, 15 percent of workers polled said they'd lost sleep over work “very often,” and 29 percent said this had happened “somewhat often.”
This is a huge number, and there's a good chance that you've been there too. Opening up and identifying these stressors can make a huge difference for your mental health.
If you’re having real problems and talking to a friend isn’t enough, speaking with a professional is a great option. Even if you don’t have time to drive back and forth to a therapist’s office, there are online options such as BetterHelp, which allow you to speak with a professional on your own time.
Invest in your physical health, too. How? Simply relax
Sleep is one of the most valuable assets. Deep rest gives you the time you need to decompress from the stresses of entrepreneurship and gives you a chance to not only reflect, but also get away from everything business-related for a minute.
Getting enough sleep also gives you the full mental capacity you need to lead. The U.S. National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. While it might seem childish to set a specific bedtime, setting a schedule that coincides with your productivity (for example, if you’re a night owl, then that’s your ideal time to work), gives you the opportunity to be the best you can be when it is time to work.
Sleep isn’t the only way to unwind, of course: Finding routines that help you relax is also a vital component of physical health. That could mean going to the gym and/or doing physical activities before or after work. It could mean meditating and/or using essential oils to feel calmer while you’re working.
Whatever your preference, a crucial component of your physical health requires you to establish a routine, set a schedule and stick to it.
These are some of the best ways for busy entrepreneurs to take care of their mental health. You can probably think of others that are applicble just to you.
So, get started during this busy holiday season. Even though "mental health" may not seem an important use of your time during these most hectic of weeks, it is.
What strategies do you use to take care of yourself--even when you’re juggling all of your business and personal responsibilities?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.