[This is a guest post by Kari Smith from Connect with Kari on how to improve your mental health in business as an entrepreneur! Kari provides you 10 awesome ways to run a successful business with a mental illness such as anxiety or depression and how to combat it, so you can be mentally healthy and happy. These are some great mental health hacks to help you balance your business while managing your mental health!]
Are you a professional blogger? Or, do you own your own business but your mental illness is impeding your growth?
In this article, I’ll be sharing my top 10 tips on
- managing your mental health,
- how I balance my business and my full-time job,
- and how you can do the same in your business!
Importance of Your Mental Health in BUSINESS
In the business world, it can be quite overwhelming when you’re battling a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression.
Trying to run a business while focusing on your mental health, can be a challenge for many of us. But luckily, there are some ways to accomplish your goals without jeopardizing your mental health.
Today I want to outline some helpful techniques that I personally use (as an anxiety sufferer) to run my business, while also working a full-time job.
This will guide you on how to run a successful business when you have a mental illness and how to be mentally healthy and happy.
Ironically, I own a mental health blog which can sometimes take a toll on my own mental health! With all the responsibilities, the emotional ups and downs, AND all the hard work that goes into running a business in order to make it run smoothly, it can sometimes cause my anxiety to skyrocket!
I personally know how difficult it can be when you’re trying to juggle everything while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re struggling to find the balance between these facets, continue reading to find out what is working well for me.
In the beginning, I didn’t have a strategy to guide me to focus on what was important for my business, while making sure that I was nurturing my mental health at the same time.
I was all over the place, and this wasn’t healthy for my business or for my sanity.
I quickly realized that in order to take my business to the next level, I HAD to make sure that I was keeping a delicate balance between my business, my full-time job, and most importantly, my mental health.
Without putting your mental health on the back burner, here are:
10 ways you can improve your mental health in your business as an entrepreneur!
1. Understand that business is not an overnight success
When I first started blogging, I read about other successful bloggers who seemed to have it all together, which made me feel like I was failing.
I started to doubt myself and think that this “blogging thing” just wasn’t for me.
When I wasn’t reaching the number of page views that other bloggers seemed to be gaining in their first few months of blogging or that my email list wasn’t growing at a rate that made me feel optimistic, I started to feel very overwhelmed.
Everything seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace, and it caused me so much anxiety, which led to me staying up all hours of the night trying to complete my tasks.
Or I would keep myself awake obsessing over why I wasn’t as successful as others who are in the same line of work as me, even though I was working sooo hard!
This was obviously not mentally healthy for me, and it didn’t help my productivity either because I was mentally and emotionally drained due to lack of sleep and all that negativity I was feeding myself.
Once I finally understood the fact that business of any kind takes time and persistence, was the moment that everything started coming together, and it changed the way that I ran my business.
When I realized that I was doing everything humanly possible for my business, I was able to pull back a little and not be so hard on myself.
Even though I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted at a pace that I’d hoped for, I realized that every minute that I had spent working on my business was one step closer than I was the day before.
So, no matter how slow you think you’re moving in comparison to other entrepreneurs, just know that if you’re working at it consistently, eventually you’re going to get the results that you want without burning yourself out.
Everybody’s situation and business is different. But as long as you’re focused on your long-term goals and understand that it takes time to get results, you should be able to approach your business with more optimism and enjoy the journey instead of racing through it.
2. Batch your projects
Speaking from a blogger’s point of view, your tasks will be all over the place and you won’t really know where to focus your attention all the time.
We have many goals for our businesses, and there are many steps we need to take to get there.
Your brain will sometimes (more times than not) feel scattered, and this might be where a lot of people experience most of their anxiety when they have their own business.
I’ve recently adopted a strategy that seems to work well for me to keep me organized, and it’s something that I think every business owner should consider doing — it’s called batching.
What is batching?
Batching is when you take a certain task, and you focus on just that one task for the day (or the week, or month).
If you’re a blogger, you know that publishing fresh content is something that you’ll need to be doing frequently.
Therefore, you might want to have a handful of blog post drafts lined up that you can work on a specific day rather than working on several different tasks all at once.
So, how do you get all these things done without neglecting one or the other?
Instead of having your mind all over the place by working on different projects at the same time, you can choose certain days where you focus on only one or two similar tasks, and not worry about the other things until it’s their day to get worked on.
You might choose Monday to write out 2 to 3 blog posts, then pick Tuesday to edit those articles. Then, you can break it up and work on your product creation on Wednesday, etc. This way, you have dedicated days for a specific task.
This strategy will prevent you from not only getting burned out but also prevent you from not completing your tasks in a timely manner…or at all.
3. Set things on autopilot
So, why not schedule everything out so that it runs on autopilot for you?
It can become very tedious and time-consuming when you’re trying to do 10 different things at once.
Most of us run our businesses on our own. This means we have to play many different roles, wear many different hats, and feel the need to be in many different places at the same time.
That’s why it can be extremely helpful to schedule your pins on a platform, such as Tailwind to do all your daily pinning for you. You can even use Tailwind to schedule your posts on Instagram and grow it on autopilot daily!
You can even grab these Pinterest templates to make your life easy and create a new pin in less than 2 minutes!
Also, scheduling out your Facebook posts in advance can save you lots of time too.
This definitely takes a lot of pressure off yourself and makes more room for you to work on other important tasks.
I don’t know about you, but I’m new to this whole business world.
I didn’t have a clue about how to run my own business a year ago, so it was crucial for me and my business to reach out to the professionals who have already done what I was trying to do.
Instead of trying to figure things out on my own (very stressful), I took many courses that showed me the correct way to do things, particularly these two courses below.
The truth is, you can eventually figure things out on your own (someone once did).
But, would you rather spend your time and energy trying to figure it out on your own? or would you rather learn the shortcuts from someone who has the experience?
Most people who fail to succeed usually do so because the process of learning everything on their own is so overwhelming that it leads to eventually giving up.
That’s why I highly recommend outsourcing and getting the help that you need early on so that you can focus on what’s important and prevent yourself from getting discouraged or going about things in the wrong way.
This would only result in wasting valuable hours that you could be spending wisely if you had sought help from someone who has already done what you are trying to accomplish, whether that’s through business coaching or blogging courses.
So don’t stress yourself out and create more mental anxiety by trying to figure out everything on your own. If you are struggling with Pinterest, get this course to gain massive traffic and if you want to scale your business through selling your own products, then invest your time wisely in this.
5. Reflect on your successes
Business can feel lonely sometimes…we’ve all experienced this at some point or another. That’s why I try not to get caught up in where I want to be, rather, I focus on what I’ve already achieved.
It’s easy to lose sight of what you’ve already accomplished when you’re not exactly where you want to be.
However, focusing on each victory is a motivation to drive us to keep moving forward.
I remember (not too long ago) when I was ecstatic about hitting 1,454 page views in one day, but soon after I became discouraged when I wasn’t maintaining that number.
Instead of me thinking back to when I was barely hitting 200 page views a day, I was obsessing over the fact that I couldn’t make it past 1,400 again.
But never going below 200 again was a huge accomplishment for me, so I should’ve been focusing on my milestones rather than on this insignificant decline.
I was making progress, and that’s all that matters.
So it’s important to never lose sight of how far you have come in your business journey. This kind of thinking helps improve your emotional and mental health a great deal.
6. Remember your “why”
It’s easy to get wrapped up in setbacks and feel like you’re failing. That’s why discovering your “why” and keeping it in the forefront of your mind is crucial to maintaining good mental health.
Always keep in mind that our setbacks are learning lessons. Without them, we will not be able to continue moving in the right direction.
Think back to when you first started — What made you want to start your business in the first place?
Don’t let setbacks force you to give up on that!
Do your best to keep that passion alive and you cannot fail.
Remember to keep your eyes on the prize.
7. Don’t neglect your self-care
Ever since I started my blog, I’ve actually vamped up my self-care routine even more. Take care of yourself emotionally.
My regular self-care practices to manage stress, anxiety and my mental health include:
Meditating is a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and overall improve your mental and emotional health.
Yoga is another awesome way to calm your anxiety and feel healthy and happy afterward.
In fact, my creative juices start flowing and I come up with so many of my best ideas during meditation and yoga.
When you meditate, your mind is in a much calmer place. This opens up more room for great ideas to come to you.
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your business and neglect your mental health.
But in doing so, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow your business beyond your imagination.
8. Don’t compare yourself to other people.
When you focus too much on what other successful people are doing, you might become discouraged, lose momentum and your motivation decreases.
I’m guilty of this.
I still have days when I wonder why I haven’t exceeded past what other bloggers have done, within the same amount of time.
But I noticed that this obsession and comparison does nothing! Instead, it makes me feel inadequate and results in me shutting down my computer and giving up.
I changed my mindset and way of thinking, so I don’t let my mental health suffer because of this anymore.
So now it’s actually very motivational for me to witness success from others. Especially when I see other bloggers succeeding in my niche specifically, it’s very encouraging to know the possibilities out there.
It shows me that it’s possible for me to reach those heights someday too.
So, rather than doubting yourself when you come across other successful entrepreneurs, try to get inspired by them instead.
This kind of small change will have a profound positive effect on your mental health.
9. Avoid distractions
You might laugh, but the truth is, my 16-year-old Pomeranian is my biggest distraction!
She wants me to rub her, hold her, feed her, STARE at her…you name it. This dog just wants attention 24/7, and it makes me feel guilty whenever I neglect her to work on my blog.
Instead of focusing on what I’m working on, I find myself making excuses (such as this one) to stop what I’m doing to take care of my other obligations and avoid feeling guilty.
This obviously isn’t going to get me very far, very fast. And, it certainly isn’t going to alleviate the stress and anxiety that I could be feeling at the time.
So now I just block out a few hours where I spend time with my dog, make sure she’s fed, give her lots of attention, THEN I bang out my to-do list.
Whatever other obligations you have, try to take care of those before getting started with your business work.
This habit will improve your mental health because you will take off a lot of pressure, reduce your anxiety and stress.
Most importantly, this way you can dedicate your time strictly to your business and be productive!
10. Take breaks
You can probably relate to not only finding it hard to get started on your tasks but also learning when to stop.
I think knowing when to stop to take a break is just as important as getting started.
I like to meditate after working hard at my blog because it helps me unwind, and it prepares my brain to shut down for the night.
Not to mention, a lot of after thoughts come to me while I’m meditating, which actually helps me come up with more ideas for my business.
It’s extremely important to give yourself some time out just to unwind and take care of your mental well-being so that you don’t get burned out and give up on your dreams.
Final thoughts – 10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur
Once you learn how to improve your mental health in business, you will reach greater heights!
It’s so important to create a balance between your business and mental health to master your productivity and run a successful business.
Being a business owner comes with many challenges, but it’s also very rewarding when you set realistic expectations and take care of yourself in the process.
Remember, it takes time and persistence to succeed. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that you’re headed in the right direction as long as you stay focused and not let your anxiety or any other mental illness get in the way.
Make a schedule of when and where you would be working on your business.
This way, you will feel less overwhelmed and get more done.
Don’t forget to reward yourself for all the hard work and precious hours that you have spent trying to grow your business.
Lastly, I hope these mental health hacks I shared above will help you enjoy your business journey more while also staying mentally healthy and happy!
Good luck with all of your future business endeavors! I’m rooting for you!
About the author:
If you’re interested in getting my free anxiety workbook you can grab a copy by clicking here, and I’ll send it to your email for immediate download.