Anxiety and burnout are no strangers to entrepreneurs. The devastating consequences that the constant exposure to stress brings in the lives of startup owners slowly but surely become a topic of discussion among the startup community.
Back in 2012 Brad Feld, Foundry Group founder and Techstars co-founder, talked publically about his mental health struggles in his famous blog post Some Days I Just Have To Hide In My Room and it was like a wake-up call to the entrepreneurial community that it is OK to come clean on such a topic. It doesn’t have to be public; it starts with admitting to yourself that you are not OK.
With the growing attention on the matter, it is important to think about the way to avoid the results of stress and exhaustion and the best way to do so is to wave self-case into running a business.
Self-care won’t just help you to combat burnout or mental exhaustion, but, if practiced constantly, can prevent them. It is easier said than done, of course!
To chase out the blues that come with living the stressful life of an entrepreneur, you can embrace the following five ways to incorporate self-care into your life.
Take up a sport that re-charges you
Getting active is a great way to clear your mind and to keep your body healthy and strong. Going to the gym or signing up for a yoga class, even walking or biking to the office are great alternatives to get active. But if you want to take your workout routine to a whole new level, the best way is to take up a sport that challenges you and keeps you physically and mentally involved. Choose a sport that you truly enjoy and give the regular practice a try.
Keep high standards
Many entrepreneurs start their companies by keeping the stake too low. They don’t want to charge enough for their services in order to get more clients; they undervalue their companies in order to get an investment from any investor; they compromise too much when it comes to choosing their partners and team members. To keep yourself sane, keep your standards high. Don’t settle for less than you are worth, but be realistic. Find the balance. It is simple – if it feels right, then it is right.
Express your thoughts and feelings
It is healthy to share. It is healthy to express your emotions, your feelings, your fears, and concerns. Many entrepreneurs and business executives feel ashamed of admitting their weaknesses. In the competitive business world, any sign of weakness can be turned against the well-being of the business.
There are different ways to talk about your feelings without making it public: keep a journal, speak to a close friend, whom you can trust, or your life partner, or visit regularly a therapist, who can help you deal in a healthier way with the stress. There are options, just find the one that suits you the most.
Declutter every aspect of your life – from your home through your office to your to-do list. Get rid of everything that you don’t need. Declutter your digital life. Declutter even your personal relationships with people, who bring you down instead of lifting you up. Declutter your business life from the naysayers and the ones, who say you can’t do it. Evaluate everything in your life and get rid of the things that make you unhappy and the things that hold you back.
Learn a new language
Learning a new language activates parts of the brain that are usually not used in typical situations. It is a great way to focus on something else than your problems or worries. You don’t have to spend hours a day to pick up a new language – there are many cool apps that will help you learn words and phrases in just 5-10 minutes a day. Learning a new language is exciting, it is fun. It introduces to you a new culture and helps you forget for a while the challenges of running a business.