Starting a new business is stressful for anyone. For first-time business owners, the pressure can feel overwhelming. There is so much to do to get your business up and running, and there is always the chance that things will not go to plan. New business owners who do not take care of their mental health can burn out very quickly.
This is especially true for those who decided to start an online business during the pandemic. Since 2020, the number of ecommerce websites has skyrocketed. Many people saw the potential of selling online in terms of finding some financial stability during the economic recession. But while creating an ecommerce site is accessible to anyone nowadays, running a business as a first time entrepreneur is a huge challenge.
The truth is that there is no way to start a business without the stress. No amount of daily affirmations can erase the reality that your project might not work out. Hard work and commitment is necessary, and you may have to hustle even when you feel exhausted.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce the stress and keep yourself from burning out. If you are a first time business owner, keep reading to learn about five mental health tis that can help you.
Schedule every day
A new business owner’s diary looks very different from that of someone who is permanently employed. Instead of every business hour being taken up from Monday to Friday, you may have one day full of meetings, another with admin work, and then three more blank pages. This is either because there is no work to be done or because you need the time to strategize.
Nonetheless, you should make a schedule for each and every day, even the empty ones. It is the lack of schedule that leads to procrastination, as well as feelings of despair or worthlessness. A blank day in your diary can make you feel anxious and with no clear purpose, whereas scheduling strat sessions, research, and self-care will help you stay productive in a healthy way. Keeping track of your time is extremely important for your mental health, and it will definitely make a difference in your business.
Include regular breaks
There are people who work from nine to five without taking breaks and there are those who take breaks every hour. Often, it is those taking regular breaks who are far more productive. This is because they focus during the hours they are working, and one hour of total focus is always going to be more productive than three unbroken yet unfocused hours.
Try and identify the blocks of time in which you work best. Some people like to go hard for forty-five minutes, then take fifteen minute breaks. Other people like longer sessions and longer breaks. What works best depends on you.
It will come as no surprise that sitting in front of a computer or in meetings all day is not good for your physical health. But it is not good for your mental health either. You need to keep your body feeling good in order to keep your mind healthy. Make sure to exercise daily. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each day, but at least take a twenty minute walk.
Speak to loved ones after hours
Isolation can be terrible for mental health. Unfortunately, many new business owners go days without seeing or speaking to friends and family. They get caught up in their work and don’t take time for casual conversation.
Do not let this happen, as it can easily lead to burnout. Try to keep in touch with friends. At least speak to them after hours, whether in person or on the phone.
If you live with a partner or spouse, you are never going to be totally isolated, even during periods when you are working non-stop. However, that doesn’t mean you’re having the connection you need to stay grounded. Make sure you take time to have a conversation without the TV on or your phone in your hand.
It will never fail to amaze me how many people feel sluggish and down during the day simply because they skipped or forgot lunch. We need good, healthy food for energy, and our bodies can start to slow down when we don’t feed them. This leads to us feeling listless and we blame it on ourselves rather than our empty bellies.
You don’t need to eat a big lunch – and hefty meals can make you sluggish – but at least have a sandwich. It not only energizes your body and mind, but also gives you a significant break in the long workday.
Starting a new business is tough for everyone. New business owners can burn out all too easily. Use these five tips to take care of your mental health and remember to put your wellness first.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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