Managing Your Mental Health as a New Small Business Owner
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Small business owners experience high amounts of stress often for various reasons. From managing employees, maintaining finances, keeping customers happy, and trying to find a life outside of work, running a small business can be a lot for anyone to take on.
As wonderful as owning a company can be, the stress and demand of small business ownership can lead to poor mental health. And poor mental health won’t allow you to bring your best to your small business daily. Keep reading for tips on managing your mental health and achieving a better work-life balance.
Enlist the Help of a Professional
Many business owners view enlisting the help of a professional as a last resort for bettering their mental health. But establishing relationships with mental health specialists as early as possible is much better.
Mental health professionals can help you define the mental health challenges you’re living with, which is a massive part of the healing process. You can’t treat yourself and your mental well-being properly if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. These professionals can also be an ongoing or as-needed source of support for various mental health concerns that arise in small business ownership — like anxiety, burnout, imposter syndrome, and high-functioning depression.
There are many different mental health professionals out there to support you. As such, it’s essential to thoroughly research the various types to find the right mental health professional for you before making a permanent decision. Psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counselors are the main mental health providers. Start your research here, and refine your choice by aligning your needs with their particular specialty.
When you enlist the help of a mental health professional, together you can develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique mental health challenges, behaviors, and needs, which improves the chances of the treatment actually working.
Reduce Your Workload
Another way to keep your mental health in check as a new small business owner is to pay attention to and reduce your workload. Many small business owners run their entire operations independently or only have a small team to help them.
As a result, they take on more work than they can handle, burn out, and their internal operation and customer relationships suffer. Your small business may require you to take on all or most tasks right now, but eventually, you need to reduce your workload to manage your mental health better.
Start by employing helpful business tools and software. For example, artificial intelligence and automation tools can replace repetitive tasks like email outreach, answering website questions, and data analysis.
You could also delegate more work to your current team. Or, take the time to hire employees specializing in critical aspects of business, like finances, and hand over those tasks to them. Reducing your workload frees up time for you to take care of yourself.
Clock Out of Work
Of course, there will be days when you’ll need to put in 16 hours and a whole lot of effort. But, this can’t be a regular thing if you want a healthy mind. Overworking yourself is a guaranteed path to diminished physical, mental, and emotional health.
Instead, set intentional work hours to ensure you “clock out” of work each day. If you’re nervous about being able to accomplish everything you need to do each day as a new business owner, learn more about time management to ensure priorities get done on time, every time.
Also, many business owners “clock out” but become consumed with guilt and worry about the next day’s workload. As a result, they end up resuming work at home instead of enjoying their time off resting and resetting. Make sure to work on your mindset to ensure you don’t just physically quit work at the end of the day but actually relish the time off.
Lean on Friends and Family
Running a business as a single person is tough. Running a business while raising a family and keeping up with friendships makes things even more complex. Family and friends can easily be put on the back burner with all the responsibilities attached to owning a business.
However, it’s essential not to let this happen for better mental health. Socializing is good for brain health, a happier mood, and improved self-esteem. Solid family relationships and friendships are also great to lean on when going through tough times with your business and mental health. Nurture your relationships with your romantic partner, children, extended family, and friends to ensure you have a solid support system around you.
Prioritize Other Things You’re Passionate About
Almost half of the small business owners report experiencing burnout at some point during the month. As mentioned above, burning out does nothing good for your business or mental health. However, prioritizing other things you’re passionate about can minimize burnout. It can also reduce stress and help you create a healthy work-life balance. Make time for something you’re passionate about daily and try something new each month to keep your mind stimulated and spirit lifted.
Although sacrificing yourself for small business success seems honorable, it isn’t conducive to running a profitable company long-term. Instead, take good care of your mental health with the tips above for a better chance at a flourishing small business.
For more insightful articles and actionable tips about finance and business, check out Capital for Business’ The Working Capital and Financing Blog.
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