Continuing on the theme of love this month and with Emotional Health Day coming up on the 26th, I wanted to make sure I touched on the subject of taking care of yourself. Business can be an emotionally turbulent pastime and it really can take a toll on your mental health. For that reason, I’d like to share some thoughts around how to show yourself some love and manage your mental health as an entrepreneur.

Here are some of my favourite tips. Some have been learned from others, some have been discovered by me. I hope they all go some way to help you.

1. Unplug

As someone in my network recently commented, we spend so much time plugged in to our email, phones, the news, and social sites that it’s sometimes nice to just unplug and spend some quiet time away from it all. The world won’t end if you turn off your emails, your business won’t collapse if you take a holiday. But even just a short walk outside, (no headphones of course), can do the world of good for your mental health.

Personally, I try to get out at lunch every day, and not think about the office, or that call I have later…

2. Practise mindfulness

Speaking of not thinking about work while you’re unplugged, mindfulness can be tricky to perfect, but what it means when you practise it, is that you actually increase your effectiveness whilst encouraging healthy benefits such as detachment from unhealthy habits.

Try to train your mind to focus with meditation – just for a moment, empty your mind of any thoughts. Just recognise them and accept that you’ll address those thoughts later, and bat them away until then. You can do this at your desk, or even better, while taking a lunchtime walking break.

3. Detach from distractions

Controlling your own internal distractions might prove easier in the long term than controlling external distractions – those of which come from colleagues, employees, family and the digital devices we rely so much upon.

I’ve talked about creating a distraction log before, and this combined with a clear policy of ‘my door is always open – within certain times’, helps you become mindful and less fraught.

4. Daily journal

One of the tools I use myself is a short note at the end of the day answering three questions: What went well? How did I celebrate? What could be different/better tomorrow?

This is an opportunity to connect my actions by the end of the day with my intentions at the start of it – particularly where high-pay off activities are in my diary.

5. Make a plan and stick to it

Once again, my own learning to make a plan and then stick to it, is vital to help me manage my mental health. I’m not referring to the business plan overall, but rather taking 20 minutes every day to highlight the activities that will result in the highest pay-off that day.

This helps me organise my thoughts around the day ahead and keeps me organised. By the end of the week, I guarantee I would have wasted hours if I didn’t do it!

6. Automate, delegate or outsource

In business, there are always tasks that need to be done that just make you sink inside a little. Do you really need to do them? Can they be automated, delegated or outsourced?

You are the business owner; the business exists because of you. Make it run the way that makes you happy. If the task really does need to be done by you and you alone, perhaps there is a way that focusing on it, reducing distractions and giving yourself a reward afterwards will make it less onerous.

7. Talk, ask, share

As a man and a conscientious observer of people I have noticed that there is a split between the male and female attitudes towards sharing problems and asking for help. It can be especially difficult in business to admit you’re having a hard time in case it damages your reputation or changes public opinion of you.

That being said, no matter who you are, it’s important to find someone you can trust to talk over your problems with. Ask for help and it will come. If there is no one you’re willing to open to up to in your circle, there is help in the form of professionals who are equipped to help with entrepreneurial stress.

8. Accept mistakes

One of the hardest things to do is to stand upright, hold your hand up and say openly – I made a mistake. But it’s one of the most freeing phrases you can say! If anyone in business tells you they haven’t made a mistake, they’re either lying, or aren’t really in business, it’s that simple.

The tip here is to stop dwelling on it, don’t beat yourself up about it, just find a way to make it right or better and take the learn so you don’t repeat it.

As ever, I do hope these thoughts and tips go some way to helping you manage your mental health within the world of business. The purpose for sharing is to encourage self-care and love.

I’m available for a networking 1:1 if you’d like to talk any of these tips over, and in the meantime, wishing you a healthy and happy Emotional Health Day.

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)