3 Ways You Can Support Your Mental Health In Biz
When you started your biz, what did other biz owners around you say?
Let me take a wild guess…
“It’s the best thing you’ll ever do!”
“You’ll never look back!”
“Get ready to love every single day of your life from here onwards!”
I’m not here to disagree with these statements. I love my business(es). I love working for myself. And I wouldn’t ever go back to working for someone else(unless I really needed to).
But there’s a flipside to running your own biz that no one really talks about.
How to manage your mental health while running a business.
There are so many ways our mental health can suffer in biz ownership. You have more responsibility. You have more expectations placed on you. You have bigger to-do lists and less time to get it all done.
You’re expected to hustle. It’s “the norm” to work 10+ hour days. You work from home and don't realise just how lonely that can be.
The initial glamour of working for yourself wears thin and you’re tired, lonely, stressed and your mental health is at an all time low.
I’m not saying this is how it is for every business owner, but I know we all have our moments of struggling with our mental health.
That’s why I want to share my top three tips for keeping your mind and business happy.
Are you ready to do the work? You are, lovely, I know you are.
Let’s dive in.
1 Make Your Biz Work For You
I’ll be the first biz owner to tell you how easy it is to fall into the trap of comparisonitis.
You’ll be scrolling on Instagram and seeing other biz owners (just like you) working half as much but making twice as more, and you’ll wonder why that’s not you.
Or maybe you’ll be working until 9pm because you’re an evening worker, but you’ll feel the little green monster eat away at you when you see another (super successful) biz owner start their mornings at 6am.
You might look at your extroverted biz besties who are taking meetings and discovery calls all day every day, and curse your introvertedness for needing time to recharge.
There are so many ways we can (and do) compare ourselves to others in biz, but we’re often so caught up comparing to stop and think whether we actually want the life of the other biz owner.
For me? I know I work best mid-morning and late afternoon. I’ll never be a biz owner to start my day at 6am, because I’d much rather be catching some ZZZs and working later in the day.
But so many biz owners I know fire up their laptops at the crack of dawn and get to work. Whenever I catch myself comparing my day to theirs, I try to take a step back and ask:
“Is that actually what I want my day / my business / my life to look like?”
So often, the answer is no.
Actually it’s a heck no.
What works for others so often doesn’t work for the biz life I’m trying to create for myself, so it pays to keep coming back to what you want your biz to look like and staying true to that.
This removes unnecessary stress. It plays to your strengths as a biz owner. And if you truly listen to what your mind needs every day, it has the power to really boost your mental health in biz.
2) Surround Yourself With Community
Community is the first thing I tell my VA mentees they need when starting their own biz. Do you want to know why?
Loneliness is one of the leading causes for mental health problems among biz owners, with so many of us working from home, alone and isolated from the rest of the world.
Not only are we physically isolated, we also struggle to connect with our usual communities about all the business things we have to navigate. Our partners, friends and families who don’t run their own businesses won’t understand what it’s like to run a biz.
They won’t understand the struggle to find clients.
They won’t know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed when you have too many clients.
They can’t put themselves into our shoes because they’ve never been in our shoes(or any shoes like them), and that's okay!
But it can be incredibly lonely not feeling understood by those around you.
Loneliness is a big reason Jords and I started Girls Gotta Work Podcast. It’s a big reason I joined One Roof. It’s a big reason I keep going to networking events despite my total, introverted fear of being in a room full of strangers.
Finding a group of biz owners who get it is one of the best ways to look after your mental health in biz.
But sometimes, talking it out with your biz besties just doesn’t cut it.
Sometimes, you need to ask for help.
3) Ask For Help
I count my lucky stars that we’re living in a world with so many different ways of accessing mental health help.
I know it’s not always easy to talk to someone in person, with miles-long waitlists after lockdowns making it tricky to access that IRL help.
But there are other things you can do to ask for help when you really need it (and when nothing else you’re trying is cutting it). I’m not a mental health expert, so I’m going to share other resources you can have a look at if you’re thinking about reaching out:
It’s not always easy to ask for help, but it’s always worth it.
There are a lot of ways we can struggle with mental health in biz, but there are heaps of ways we can support ourselves, and each other, along the way.
If you have any go-to tips for managing your mental health in biz, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a DM on Instagram with your top tips and I can add them to the blog to help support more women in biz.