World Mental Health Day was October 10th, and we shared this post on Facebook. Knowing how important mental health is, we wanted to go even deeper on the subject and provide more resources to help you keep your sanity while running a business.
Running a small business doesn’t make the stress any smaller. In fact, it’s often more stressful because you’re responsible for more. Many small-business owners know what it’s like to spend every hour of the day working on their business, sacrificing comforts to make their dreams come true. Hard work may be the key to success, but there’s only so much your mind and body can take. Before you get to the breaking point, check in with yourself and use these tips to reduce your stress and keep your mental health going strong for the long run.
Care for Your Body to Care for Your Mind
Proper nutrition can help improve your mood and give you more energy to get things done. A simple strategy is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Sure, it’s cheap and easy to get a drive-through burger after leaving work, but the cost saved in your wallet is paid for with your health. Use whole, natural ingredients as much as possible, and if you can’t afford organic, make sure to wash your produce. If your time is limited, meal prep on Sunday nights and prepare a variety of foods that are ready to go throughout the week. Enlist the help of your spouse, or get a group of friends together for a healthy meal swap to keep things interesting.
Regular exercise makes your mind and body feel better. You might feel sore when you start an intense fitness routine, but the soreness goes away, leaving you with the benefits. Exercise in the morning, even if it’s only 5 minutes, to get your blood pumping and wake your brain up. You’ll be ready to take on your day without needing 5 cups of coffee. With improved alertness, focus, concentration, and overall mental function, you’ll be better prepared for the challenges of running a business.
Yoga is great for physical fitness and relaxation, and you can practice at your desk. Check out these stretches you can do at your desk. As a group, we do yoga in the office twice a week, but if you’re on your own, follow a YouTube video to give your mind and body a chance to refresh.
Meditation is the low-intensity way to take care of your mind and body. There are plenty of guided meditations, so find one that works for you. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to relax and focus on your breathing. Clearing your head and relaxing your body will help you face your day.
If you’re spending most of your time trying to find things instead of getting stuff done, you’re going to be stressed as well as unproductive. Whether it’s computer files or physical objects, give them a specific place. If you’re working with them and find out that it’s not the right place for them, give yourself the freedom to make changes.
Write things down. Our VantagePointers don’t have photographic memories, so we use different tools to help us out. Make a calendar, put projects on a whiteboard, use a notebook to keep track of thoughts, use a to-do list app, whatever you need to do to keep track of things. One benefit of writing down projects and goals is the ability to step back and look at them all. When you see the big picture, it’s easier to decide what needs to be a priority, what can wait, and what can be delegated. Check out our blog, “Align Your Priorities with Your Goals” for more tips.
Create a Support Network
Sometimes you just need someone to talk to, but as a small-business owner, you may not have that luxury. Usually there’s a limited number of people you can get direct support from. That’s why it’s important to build relationships. Find other business owners in your area or check out your local small business development center. Having someone to bounce ideas off of can be extremely helpful.
If you have employees, make sure to communicate with them. Everyone can work on their communication skills, so make an effort to keep everyone in the loop. Uninformed employees will think of the worst-case scenarios, especially during stressful times. Reduces workplace stress by being proactive and addressing issues when they pop up. Happy employees are loyal and productive, burned out employees are not.
Knowing how much you can handle is an important part of managing stress. We offer solutions for businesses at every stage. For those just starting out, we offer logo design, website design, business advice, and a variety of resources. Established businesses can benefit from brand updates, advertising campaigns, t-shirts and merchandise design. Drop us a line to schedule your FREE consultation today!