Ask any business owner and he or she will tell you: managing a business is hard work. For many owners, it’s normal to have your good and bad days tied to your business’s performance. In hard times, stress can take a toll on a business owner’s mental health, which can only add more burden to an already overwhelming load. Instead of waiting for the meltdown around the corner, we encourage business owners to keep stress at bay with this mental health checklist.
When a business is underperforming, the first conclusion any owner would jump to is to work longer hours. Although working harder is an important step to strengthening your business, it’s only half the battle. If you’re already pushing yourself to your limit, the last thing you need on top of your hectic workload is a bout of burnout, which can easily happen if you’re not conscious of balancing your work with other priorities. In stressful times, tunnel vision can take over and restrict your impetus to achieving your goal, which has its own pros and cons. While other priorities take a backseat, important matters such as health can slip through the cracks and suffer. To keep burnout at bay, business owners need to manage a steady work pace by maintaining work-life balance. It’s important to keep in mind that your life exists outside of the workplace and your business. Investing yourself into different areas of your life will take some of the pressure off while helping you sustain your energy to continue your work.
As the one who calls the shots for your company, there’s always an endless to-do list that keeps you busy. If you’re starting to feel like life is a blur because you’re living by your to-do list, you may need to think about slowing down. Therapists and life coaches recommend practicing mindfulness, a form of meditation that allows you to slow down and connect with your present moment. Mindfulness is staying presently awareness of your surroundings, your emotions, physical senses, and thoughts. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness techniques such as noticing your thoughts can reduce stress and increase feelings of self-compassion, positivity, well-being, and happiness. Practice mindfulness meditations at Mindful.org.
Strong Relationships One of the best ways to fight stress is by having a strong social support system. Quality relationships with your spouse or significant other, friends, and family can help reduce the effects of stressful circumstances and work environments. According to Mentalhealth.gov, support systems are essential to maintaining and improving an individual’s mental health. Studies from Harvard Medical School have found that strong relationships can influence our long-term health and are just as important as maintaining a healthy diet, sleeping well, and not smoking. One study showed that a lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death by 50%. To get connected to those around you, take opportunities to volunteer, join a sports team or social groups with shared interests and hobbies, or get involved with a faith community.
Hobbies and Other Interests
Finding a hobby or cultivating other interests outside of your work can reduce stress, increase happiness, and help you think creatively. Whether it’s painting, playing a sport, or taking up woodworking, investing in a hobby can benefit your overall health. Studies have shown that hobbies involving art and creative engagement can improve mental health, while physical recreation can help with overall health and isolation. Getting involved in a hobby or group activity such as a sports team can decrease experiences of depression and anxiety while increasing positive moods. Even in the midst of a busy work schedule, make it a priority to find a hobby where you can decompress and add greater enjoyment to your life.
One activity that has been proven to dramatically improve both mental and physical health is exercise. Multiple studies have shown time and time again that exercise lowers your risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and more. Exercise can improve your energy and mood, can improve brain development, increase your concentration, promote better sleep, improve memory and thinking skills, and help you lose weight. Doctors recommend exercising at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Exercising is just one half of the equation when it comes to having good physical health. A good diet is just as important and is a foundational aspect of your overall health. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, good eating habits can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, and protects you from future health problems. Poor diets, on the other hand, are associated with heightened risks for illness and death. A good diet is one that includes a large amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low sodium, low sugar, and low saturated fats.
Ask For Help
Most importantly, the key to mental health success is asking for help. Whether this means delegating more tasks to others, hiring new employees, joining a support group, or looking to other resources, asking for help will lighten the burden on your shoulders. Business owners looking for resources for business financing can look to companies like Opportunity Business Loans for help. Opportunity Business Loans connects business owners with a large network of lenders so they can compare rates and find the best financing option for their business. With help from companies like Opportunity Business Loans, business owners can save time and energy and reduce their stress when it comes to finding business financing.