It takes a lot of courage to own a business. It’s hard to juggle everything, from income fluctuations to seemingly endless to-do lists. In the case of freelancers, solopreneurs, self-employed professionals, or small to medium-sized business owners, chances are you have been putting off taking care of your mental health for an extended period without even realizing it.
This is not an uncommon occurrence. According to studies, 80% of small business owners suffer from poor mental health, with freelancers suffering from depression twice as often as office workers.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to most business owners when they take a look at their daily lives. The stress and anxiety associated with irregular work hours, deadline pressures, job insecurity, and working from home can combine to create a perfect storm of near-constant anxiety. Eventually, you will burn out, become physically ill, and more.
However, all is not lost. You can achieve a fulfilling, balanced life as well as a thriving, successful business by incorporating your mental health into your business strategy. Do you want to change things up? Find out what freelancers and business owners have learned from making it work with these insights and top tips.
“Mental health” is defined as the psychological, emotional, and social well-being you experience. From your relationship with others to how you handle stress, it affects every aspect of your life.
You can also relate your physical health to your mental health. By letting it slide, symptoms may range from headaches and insomnia to long-term conditions like diabetes and heart disease. At the end of the day, everything you do, think and say is impacted by your mental health.
You should remember as a business owner that your mental health can impact your interactions with others, your decision-making, and your ability to think clearly. It’s possible to make mistakes and miss deadlines when your mental health is poor. There is a possibility that your productivity and profits will decrease, and you will eventually stop caring about your job.
Sickness is also associated with work-related stress. It can be a serious source of trouble for your bottom line if you do not have access to paid sick leave since most businesses do not have this benefit. Positive mental health, on the other hand, often leads to more focus, creativity, and engagement in business. Small changes you make to improve your mental health can often impact your professional success.
Freelancers and business owners are prone to engaging in destructive mental habits without even realizing that they are doing so. It is essential that you recognize the behaviors that are hurting your mental health and that you take steps to stop engaging in them to maintain your mental health. You’ll want to avoid a few common mistakes.
The key to success is hard work, but excessive work often occurs when you work from home. Work fatigue and burnout are two of the most common headaches of freelancers because of this.
Keeping your business afloat is the most important priority, and it’s easy to convince yourself and your loved ones of that fact. Overworking, however, can lead to some serious problems. There is no doubt that a continuous drive to work can lead to mental health issues, but it can also damage personal relationships and negatively impact your physical health.
Many freelancers struggle with setting healthy boundaries, from working weekends to answering client calls at 11 pm. When “yes” is associated with business growth, this is especially true. Having a “do whatever it takes” attitude is great, but if you become accustomed to pleasing people all the time, you’ll feel out of balance.
Overcommitting yourself is also easy. If you’re constantly concerned about where your next job will come from, you may feel like you must take any opportunity that comes your way. You may accept jobs that aren’t quite right for you as a result of an unrealistic workload. Taking on work outside your current skill set creates a constant sense of overwhelm and can cause you to doubt your abilities and may cause depression.
A business owner’s lifestyle can be lonely despite its benefits. Solopreneurs and freelancers may spend all day at home with nothing more than their laptops and their thoughts. It is very common for people to go for days without speaking a word to one another and to go several days without saying to one another face-to-face. No matter how much time you spend working with the public, you likely spend the majority of your time working in the back office.
Even though some people enjoy this lifestyle, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and uninspiring in even the most introverted business owners. Although having the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want is appealing, interaction with others is essential to your creativity and productivity.
Having problems with your mental health because of your work habits? Consider whether you are experiencing any of these emotions or behaviors:
· Sleeping irregularly
· A lack of appetite
· Feeling socially isolated
· Anger or tears that are easily evoked
· Unable to relax
· Drug or alcohol abuse
· Anxiety, agitation, or moodiness
· Having no hope
· Focusing problems, or “brain fog”
· Having lost interest in things that used to excite you
Burnout may be affecting you if you experience any of these symptoms. Sadly, this is not a condition that disappears on its own. You shouldn’t ignore signs that you may be burning out. Take a step back and make your mental health a priority instead of rushing from one thing to another.
Staying balanced can be achieved by taking care of your mental health. In addition, it can reverse burnout or prevent it from occurring in the first place. Here are four tips to get you started.
Keep in mind that you are not a robot or a superhero. Don’t commit to working 24 hours a day. Focus on learning how to better manage your time instead by creating a routine, setting priorities, and creating a schedule.
Your client list will have to be reduced, you will have to raise your prices, and you might have to hire someone to assist you with some of your day-to-day activities. To avoid burnout, it’s important to recognize your limits and make changes when necessary.
Setting clear boundaries between work and home can be challenging when your daily commute is just a few feet long. After a long day at work, it’s essential to switch off. You will be able to reduce overworking through the use of this method, as well as you will be able to destress and feel more refreshed the next day when you return to work.
Start by setting regular work hours and adhering to them. Get weekends off and schedule vacations – even if they are only a few days longer. In addition, it is important that you have a dedicated workspace where you can leave the office physically once you have finished your workday.
You will suffer from mental health issues if you feel like all you do is work all the time. The majority of your life can be based on output and performance, which can make things you once enjoyed (including your work) seem boring.
Make sure you allocate time to activities that you enjoy to overcome this. Make sure you do at least one fun thing every day, whether it’s watching movies with friends, hiking, taking a yoga class, or reading a nonfiction book.
Business consultants can help you identify aspects of your business that contribute to mental health challenges and devise strategies to address them. It is often the case that this type of expert advice can assist you in gaining control over your business, increasing productivity, and achieving better results in a shorter time frame.
You may benefit from hiring a life coach if you are experiencing stress and overwhelm in your personal life. As a result, you may need to set goals and priorities, seek out greater enjoyment in your life, and work to repair relationships damaged by overwork.
There is a clear link between entrepreneurship and mental health. You can enjoy healthier relationships and be more productive when you focus on your mental health.
Don’t forget to protect your mental health as you go about your daily life. Indeed, maintaining a work-life balance can often be a challenge, but you don’t have to give up completely. You may need some time to find your sweet spot, but small changes will eventually accumulate, enabling you to enjoy both a happy life and a successful business at the same time.