“Not prioritizing your mental health as an entrepreneur can lead to, or magnify mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, or grief. Entrepreneurship is hard. Building a business from the ground up can be an emotional roller coaster, and we can’t go through the motions of running our businesses all the while neglecting ourselves and our mental health.”
- Nia Lewis, CEO of the Solopreneur Hustle
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 72% of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues compared to 48% of non entrepreneurs.
We pour ourselves into our businesses because we want them to be successful, but oftentimes we forget that the health of our business is dependent on our own wellbeing.
Here are some ways you can prioritize your mental health so that you can show up as your best self for your business.
Go to Therapy
Whether you are looking for a professional to speak to once during a particularly stressful time, or you want to find someone you can see regularly, everyone can benefit from therapy.
If you are ready to find a therapist, scan the directory at Therapy for Black Girls.
Take this quiz at Better Help to determine your mental health needs.
Read this American Psychological Association Guide on how to find a therapist.
Prioritize Your Peace
Do you find yourself putting your peace on hold while you focus on building your business?
As the CEO of your business, you have the power to decide who you work with. If you don’t have the time or energy to take on another client, you don’t want to work with a person who is not in alignment with your values, or your to-do list is too long to add another task, you are allowed to say that you aren't taking on more work at this time.
The beauty of being a solopreneur is that you can choose your schedule and your life. When your priority is to protect your inner peace, that energy will show up in your business.
Listen to Prioritize Your Inner Peace on the Solopreneur Hustle Podcast.
Try a meditation app like Headspace.
Listen to podcasts, such as the Balanced Black Girl Podcast, that make you feel inspired.
Treat rest as an intentional practice. Often, slowing down and taking a beak can lead to feelings of anxiety and not doing enough. Forcing yourself to do nothing while your mind is tackling a to-do list is not rest.
Making money does not require suffering, and building a successful business does not require more work. The truth is, you can only do so many things in a day, and making the time to let your mind decompress will help you work smarter not harder.
Register for the free Elevate Your Wealth course and stop trading your time for money.
Download the free Safe Place app for tips and advice on self-care practices for maintaining mental health.
Give Yourself Grace
Would your friends still be your friends if you talked to them the same way you talk to yourself?
As an entrepreneur, your ambition, desire for something big, and your drive are your strengths. However, they can also trap you in the hustle hamster wheel of feeling like you're not doing enough.
Having a critical inner voice or a harsh narrative berating you constantly will not serve you or your business. Speak to yourself like you would speak to a friend, and see how much your internal world shifts.
Download an affirmation app such as I Am to send you positive affirmations throughout your day.
Create a vision board that inspires you using free images from Unsplash.
Listen to Overcoming Burnout and Limiting Beliefs with Mindset Coach Marquita Myrick on the Solopreneur Hustle Podcast.
Don't Be Afraid To Turn Down Business
If taking on more business is going to jeopardize your mental health, then it is not ultimately taking you closer to your goals. You can burn yourself out doing work you love for clients that you enjoy working with, but that is still not a healthy approach to building a sustainable business.
When your mental health is on the line, it always makes more sense to say no to more responsibilities. If you feel doubts when agreeing to a new scope of work, it’s probably not in alignment with you at this time.
Listen to this Reset podcast episode about setting healthy boundaries.
Listen to this Ted Talk by Salma Hindy about why being a people pleaser is harmful.
Read this article by Wait But Why for a visual representation of how important your time really is.
Digital Communication Detox
Take time to get away from the world and simply be with yourself. If possible, find a day each week where you can turn off your notifications, decide not to reply to anyone’s texts or emails, and focus on restoring your own personal energy.
It is exhausting to be constantly needed, to always be one email away from work mode, and to be constantly thinking about what needs to get done.
Giving yourself the time to step away and recharge will bring a new wave of energy into your business, and you will feel more at peace with yourself.
Use the screen time setting in your phone to schedule downtime or set limits on your apps.
Prioritizing your mental health is a challenge for entrepreneurs, and it may look different for you during different seasons of your life. You deserve to feel vibrant, energetic, and free. When you tend to yourself, you set your business up for success.
To learn more, listen to the Solopreneur Hustle Podcast episode Managing My Mental Health here!