Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? It originated in the United States in 1949, and is celebrated with various events focused on raising awareness and recognizing the impact of good mental health on overall well-being.
Building, running, and owning a business can take a toll on entrepreneurs. The very character traits that power your success as an entrepreneur like risk-taking, persistence, and competitiveness may put your mental health at risk.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, when it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a significant impact.
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical and mental health.
Tip 1: Just Move Your Body
Your physical health is critical to your overall well-being. That doesn’t mean you have to “rise and grind” every single day, but it does mean that taking breaks from your desk to stretch, take a quick walk, or do 10 minutes on the Pelaton will go a long way toward keeping your body healthy and strong.
30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health.
Tip 2: In the Mood for Healthy Food
Did you know that the added sugar in your food and drinks adds additional strain on your body and mind? And that the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and many other ailments mimic symptoms of dehydration?
A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day.
A good rule of thumb — when healthier fare, try to be as excited as a woman eating a salad in a Shutterstock image. A small amount of daily fiber and good fat will make you feel energized and ready to conquer even your Monday inbox.
Tip 3: Snooze Your Way to Success
Make sleep a priority. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.
We know it can be tough, but try to get 7 hours of sleep a night. Your body and brain will thank you!
Tip 4: Setting Healthy Boundaries
Fun fact: Individuals with overwhelming schedules are the ones who need hobbies the most. Studies have shown that overworking can lead to fatigue, apathy, memory problems, and sleep deprivation.
The first step to making room for what brings you joy is shortening your daily to-do list.
Knowing when to say “no” is just as important as saying “yes.” Boundaries are crucial to your mental well-being. You can start establishing them by blocking time on your calendar, eliminating distractions like notifications from social media, and attending fewer meetings.
Tip 5: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
This goes both ways, so don’t forget to nurture the important connections in your life. Your friends or family members can provide you with emotional support, practical advice, and a chance to be your authentic self without judgment.
Coworkers can feel like family because you spend so much time with them, but it's important to maintain connections outside of work so you can truly unplug and refresh.
You are never alone, and reaching out to your support network is an invaluable form of self-care.