5 Mental Health Tips For New Business Owners 2024

5 Mental Health Tips For New Business Owners 2024

From M Rashid

Most people dream of the day they can walk off the job to start their own businesses, assuming that life would be so much easier without having to answer to a ‘boss’.

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Most people dream of the day they can walk off the job to start their own businesses, assuming that life would be so much easier without having to answer to a ‘boss’. Unfortunately, as every business owner knows, running a business is no walk in the park and it requires a lot of effort. This is especially true when you’re just starting out and have to micromanage everything to make sure it’s done just right. This, of course, comes at a cost. You always have less time for yourself, for a personal life, for activities you used to enjoy, and even for sleep. Research published in Frontiers in Psychology explored these stressors, highlighting the risks, but more importantly, it pointed out the role of positive affect in personal lives, seen as critical for various aspects of entrepreneurial success and resilience.

If you just started a new business in 2024, make it a point to follow these simple, yet critical mental health tips to build resilience to stress and develop cognitive flexibility.

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is essential for you to maintain your mental and emotional well-being when dealing with all of the pressures that come with owning a new business. Regular exercise is known to lower stress levels, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as yoga can also help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation, leading to better overall mental health. Self-care also means making time for yourself to pursue hobbies or leisure activities outside of your regular work, whether it’s participating in sports or playing a musical instrument. Most importantly, make a commitment to your mental health by talking to an online therapist periodically. Behavioral therapists and psychologists can provide you with guidance and techniques to better manage self-care, cope with stress, and perform at your best.

Practice Time Management

Effective time management skills are crucial for anyone in a high-pressure job, especially new business owners. Research shows that poor time management is associated with increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed, which will, in turn, adversely affect productivity. By prioritizing tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and avoiding multitasking, you can reduce stress levels and enhance your ability to focus on high-priority activities. Time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique or time blocking can help to create streamlined structures for working days, helping prevent burnout and improving efficiency. Time management techniques will also benefit every other aspect of your life as they will allow you to carve out personal time that you can utilize more effectively.

Set Clear Boundaries

Failure to set boundaries is a significant challenge for most new business owners as you’re more likely to push yourself too hard and suffer burnout. Moreover, with most of us working virtually and always connected via smart devices, it’s hard to enjoy any uninterrupted personal time. Without clear boundaries between work and personal life, you will struggle to find a healthy balance as work seeps into every area of your life. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, evidence suggests that over time it results in chronic stress, decreased productivity, lower job satisfaction, and strained relationships. By setting clear boundaries, such as designated work hours and time off, entrepreneurs can create structure and predictability, allowing for greater relaxation and enjoyment outside of work.

Seek Support

Networking may be a buzzword that we’ve heard all too often, but in the context of mental health, this can be fairly important. Of course, it doesn’t simply refer to forming and nurturing connections with other business owners but also includes connections with mentors, peers, friends, and family members. When you cultivate personal and social relationships, it acts as a buffer against the negative effects of stress and promotes resilience. Having a strong social support system means that you will always have someone to confide in and seek advice from, which can be invaluable during challenging times. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness does not mean you have to take time off from work to meditate and find ‘inner peace’. It’s about being fully present in the moment, whether you’re relaxing in the bath or tackling a complex problem at work. As a new business owner, mindfulness will help cultivate greater resilience to stress, allowing you to stay present and focused, and make more informed decisions amidst uncertainty. In fact, most business owners regard mindfulness as the cornerstone of their physical wellbeing and business success. This should come as no surprise because numerous studies show that adopting mindfulness practices can lower stress, improve focus, and enhance overall well-being. Mindfulness has also been found to alter brain activity, not just improving stress regulation, but also enhancing cognitive function

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