The idea of being an entrepreneur is exciting in the beginning. No longer do you have to do the mundane daily tasks that you disliked at your previous job. As an entrepreneur, you’re now able to do the work that you’re passionate about. You can create the company culture and product that you’ve dreamed of.
But there are a couple of things that you may not have considered when venturing out on your own as an entrepreneur: your mental and physical health. It’s easy to pour your all into getting your new business off the ground while forgetting about your mental and physical health in the meantime.
To avoid burnout and depression, here are some tips to take care of your mental and physical health as a new small business owner.
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Maintain a healthy diet
As a new entrepreneur, it’s easy to get into a habit of grabbing fast food while you’re running business errands, or ordering in if you work from home. Because your routine may have changed — sometimes drastically — from your 9-to-5 job, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating and when you’re eating. Try including green vegetables in every meal and eating fresh fruit or nuts as snacks in between meals. Try to stay away from soda, alcohol, and processed foods as much as possible. You’ll notice your productivity and energy shift based on what you’ve eaten in a given week.
If your new business requires you to be on social media a lot, it’s important to find time to disconnect from the phone. The news cycle is never-ending on social media. Also, it’s easy to stumble upon other entrepreneurs and their success, and end up comparing your accomplishments to theirs. Throughout the day, make sure you disconnect from the internet to calm your mind and ground yourself. Try reading, or talking on the phone to a loved one. It’s OK to disconnect in a world that always seems to be turned on.
Make time for yourself
As a business owner, you spend a lot of time giving yourself to others. You have to make sure your clients, employees, and customers are happy, and that can be taxing work day after day. A helpful way to deal with the anxiety that’s sure to come from that is to make time for yourself. Carve out time every day to do something that makes you happy and takes your mind off work. For some, that’s exercising in the middle of the work day. For others, that’s meditation or writing or painting after work. Find something therapeutic that works for your individual needs.
As a new business owner, it’s easy to forego sleep to cross everything off your to-do list. But don’t fall for it. The Centers for Disease Control recommend seven hours or more of sleep per night. Sleep helps your mind and body recover from a long day of thinking and problem solving. Sleep helps lower stress levels the following day, because your mind is able to function efficiently. It also helps your memory.