Guest Post | Sep 20, 2022
Recent timeshave been exceptionally difficult for self-employed people. According to Forbes, who have profiled a recent research report, a staggering 92% of small business owners have experienced mental health problems over the past two years. Of this, 40% believe that their mental health recovery will take significantly longer than any potential financial recovery due to the downturn. This is an extremely worrying trend and one that has a financial and, more importantly, a human cost. For entrepreneurs, it can be hard to disengage and take a new perspective of their wellbeing; but doing so can be crucial in maintaining long-term physical – and financial – health.
Getting ahead of issues
Stress is often identified by entrepreneurs from a sense of trepidation when confronting key issues. Therefore, the most important early strategy to prevent burnout is to tackle any situation that might create a trigger for worsening mental health. For small business owners, one of the most common sources of stress is legal negotiations. Whether through negotiating a contract with suppliers or navigating the world of compliance, legal considerations have the potential to create huge time constraints and inflict financial damage – making them a primary source of stress. The most important way to approach this, according to Entrepreneur magazine, is to be assertive and tackle the issue headon. Financial and legal problems have the habit of creating avoidant behavior; recognize that in yourself and ‘swallow the frog’ – that is, take whatever action is required quickly and effectively, to free up valuable mental real estate to decongest later.
Cutting the chaff
Many entrepreneurs find themselves terminally short on time. When this happens and stress builds, it can be a domino effect with regards to mental health; work becomes rushed, reducing quality. The work/life balance is massively impacted, creating greater strain. Sleep, a crucial element to any healthy life, is reduced, creating mistakes and damaging health. Indeed, the most successful entrepreneurs ‘see’ time, according to Bloomberg. Automate away busy work. Put time and quality into products and innovation. Look at hiring employees, or outsourcing, to reduce the amount of time wasted on procedure to an absolute minimum.
Spending some time
Even with optimizations, many small business owners will feel like their time is constrained. This can make it difficult to find time to work on mental wellness and stress reduction techniques, especially with free hours so compressed. However, as the Mayo Clinic rightly highlights, even finding a few minutes – or even a few seconds – can have huge benefits. Meditation is the key, and practicing it comes in many forms, from the classic image of a cross-legged individual with their eyes-closed, through to simply taking a few breaths. Giving even a few moments over each hour to the idea of being in the moment can have broad benefits that will impact the business positively.
Over time, these benefits will build, and lead to greater mental wellness. This ensures that the body doesn’t start to fail under the pressures of stress, and that the business remains healthy.
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