Is Your Mental Health Affecting Your Business?
As a business owner, the amount of pressure and stress that I am constantly under is more than I bargained for at times, so it’s only right that I do everything in my power to take control of my mental health! Why focus on mental health? Well, mental health, much like physical health takes a huge toll on our bodies when we neglect it.
In the past, I often found myself too sad or depressed to do anything like get back to clients, reach out to new potential clients, or even leave the house to get some fresh air. Avoiding taking care of my mental health only made things worse because of the domino effect. If I was too sad or empty to work, I didn’t make money - if I didn’t make money, I couldn’t pay the bills - if I couldn’t pay the bills, I’d stress about how I’d come up with the money to pay the bills quick enough! It was an endless spiral until I decided to take things into my own hands. Granted, it’s super tough to even make up your mind about starting over and taking control, but think of it as something you just have to push yourself into doing. Once you do it a few times, you’ll realize that it’s only helping you move forward in a positive way and it becomes a habit! Below, I’ve listed 10 ways to pick yourself out of a funk and take control of your mental health! So, let’s get into it!
01. Seek Therapy
Thankfully, therapy doesn’t have so much of a negative stigma attached to it anymore! That’s because millennials have realized that seeking help to cope with trauma ISN’T a bad thing! Yayyy *queue the confetti & streamers* !!! Why do I believe in therapy? Well, I have a therapist and she just so happens to be AMAZE-BALLS! Does this mean your therapist will be amaze-balls too? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Now, I’m not saying this to be a kill-joy, but not everyone will be for you & that’s totally fine! Most therapists offer a complimentary session in order for you to figure out if you like their vibe or not. Some therapists will even tell you that their specialty may not mesh with your needs & this is perfectly fine because it only pushes you to find that special someone who will do the trick. My recommendations for finding the right therapist are based on the following criteria:
Vibe: Does it feel natural opening up to this person? This is major because although the experience overall will definitely be different and out of the ordinary, we can always feel vibes, so go with your gut! Cultural Background/Understanding of your background: Can you speak to this person about your upbringing without feeling judged? (The perfect example of this being a huge issue is this short story: This guy I know, let’s call him E.J., went to a therapist and opened up about his parents “spanking” him as a child. The therapist grew up in a household where they were never spanked & he proceeded to lecture E.J. on the fact that his family was horrible for giving him spankings as a child! E.J. loves his family, so this was a total turn off to hear a stranger bash the very people he cared about. That was E.J.’s last time at therapy until a friend convinced him to go to someone who came from the same background & specialized in racial identity! It’s safe to say that E.J. LOVES therapy now, and it’s simply because he found someone he clicks with! - Hopefully in your journey to finding the right therapist, you find someone that makes you feel happy and safe, like E.J.’s new therapist!
02. Add Meditation/Prayer to your routine
Next we have meditation and prayer. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, either one of these would be a great way to start your day! Peace and serenity first thing in the morning are sure to lift your spirits and get your pumped and ready for the day. If you’re unsure of how to meditate, head to your smartphones App Store and download a meditation guiding app - this will help you through the entire process!
03. Incorporate "Happy Talk" into your day!
What’s happy talk? I didn’t know what else to call it, but happy talk is anything that revolves around speaking positively and kindly to yourself. Some of the things that fall into this category are:
Positive Affirmations: Saying things like “I am brave, I am fearless, I am intelligent, I am going to make this sale” are all positive affirmations. Beware of saying things, even in a joking manner like, “I’m so stupid”, because this is still an affirmation, it’s just not the kind we’re aiming for!
Show Gratitude: Giving thanks for what you DO have rather than what you DON’T have is an absolute MUST! When you see people that are happy, don’t assume that they have it all, they may not have anything at all except a positive outlook on life. Anyone, no matter what the circumstance may be, can list 3 things their grateful for on a daily basis. Let’s start small with the things we take for granted! Do you have all of your senses? Keep the list going and growing each day!
Be Kind to Yourself: Are you too hard on yourself when you don’t complete your entire to-do list for the day? How about when you don’t feel like you were productive enough? When you’re feeling down and almost like you’re not worth much, pick yourself up by looking at what you did accomplish or what you can do better tomorrow. We’re all human, we have slip ups, we aren’t perfect, we just need to remind ourselves that there is no rush. Life isn’t about getting to the destination, it’s about the journey there.
04. Take Care of Your Physical Health
For me, taking care of my physical health is directly connected with my mental health. Exercising keeps me more energized, helps me sleep better, & makes me feel great! We’ve all heard about the endorphins and how exercising can help positively affect our outlook on life, so I won’t dive too deep into that, but if you can even squeeze in just 15 minutes of working out per day, it’ll dramatically improve your overall mood! Don't forget to also eat healthy, because you are what you eat! Junk food makes us feel sluggish because its packed with sugars and fats! Take care of your body and it will take care of you! --But don't forget to be realistic and have a cheat meal here and there if you feel you've earned it !
05. Make Time for Hobbies
Making time for hobbies is really important. Even if your business is focused on your hobby (like mine with graphic design), take a moment to focus on your hobbies outside of working. Instead of creating something for a client, do it for yourself & give it to a friend or even raffle it away! Be sure to include the things you love into your routine - this will give you that sense of balance you’ll need to stay sane!
06. Daily Self Care Routine
Do you have a self care routine? Sometimes, we pour so much into the development of our businesses that we forget to pour into ourselves! Create a self care routine to help balance the two! For example, here’s mine:
Read or Learn Something new
Play “brain games” - I have an app called “Elevate” that gives me 3 free games per day!
Wash my face/brush teeth
Head to the gym
Take care of any quick errands I may have
Get home & Take a shower
Then, I finally get started with my work day!
Create something similar, it doesn’t have to be as long, but take at least 1 full hour to yourself before starting your work day! A tip would be to wake up earlier & sleep a bit earlier in order to give yourself room to do this - you’ll thank yourself in the long run!
07. Spending Time with Loved Ones
What’s life without having the love of friends, family, or a significant other? I truly believe that life is meant to be shared with loved ones. We were put here to love one another and help one another grow, but somehow capitalism has taken that away from us. Now all we think about is working, paying bills, and vice versa. Now, I’m not saying this needs to be every day or even every week, but make it a habit to visit with loved ones every so often just to keep the connections in your life alive. We don’t want to look back one day and regret not spending enough time with our loved ones especially when we know we could’ve made the time for them. Being around love brings a special kind of happiness that we all deserve, so do yourself a favor and schedule some time for them soon!
08. Treat yourself the way you’d treat someone you love.
Why? Because #1, you SHOULD love yourself! & #2, because you can’t pour from an empty cup. Be sure to fill yourself up with positivity and sound advice the way you would a loved one. Imagine if someone was talking smack about your friend? Wouldn’t you be upset and want to beat them up? Well, look at it the same way for yourself. In this situation, be your friend. The way you speak about yourself - would you let someone talk to or about your friend in that way? Would you allow your friend to get cheated on, hurt, or manipulated by others? -No- So why do we allow this for ourselves? Learn how to love yourself like you would a friend & things will surely start to fall into place!
09. Self Awareness Assessment
Okay, so this one is super duper important and honestly should have been #1, but this is in no particular order, so better late than never!
What is a self awareness assessment? This is where you sit down and evaluate yourself! So, how does this help?
It helps you track your progress over time to keep you motivated
Allows you to visualize what your strengths and weaknesses are
Guides you in creating a blueprint for how you will replace any negative traits with positive ones
Forces you to grow!
Being real with yourself is the first step in determining what’s next in your life. It’ll give you lots of clarity & help you find purpose, these things add up to give you peace of mind and mental stability. In your assessment, be sure to ask yourself a variety of questions, I’ll give you a few below, but don’t worry, I’ll create a full future blog for this topic later on!
What are my long term goals? What am I doing to accomplish them?
What are my short term goals? What am I doing to accomplish them?
How do I treat myself?
How do I treat others?
What are some of the hypocritical traits I possess?
What are some characteristics I love about myself?
What traits would I like to replace with more positive ones?
Add to this list! Dig deep, it’s the point of the assessment!
Last, but not least…
10. Always think about preventative measures (The Holistic Approach)
Okay, this one should actually be first! Why? Because sometimes, we feel like we don’t need any help because were “perfectly fine.” The way I see it, it’s best to take preventative actions instead of waiting for something bad to happen to then slap a bandaid on it. Our world doesn’t teach us enough about preventative care, because drugging us up or giving us expensive treatments makes Big Pharma more profits. In the end we lose while they gain. I hope you choose to put all of or at least some of these measures into play within your life so that you too can enjoy a happy, fulfilling life without the help of side-effect risen drugs!
If you or someone you know is struggling in any of the aforementioned areas, feel free to reach out! It’s perfectly normal to need and ask for help! A lot of times, I need to take a step back, talk it out with myself, my partner, and my therapist to eventually reevaluate what I’m doing to stay on top of my mental health!
Together, we can do this!
If you liked this article or found even one piece of advice helpful, please share this post with your friends and other loved ones to help them stay on top of their mental health, too!
Remember, preventative care is the best care!
Stay tuned for more not-so-weekly blog posts and be sure to follow me on IG: @Stacey_jayyy to stay up to date with all things holistic branding!
Hope to see you again, soon! Xoxo