How are you looking after your mental health?
Yesterday, 10th October 2021 was World Mental Health Day. The burden of mental disorders continues to grow with significant impact on health and major social, human rights and economic consequences in all the countries of the world.
We can deal with this issue!
Let’s start by destigmatising mental health, alongside being more realistic about our challenges and dropping the faux glamour. ‘Seize the moment’ is often the startup cry, but it also means being present, doing what you want to do for yourself in the moment.
Navigating the internal and external pressures and expectations is one of the most prominent mental health challenges founders face. The problem is that pressure to move fast takes its toll. A study of entrepreneurs from UC Berkeley revealed that 72% reported mental health challenges, and 19% of founders felt that starting a company had contributed negatively to their wellbeing. Until recently, admitting such sentiments was taboo. Rather than showing vulnerability, founders have practiced ‘fake it till you make it.’ But not everyone who walks through darkness makes it out.
Why does startup life impact founders’ wellbeing?
· Hustle vs Health
· No boundaries
· Always over-extended
What are the repeated signs that your mental health is declining?
· Imposter Syndrome
What can you do to take care of your mental health?
– Acknowledge your mental health issues – get help!
– Being self-reliant doesn’t mean going it alone. Get a mentor! Give your team the opportunity to be accountable.
– Take a break – learn to pace yourself. Find out that your kids still love you. Your partner still loves you. Your dog still loves you.
– Focus on your minimums, not your maximums What do you need minimally in your life?
– Creating realistic goals and expectations
– One thing at a time
– Follow your out-of-work passions
Mental health conditions undermine performance and put your own success in jeopardy. This realisation together with the stigma of mental health makes it much harder for you to get out of the loop of mental health erosion – you are seen as a super-human and speaking up about it feels like weakness. Yet good mental health is as essential for knowledge work. Creativity, ingenuity, insight, planning, and analysis are often the cognitive cornerstones of breakthrough value creation by entrepreneurs; therefore, your personal wellbeing is intrinsically linked with the wellbeing of your business or startup.