how to stay healthy

Entrepreneurship has myriad advantages. You own your time, you’re building something you love, and you are the boss. It’s nice to call the shots, but it’s also a heavy load to bear. Stress, anxiety, and exhaustion are often part of the package.

It’s key to take care of your emotional health. You probably already know that taking care of your physical health is important, but emotional wellness needs attention too. Being in good emotional health will make you a better leader, better worker, and happier person all around.

Entrepreneurial stress can come from fear of failure, the need to make money, overwork, or job conflict. (Really, it can come from anywhere- being an entrepreneur is hard!) Ongoing stress is detrimental to our physical and emotional health, and we need to be able to fight it.

Emotionally, long-term stress can make us depressed, irritable, impact our sense of self-worth, and increase our self-doubt. That’s a lot of things to carry on your shoulders as you’re trying to build a company. Protecting your mental health means you’ll be a better entrepreneur, plain and simple.

Here’s how to take care of your emotional health as an entrepreneur.

Be Aware of Your Emotional Health 

First things first- you have to be in touch with your emotions in order to protect them. If your friends call you RoboCop because you’re so unfeeling, it’s time to check in.

Notice your mood throughout the day. Are you waking up happy and excited, or tired and downtrodden? Do you feel inspired by your work or defeated by it? When you talk about your business, is it positive or negative?

Getting an idea of your emotional landscape will key you into what you really need. Track your emotions in a journal for a week to get the lay of the land.

Break Your Routine

Whether it’s getting out of your office to work at a coffee shop, or taking your lunch break to exercise, entrepreneurs need to break their routines. While habits can be powerful forces of productivity, they can also sucker punch your emotional health.

Working from your home office might mean a quieter workplace, but it can also contribute to feelings of isolation. If you’re stress levels are climbing, breaking your routine can make you feel powerful and remind you you’re not alone. There is life outside of your stressed out environment.

A walk around the block where you can change your surroundings, see other people and get some exercise can drop stress levels. Breaking your routine can also open up room for new ideas and get creativity flowing.

Turn Stress Into a Motivator

This is something that sounds like b.s, but is actually one of the most useful tools in your arsenal. I use it myself. When I feel my stress levels hitting the ceiling, I focus on how I can use it to power through my daunting to-do list.

Take some deep breaths and step away from your work for a moment. You can’t use stress as a motivator if you let it run wild. So take a minute to calm yourself down and re-focus.

Get very clear on what exactly needs to be done over the remainder of the day. Write it down and put it next to your workspace. Hone in on one thing at a time. Now is not the time to think big picture or long term- just get done what needs to be done right now.

From that list, see what you can outsource. Asking for help is a fantastic way to take care of your emotional health. It can also ensure that things get done during a period of high stress.

Accomplishing things will reduce your stress. You’ll feel better as you check things off your list, literally.

Create a Clean and Welcoming Space

Hop on over to Pinterest and browse some beautiful workspace images. They can be more helpful than you think. Creating a space that you love is a step towards emotional health.

Having a clean, organized and welcoming space to work in will make you feel focused and calm. Working in a space that you love will reduce stress levels and increase your drive.

Studies have shown that clutter increases anxiety and stress. It impacts your brain’s ability to focus. Keeping your workspace clean and clutter free will help you be a better worker.

There’s nothing wrong and everything right with protecting your emotional health. We don’t need to wear exhaustion and stress as a badge of honor any more. Happiness and productivity will look much better on everyone.

Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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