Okay friends. It's time to have a real talk. Let's talk about you. And taking care of you. Did you know that 1 in 3 entrepreneurs lives with depression? (More information on that here) And even if you aren't one of those 1 in 3 you are still no stranger to the mental toll that running a business can have on your mental health. I personally have struggled with depression and anxiety long before I was running my own company. And now that I work so closely with so many amazing small business owners I know that I can not sit back and be silent about something that is effecting the amazing business men and women I am working with. This has become an epidemic in our entrepreneur community!
It's time to do something about! I am going to share a few ways that you can implement to help make sure you are taken care of. Because taking care of yourself really does help take care of your business!
Give Yourself A Guilt Free Down Time
If you're able to; allow yourself one day a week or a half day a week that you can guilt free not show up to work. For many of the people reading this, you are working from home or working towards working from home. I have to remind myself that part of the reason I started my own company was for the flexibility. I am allowed to use that flexibility. I don't use that half day every week. But knowing that I have it on the mornings that I can't bring myself to do anything, is amazing! Allow yourself the guilt free, no pressure, no work time!
I feel like this is preached over and over! But it still gets ignored! Everyday, think of one thing you can do for you. I understand that not everyday do we have time to spend tons of time on ourselves. But remember the little things. Get yourself your favorite Starbucks drink, or take a minute to paint your nails, or take a coloring break. (This is my favorite coloring book!) Just make sure you are doing something to make sure you are valuing yourself.
Set Boundaries With Your Clients
This one is constantly debated in the entrepreneur community. But I 100% stand behind setting boundaries. For me: I only communicate with clients during normal Monday-Friday office hours. Yes, sometimes I need to write a blog post or finish a project over the weekend or late at night. Cause that's life. But I make sure that my clients understand that I am not available 24/7. No one can work 24/7. Even most stores and companies still close at some point! It's important to "close the doors" so to speak! I also only communicate through email with my clients. It keeps everything organized and then I don't have clients texting me all weekend or sending me facebook messages that I have to scroll for miles to find the last assignment they sent me. Being able to "go home" after work is so important!
This is another one of those that is shared all the time. Working out is amazing for those who struggle with depression. I personally HATE working out. I joke that I would rather have a limb removed than go to the gym. Maybe it's not such a joke! haha! But at the end of the day I know it's actually better for me mentally than it is physically. I try to make sure I get my sweat on in some shape or form twice a week. Even if that's just going for a short walk. (I'm in South Texas and it's August. So walking to your car almost counts as getting your sweat on!)
Find A Buddy
Working from home can be so isolating. It's so important to have someone to talk to! I currently have a standing coffee date with an amazing friend every week! We sit and chat for hours! Having someone you can confide in and a reason to leave the house is sooo incredibly important for your mental health! When I first started working form home, and even sometimes these days, it would about drive me insane going all day and not talking to anyone. By day two I would be on the verge on insanity! Find a buddy, meet regularly, and just talk!
Depression is a very serious matter. This is by no means a complete list. And I highly recommend talking to your doctor about other options and ways to cope. They will have many more specific ideas for your needs. I am not a psychologist. Just sharing what has worked for me and I have seen work for others. But please, talk to your doctor!
Do you have any favorite ways of keeping depression at bay in your business? Or a way of allowing yourself room for your feelings while you work? Share your tips and tricks below in the comments!