As we go through Mental Health Awareness Month, we perhaps are able to envision what a new normal will look like in a soon different economy. We now continue to see the rest of the country become vaccinated and the workforce opening up even more. It is okay to acknowledge the burdensome toll this pandemic left on small businesses and entrepreneurs, and continue to pick up the pieces the best way we can.
According to a global study by King’s Business school, “61% of entrepreneurs saw the very existence of their business under threat in the pandemic, and the associated stress also impacted entrepreneurs’ self-care, which is critical for maintaining mental health. Only half of entrepreneurs in the study found enough time to recover from work stress and 44% reported not get sufficient sleep.” This was combined with health related worries, limited social contact, and support, all of which could be debilitating to anyone’s well being.
Seeing your livelihood threatened in this manner could be stressful in every way, shape, or form. While it is important to focus on some of the silver linings this pandemic left us, entrepreneurs must also try to prioritize the different ways they can take care of their mental health, and thrive in a post covid economy.
One way to do this is according to the study by King’s Business School is acknowledging and making time to recover from stress. While entrepreneurs are resilient and can face adversity and setbacks, stress can exhaust anyone. Making a plan of what recovery looks like for you, and how you can detach from work in the evenings is incredibly important to be able to reboot and give yourself ease.
Having a support group is another way to take care of your mental hygiene. Your support group can be going to counseling, or actually seeking closure and advice from those in your professional network or personal relationships. Counseling is able to enhance innovation and personal productivity; and it also gives you an avenue to identify what is currently working or not working in your personal routine.
The study by King’s Business School also highlights the importance of acknowledging things that fall out of our control. Accepting these things will free your mental capacity as an entrepreneur and allow you to focus on the things you do have the capacity of working on. Regaining control is perhaps exploring different markets, opportunities, or business offerings; or establishing a long term business plan based on your current situation. These are different ways that entrepreneurs can keep their feet on the ground and leverage off their current circumstances and options.
The mental well being of entrepreneurs really underpins the success of their business. While this pandemic really gave rise to some of the most difficult circumstances for many startup owners, it is important to continue to use this resilience to protect, nourish, and care for our mental health in the best way we can.