As we approach the end of the year, demands on our professional and personal time quickly increase. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to be kind to yourself and open yourself up to self-compassion. When stress and anxiety are allowed to roam unchecked, it can have a devastating effect on our health and well-being. As a starting point, take a few minutes from your day to read these suggestions for caring for your mental health during the holiday rush.
Take care of you
Consciously making time for yourself will activate your relaxation response and reduce stress levels in your body. We know that time is at a premium as a business owner. This small investment in yourself can’t be over-emphasized in importance.
Practice self-care to improve mental and physical health, not just during the holidays but throughout the year. Taking care of yourself improves overall well-being and helps you be a better employee, friend, student, and family member.
Examples of self-care include:
- Getting a massage
- Seeking medical treatment for physical aches and pains
- Making spiritual connections
- Learning new skills and hobbies
- Getting quality sleep
Seeking help from a mental health professional is another way to take care of yourself.
Have a plan for elements you can control
A great way to deal with anxiety is to channel it toward practical action. No matter how carefully you plan your business, there will always be aspects you can’t control. For everything else, plan what you want to do and attack it. Use your anxiety as a motivator and an ally in the process.
The more areas of your business you get a handle on, the fewer opportunities there will be for anxiety to appear and derail your day.
Draw clear boundaries
There’s a temptation as an entrepreneur to always be switched on. There’s likely a perpetual “to-do” list running through your mind, but don’t let this list become your master. Try to develop a clear boundary between work and your personal life. It will be a habit you have to work to perfect, but the impact it will have on your mental health will be massive.
Ask for help
Whether it’s a trusted friend or family member, or a professional therapist, it’s so important to share how you’re feeling and open yourself up to help. We’re all carrying struggles others aren’t aware of. When you share these challenges with somebody, it will reduce your stress levels, improve your mood, and may even lead to solutions you hadn’t considered.
When it comes to how many people you choose to share with, there’s no right or wrong answer. You are the expert, and you should decide what’s best for your unique situation. Entrepreneurship has often been described as a lonely journey, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Talk to someone, seek out the help and support you need, and it will massively boost your personal and professional well-being. Despite your best efforts, you may constantly feel sad, anxious or irritable. You may have physical symptoms, such as pain, headaches, insomnia or a lack of energy. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or mental health professional. You can also call the free Mental Health Helpline or your local CMHA branch for additional support.