Mental Health Awareness: 7 Tips for Managing Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the Association of Virtual Assistants wants to help create more awareness around this important topic. During the month of May, the AVA will have a variety of guest bloggers covering topics related to mental health awareness.
Whether you are a VA who has been diagnosed with mental health issues, you have clients who have mental health issues, or simply want to make yourself more aware of how to address mental health issues this blog series is a must-read.
Mental health issues do not and should not be a barrier to you and your client’s success. In many cases, we simply need to understand more about our behavior and the behaviors of our clients in order to manage potentially stressful and triggering situations.
Georggetta “Coach Georgie” Howie, is a licensed clinical social worker, life coach, and expert on an impressive range of subjects related to high achieving adults, emotional management, trauma, managing mental health, and mindset. The AVA is thrilled to have her share 7 Tips for Managing your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur.
7 Tips for Managing Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur
The entrepreneurial experience can be an isolated journey on the road to success. It’s common for one to have no support team, cheerleaders, friends, or employees to celebrate the victories that one worked so hard to accomplish.
For many, a requirement of being your own boss means sacrificing social interactions. It means sitting behind a desk, working diligently on deadlines while negating choices that create a healthy balance for overall wellness.
According to a study by researcher Michael Freeman, 50 percent of entrepreneurs are more likely to have a mental health condition. This is a topic that is often not discussed.
Here are 7 tips to manage your mental health
- Get Professional Guidance
Self-diagnoses and assigning mental health labels to ourselves is an unhealthy coping mechanism used to manage frustrations. Mental health conditions are diagnosable by a Physiatrist or Primary Care Physician. A diagnosis is not a death sentence or meant to create harm. It is an instruction guide for you to better understand what you are experiencing. What appears to be depression in one person could be anxiety for another. It’s important that if you have been suffering, not feeling like yourself, have persistent symptoms, that you get a professional opinion. This will create greater awareness and proper guidance to your personal mental health needs. Moreover, it clarifies what you’re experiencing and provides the language you need to get the best support.
2. Establish Routines
Establishing healthy routines makes us feel great about ourselves and increases our productivity. When we start and end our days with routines, it allows a safe space to gain awareness of our feelings and state of mind. Routines can include mindfulness and meditation practices, exercise, reading, and journaling. This will reinforce a commitment to self-awareness, understanding your thoughts, and deciding each day what you want to focus on.
3. Stay Connected
While social distancing and quarantining has hampered social interactions, it’s imperative that we stay connected to our friends and loved ones. These interactions are essential for emotional wellness and create an outlet to share your thoughts and feelings. Become a friend of technology and get curious about how you can maintain engagement and interactions. It’s likely your friends need you just as much as you need them.
4. Increase Your Frustration Tolerance
Learn new tools to manage the thoughts about yourself and what you think others are thinking about you. When people are sad or depressed, they tend to focus on negative aspects of themselves or situations. Frustration grows and they lose out on gaining awareness of their thoughts, and how thoughts create feelings. With the increase of your frustration tolerance, you will increase self-compassion, along with your ability to better manage life and the challenges that come your way. A life with productive mental health is about managing our responses to the circumstances, not managing the circumstances.
5. Establish Boundaries
While your physical boundaries are now influenced by social distancing, these are not the only boundaries to establish. You should establish personal boundaries – boundaries that inform others how to treat you and how you will respond when that boundary is violated. Boundaries are not a form of punishment; we establish them to say yes to US, without fear of saying NO to others. Boundaries can be flexible, they are instrumental to improving your relationships and create space for vulnerability if you decide that’s what you want. Boundaries are essential for you to “reclaim your time” and protect you from the things that don’t add to your well-being or allow you to identify the things that make it difficult to manage your mental health. Establish boundaries that serve you and help avoid you feeling depleted.
6. Get Creative
Being creative increases your likelihood to experience positive emotions, lessen depressive symptoms, decrease anxiety, eliminate stress, and increase your overall cognitive function. Whether you decide to write, draw, paint, or color, engaging in these activities allows you to connect with your inner thoughts and stillness while disconnecting from stress. Being creative is essential for you to shift your focus on more pleasurable moments and experiences. Look for ways throughout your week to introduce some creativity.
7. Protect Your Sleep
This by far may be one of the most important tips for improving your mental health. Deprivation of sleep impacts our ability to make decisions, regulate emotions, and operate with clarity. Many people have accepted insomnia as a part of their life; “I have never slept well” is a common statement made by people suffering with insomnia. This should not, and does not have to be a fact. Investigate if a mental health issue is the cause of the insomnia, or if it’s the lack of managing stress. Either way, some level of intervention and behavioral change is needed in order to have a well-rested life. Establish a routine that supports the right amount of restful sleep. If things do not improve after incorporating a consistent routine, seek professional support from a physician or natural herbalist.
Coach Georgie, a licensed clinical social worker and life coach, is an expert on an impressive range of subjects related to high achieving adults, emotional management, trauma, managing mental health, and mindset. Her approachable style and genuine interest in creating a space for people to have more fulfillment and enjoy life make her a sought after coach and speaker on a range of issues related to being the best version of yourself and thriving by taking self-responsibility. Coach Georgie specializes in working with professionals in high-demand careers to create boundaries and accepting they are enough. She maintains her private practice in Washington, DC.
Here’s how you can connect with Coach Georgie.
Instagram: Givinglifellc https://www.instagram.com/givinglifellc/?hl=en
Need some support with being consistent in journaling? Georgie has a 90 Day Journal Prompt for you here → https://www.givinglifellc.com/journal-prompts
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