Coping With Entrepreneur Depression
Your ambition to own your own business will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding achievements in your career. You will learn, network, become self-sufficient and if all goes well, gain financial freedom. The flip side of entrepreneurship is that it will also be one of the most challenging, stressful and demanding endeavors that you will take on in your professional life. Besides causing stress, it can also lead to entrepreneur depression—work overload, money matters and stiff competition are just a few of the day-to-day issues that can push a business owner to the edge.
As women, we have even more concerns including not getting the recognition or capital of our male counterparts. Add diversity to the equation and the challenges can become overwhelmingly daunting. But it’s important to understand that our mental health is just as important as our business success; and depression doesn’t have to rule our life. Here are a few techniques to help stave off the entrepreneur blues.
Work It Out
Exercise can help ease depression. You’ve probably heard of endorphins—the happy hormones that can positively effect our mood. Have you ever been stressed and blurted out, “I need to take a walk?” That’s your body trying to get you moving so that you can ‘work off’ the stress and tension. This applies for depression too. It may not cure what is frustrating you, but it definitely will help you relax so that you can better process what is going on and potentially solve the problem that has you frazzled.
“We saw a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity…if you replaced 15 minutes of sitting with 15 minutes of running, or one hour of sitting with one hour of moderate activity like brisk walking.” — Karmel Choi, Clinical and Research Fellow, Harvard Health Publishing
If there is a lot on your plate, resist adding more to-do’s to your list. Tackle one or two projects at a time. Adding more work than you can handle is a surefire way to induce anxiety. When you see you have too much to juggle, delegate to someone else. You and your business will be better off in the long run.
“Start with one problem and solve one problem at a time…This approach will create momentum and give you the strength to address the next challenge.” Medium
Ask For Help
When all else fails, reach out and talk to someone, whether it be family, friends or a colleague. Don’t be afraid to admit you need help. If you don’t have someone close to you that you feel you can talk to, seek professional help. The National Helpline is available 24/7, 365 days-a-year. Give them a call at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). You don’t have to go at it alone, nor should you.
“Entrepreneurs need to be able to reach out and get help when they need it…People should feel free to get help without the fear of judgment, and it’s going to take a few strong influencers to initiate the change.” Forbes