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Entrepreneurs are stressed out more than ever. A Canadian mental health study found that 62% of business owners felt depressed at least once a week, and 54% said stress was affecting their concentration at work. This study was done before the Covid and we can only imagine how much the percentage has increased during the pandemic, especially now that we are facing a second wave.
If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you most likely have invested a large amount of your time building your business. The unintended result of this is that the performance of your company in every other area of your life is largely responsible for your mental stability, sense of accomplishment, and productivity.
Most industries have experienced some sort of stranglehold during this pandemic, and we have all had to adapt to the rapid changes in circumstances. However, the more we hold on, the more this pandemic doesn't seem to go away as many had predicted. As we are in the midst of the second wave of this virus, there is even more need to take care of our sanity. This is how it works:
Related: Why Your Mental Health Is Key To Your Business
1. Focus on the work, not the numbers
While some companies have managed to hit gold and have seen impressive increases in their profits during this pandemic, most entrepreneurs are struggling. There is a very real temptation to think about your falling numbers and worry about how you can get better results, but that's a recipe for mental health disaster.
We don't know how long this pandemic and its limitations will last, so there is really no need to compare your pre-covid numbers to your current numbers. Things have changed and you may need to establish a new base against which to evaluate your performance within the pandemic and then set a strategy to increase it across the board.
The key to finding a balance is to focus on the day-to-day work you are doing for your business and seize every opportunity to make positive changes and tweaks.
Some business owners use this time to learn new business-related skills. During this time, some are rediscovering how to market their customers. These are the small positive steps that you should focus on – not your stagnating or dwindling numbers.
Related Topics: How To Make Your Business Resilient To Disasters Like Coronavirus
2. Invest in creative outlets
Focusing on work is great, but sometimes you need to invest in something that isn't business related to keep your mental balance.
Many entrepreneurs now have more time than they know how to do. In many cases, this leads to a feeling of unproductivity and unfulfilling – because here, too, they compare their levels of activity before the COVID with their levels of activity during the COVID.
Creative activities give the mind a sense of productivity and fulfillment. The second wave might be annoying, but it also gives you time to abandon the creative project you've been putting off for a long time.
The exact creative activities that are calming vary from person to person – a coloring book can be helpful, or maybe a woodworking project. The idea is to continue to be productive even if productivity isn't flowing directly into your company.
At this point it is also important to maintain the attitude that "this will happen too". Knowing that you will have productive business for many years after COVID will greatly reduce your anxiety.
Related: COVID-19 will fuel the next wave of innovation
3. Write down your frustrations
You don't have to write a New York bestseller, just consistently write about your experience during this pandemic. Experts have found that journaling is a form of therapy because it allows you to express your deepest feelings and frustrations, albeit on paper.
Diaries are a way to keep track of your emotions. You can also identify patterns that indicate deeper mental health problems and work to address them.
The fear we have all faced during this time is palpable, real, and can have devastating consequences. This should not be taken for granted. Journaling is a way to heal a troubled mind and become more productive.
4. Do not discharge therapy
Many people find that they can manage high levels of anxiety by following all of the steps above, exercising regularly, and spending time with family and friends. In some cases, however, these strategies do not alleviate entrepreneurs' fear of the struggles of their business.
This could indicate that too much of their self-worth is tied to their business, and this is a sign that they may benefit from therapy with a psychologist. Getting help shouldn't be a stigma. Just as anyone can develop a physical illness and need treatment, so anyone can develop a mental crisis and need treatment.
We have no idea when this pandemic will end, but we know it will end. Until then, we need to take care of our greatest tool for business: our minds.