An entrepreneur can work up to 70 hours a week. The author proposes a series of steps to regain her care and mental health.
Abuka Onuegbu Jonathan has a passion and the passion is definitely a characteristic that all entrepreneurs share. It is a passion that injects us with seemingly limitless energies to pursue a dream and vision of life. It is this same passion that makes us entrepreneurs work 60 – 70 hours a week. And it is this same passion that in many cases leads us to call luxury what is really a necessity.
Talking about the mental health of entrepreneurs is difficult, but every day I am more convinced that it is absolutely important and necessary to do so. Closing deals, launching a new product, meeting goals, presenting balance sheets, raising capital … are activities so exciting that they can cloud our minds, to the limit of not knowing what is happening behind the scenes with our brain.
Some of the most common mental health problems that entrepreneurs can present include:
Elevated cortisol (a hormone released in response to stress), with its consequences that can manifest as overweight, headaches, loss of muscle mass, low immune system, insomnia, and increased blood pressure.
- Sleep disorder
- Vision problems
- Muscle pains
- Low self-esteem
The worrying thing about the points mentioned above is that they end up creating long-term effects on our endocrine system, which is responsible for regulating functions such as sleep, digestion, and reproduction, and our nervous system that coordinates the brain with the bodily functions that we perform. In other words, we are not talking about one-day effects, but about consequences that can wreak havoc on our lives forever.
As a good entrepreneur, I want to propose these recommendations that we can put into practice to take care of mental health:
Sleeping is not a luxury, it is a necessity
Sleeping four hours a day is not enough. The World Health Organization states that an adult should sleep between 7 – 8 hours a day. A study from the University Of Notre Dame in the USA confirmed that sleep helps consolidate selective emotional memory, allows information to be organized in the brain, and enables information to travel more quickly.
Sleep generates myelin and replenishes brain cells. It even makes us look more attractive because the inflammatory and oxidative process is affected by lack of sleep.
Physical activity generates the secretion of endorphins, a neurochemical that produces a feeling of happiness and euphoria. This substance improves mood and brain chemistry in humans. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), physical activity reduces stress by also increasing the production of norepinephrine.
Disconnecting is not being at home answering text messages and emails. Doing it for real is giving the brain the opportunity to think about things other than work and get away from the daily routine.
There is nothing that good planning does not allow you to do, so plan a few moments to disconnect without affecting the operation of the company. Start by trying!
Learn to control your mind and your breathing
The brain can be trained for what we want to achieve. Although athletes train to have mental resistance, entrepreneurs must train to lower the revolutions in certain situations. Breathing is one of the key tools to manage the frequency of brain waves, hence so many meditation and mindfulness exercises that include this component.
There are many applications, videos on YouTube, and audios on spottily that can teach you to manage your breath. Go ahead and do it, count to ten, and feel your mind through it.
You are not alone, find your tribe
There are many entrepreneurs who face tough business situations, talking to someone who can listen to you and understand your situation allows you to lose a weight that you are probably carrying alone. Although other people are not going to solve your life, talking is a process of releasing loads that releases many pressures. There are groups and guilds of entrepreneurs that can help you. He who seeks finds, you just have to know how to search.