Owning a business comes with a great deal of stress, so it's no wonder that many business owners suffer from mental health conditions. While business life is rarely easy, there are things you can do to help keep your mental health in a positive place.

1. Maintain Boundaries Between Work and Personal Life

Keeping your work and personal life separate is critical to maintaining your mental health as a business owner. Business likely consumes your thoughts the vast majority of the time, so it's important to not bring it into your personal time more than is necessary. Doing so may hinder your enjoyment of the other things life has to offer, not to mention your relationships with others who enjoy talking and spending time with you.

2. Have Set Cutoff Times

To help maintain business and personal boundaries, try having set cutoff times for work-related tasks, including emails and other communications. In the digital age, it's very easy for work to mix into personal time. Put your phone away or turn notifications off until you're ready to begin your workday again.

3. Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is key to good mental health. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression by releasing "feel-good" endorphins and taking your mind off worries. It can also help you gain confidence and get more social interaction.

"Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others," the Clinic says. (1) "Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.”

4. Fit in More Activity Throughout Your Work Day

Sitting in an office for most of your day is not good for your body. You need movement, so make it a point to get up and move for short periods of time throughout the day. This can help you physically and also mentally. People often find that this recharges their batteries and makes them more productive.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Adults should get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and a bit more wouldn't hurt.

"Sleep is closely connected to mental and emotional health and has demonstrated links to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other conditions," according to Sleep Foundation. (2) "While research is ongoing to better understand the connections between mental health and sleep, the evidence to date points to a bidirectional relationship. Mental health disorders make it harder to sleep well. At the same time, poor sleep, including insomnia, can be a contributing factor to the initiation and worsening of mental health problems.”

6. Focus on the Present

As a business owner, it can be tempting to focus on future successes. While it is important to have goals and engage in forecasting, try to focus on the present in terms of where your mental state lies. In other words, don't stress about where your business is headed. Enjoy it right now and make the most of it. If you make good decisions now, the future is likely to benefit.

7. Talk it Out

Talk with someone about the struggles you're facing. It can be helpful simply to get your feelings and thoughts out into the open rather than keeping them bottled up. It doesn't have to be with a therapist, although that isn't necessarily a bad idea. You can speak with your spouse, partner, friend, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking to. Just talking can make you feel better, and it can even lead to solutions to your problems.

8. Practice Gratitude

Take some time each day to practice gratitude. Think to yourself for a few minutes about the things you are grateful for in your life. This can help push away negative thoughts and recalibrate your way of thinking. Try doing it before you start your day so you begin work in a good mood. If you find yourself stressed or irritable in the middle of the day, take a break, and try the same thing.

While your mental health may face challenges as you run your business, if you keep your boundaries, get enough activity and sleep, enjoy the present, talk with people, and remind yourself what you're grateful for, you can help maintain positive mental health.

1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mental-health


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC