Entrepreneurs Give Tips on Improving Your Mental Health
Taking care of one’s mental well-being is hard — especially when you have a tight schedule and business goals to meet.
Vivid Minds spoke to entrepreneurs from around the globe about their mental health routines. We broke their favorite practices into sections, so you can read through them and pick something to try out for yourself.
Sleeping enough: “When I don’t get enough sleep, I am more easily irritable and find concentrating harder. Getting at least seven hours of sleep per night is one of the best things you can do for your mental health”, says Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth at Resume Worded.
Practicing skincare: “My skincare routine is my transition moment. I use clean products that are scented with essential oils. There’s something about washing my face and feeding it with hydration that’s so simple yet indulgent at the end of the day. It’s a quick and easy way to feel like I’m taking care of myself, and I learned through the process of sourcing and launching my own clean CBD skincare brand that products scented with certain essential oils are a great way to calm the nervous system”, says Tyler Matthews, Real Estate Investor at Sellfastbluegrass.com.
“I need a daily release to burn off excess energy. Whether it’s morning yoga with my wife, weights after work, or skiing with my daughters on the weekends, the endorphins help burn off stress and give me the energy I need to tackle what’s next. Even better, it gives me something to look forward to each day”, says Harley Finkelstein, the President of Shopify.
“Blocking off time for myself in my work calendar helps me know that even on the busiest days, I’ll have at least a short block of time for myself to take a breath, catch up on something, take care of a personal task, or pop outside for some fresh air. At the end of the day, it feels like there’s less hanging over my head, and it makes it easier to unwind”, — says Carey Shuffman, Executive Director Head of Women’s Segment at UBS.
“Take actions that make you feel competent – take good notes at work, and then review them to be sure that you understand what’s happened and what’s required of you. Feeling good at something lifts your spirits and makes you feel that younger people are not necessarily gaining on you”, says Dr. Ahron Friedberg, MD, psychiatrist and author of “Towards Happiness”.
Keeping a gratitude journal: “This has been a game-changer for me in terms of managing my stress levels and appreciating the good things in my life. Every day, I write down three things that I’m grateful for. It can be simple as having a good cup of coffee in the morning or spending time with my family”, — says David Zhang, CEO of Kate Backdrop.
Breathing exercises: “I have a 10-minute personal practice that I do every morning. I use my breath as a focal point for the practice, but I like to think of it as my time to ‘check in’. Sometimes I intend to explore what’s coming up for me or consciously ask for guidance from my higher self. It’s a practice of noticing where I am without attaching to any feelings coming up or outcomes I’m hoping for. It leaves me feeling grounded and connected to myself as I start my day”, says Olivia Combemale, co-founder of CBD skincare brand, Superflower.
Meditation: “As a former perfectionist, nothing was ever good enough. I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and was always into personal growth but didn’t understand the mental health benefits of meditation until the last handful of years. Meditation allows me to witness my thoughts and understand that my thoughts are just thoughts. I don’t have to believe them! This has changed the absolute game for me in both my personal life and my professional life”, says Carrie Veatch, founder of Set Yourself Free.
Tea ceremony: “Daily morning tea ceremony – I’ll prepare and drink tea in a quiet location while listening to meditative ambient music. The act of preparing the tea and letting my body slowly wake up helps me start the day in a gentle, non-disruptive way. From here, I can organize my thoughts”, says Luciana Torous, founder of 3 Leaf Tea.
Deep breathing: “This is my non-negotiable when I wake up in the morning. The vagus nerve, the longest and most complex of the cranial nerves, dominates our parasympathetic nervous system and is responsible for restoring our equilibrium after a stressful event, and has been correlated with calming stressful situations. The reason why I deep breathe in my mental health routine is that slow-paced breathing, in a controlled manner, at the right frequency can result in vagal nerve activation and has been shown to improve anxiety, depression, pain, blood pressure, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, athletic performance, cardiovascular health, and even forgiveness”, says, Brooke Nicole, a Bestselling Author and Health Educator with a Master’s degree in Public Health.
Therapy and relationships
Going to therapy: “I found that keeping up with my therapy and professional development sessions has helped me coordinate my personal and professional thoughts. Before, I didn’t believe these two matters went hand in hand. It’s like we have two cups, a work cup and a life cup. If one of these cups requires more water than the other at any point, we are already uncentered, affecting our mental health. Keeping these cups as equal as possible has helped my mental health and energy”, says Veronica Diaz, founder of illicitcurls.com.
Meeting new people: “As for me, I find a great source of inspiration in people. That’s why I even made it a habit every two weeks or so to meet new people. I cherish the moments of sharing ideas, business, and life experiences with spirited and bestowing people. Usually, after such meetings, I feel extremely energized, enthusiastic, and full of insights”, says Ilia Kiselevich, founder and CEO of SolveIt.
Set boundaries: “Resilience is often confused with independence, like, ‘let me shrink as much as I can to support others.” But resilience should be more about prioritizing your needs. If you have dinner plans with a friend, for example, but you need to stay home and rest, you shouldn’t feel bad about rescheduling – or if you need additional support at work because your brain is scattered, ask a manager or teammate for that. It’s important to know your threshold, know your boundaries and honor those before you burn out”, says Dr. Jessica Jackson, Global Clinical Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Manager at Modern Health.
Routines are good for mental health, and sleeping regularly well and putting some time aside daily for a couple of physical exercises help your overall well-being. At the same time, mindfulness practices and self-care are excellent ways to tap into your psychological state and learn to listen to yourself. Do not neglect blocking off some time for yourself. And as you do that regularly, you’ll be seeing improvement in all the fields of your life.