Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur With Mental Illness
Few self-care resources are written with the unique needs of entrepreneurs living with multiple mental health challenges in mind. Subsequently, I’ve had to create my own self-care strategies to protect my mental health as I grow and run my career coaching business.
Here is how I practice self-care as an entrepreneur living with mental illness:
Follow a schedule that allows rest.
As a business owner, I am in control of my schedule. While I recognize my generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder have undoubtedly contributed to my success as a business owner, living with multiple mental health challenges is exhausting. As a result, I typically limit my coaching calls with clients to three times per week. This allows for plenty of time dedicated to rest, relaxation, and self-care the other four days of the week.
Integrate self-care throughout the day.
I have learned that I must be intentional in carving out time for self-care as a business owner. I have also learned that self-care does not have to be time-consuming. Instead, I can strategically and intentionally insert brief moments of self-care throughout my day. This may look like quick a Starbucks runs, a short walk, or an episode of “Judge Judy.” I also regularly call my parents and text my friends to catch up on their days.
Meditate for two minutes at a time.
My anxious, obsessive-compulsive mind has always made it difficult to sit still and meditate. However, I have become a huge fan of Calm’s Do Nothing for 2 Minutes. I enjoy the bucolic meditation as the screen reminds me, “Just relax and listen to the waves. Don’t touch your mouse and keyboard.” Additionally, when my mind and schedule allow, I appreciate listening to longer meditations on Insight Timer.
Share authentically with clients about mental health.
Writing about my mental health journey has been critical to my self-care as a business owner. I regularly share about my mental health journey and self-care on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This is how I play my part in curing mental health stigma and creating a society where everyone feels welcomed.
Practice self-compassion and patience when anxious.
When I do feel anxious or even have a panic attack (thankfully, they are far less common now), I deploy one of the self-care techniques I learned in therapy. I also strive to be patient with myself. I remember that self-care is a lifelong journey, especially as a business owner.
The key is to find works for you and your individual mental health needs. You’ve got this!