The Mighty Logo

Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur With Mental Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

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!

Originally published: September 2, 2021
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home