Mental Health Month: Safeguard Your Startup Sanity

Safeguard Your Startup Sanity and Success

mental health

A number of issues affect the mental state of entrepreneurs–from depression to substance abuse. What is one strategy that you can use to avoid some of the issues that plague yourself and your fellow entrepreneurs? consulted with members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Here’s their prescription:

1. Talk to Other Founders. Depression, fear, and self-doubt grow larger and more problematic when we keep them to ourselves. Talking with other founders helps in two big ways. First, it brings these emotions out into the open where they lose their power. Second, you begin to realize that you are not alone and that these feelings are normal as a founder. Seek out and speak with mentors and peer founders. — Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

2. Meditate. Studies show that meditation helps fight depression, stress, and anxiety. Taking time out to be centered, still, and quiet pays huge dividends towards reducing stressors and keeping your mind right. — Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids

3. Create an Entrepreneurship Therapy Group. Meet and talk with other entrepreneurs to get a sense of how they feel and how they cope. Your listening and encouragement could help them and you, simultaneously. You will see that other people are facing similar things, and you might be able to solve them together, rather than remaining in your silo. — Andrew O’Connor, American Addiction Centers

4. Reclaim Your Weekends. Entrepreneurs can get caught in a cycle of never-ending work, but we all need to recharge every now and then. Set aside your weekends to spend away from screens and work. Once you start the cycle, you’ll find yourself scheduling hobbies and meet-ups. You’d be surprised at all the activities you can think of when you allow yourself to get bored. Weekends not an option? Pick two weekdays instead. — Jared Brown, Hubstaff

5. Don’t do it Alone. This is a really personal issue for me, as I lost one of my closest startup mentors early on to suicide. Depression is always going to be a factor for entrepreneurs who must contend with pressure, fear of failure, and uncertainty all the time. If you’re battling depression, don’t try and do it alone. I made a point of starting therapy once I started my company, and I went diligently once a week. — Jonathan Shokrian, MeUndies Inc

6. Book Vacations for the Entire Year. It is essential that entrepreneurs schedule up their vacations, block them on the calendar, and book them for an entire year in advanced. Taking time during the December holiday season, when you are already reflecting on the past year and the year ahead, affords the chance to set time away from business. Once it’s set, it’s easy to keep. — Eric Mathews, Start Co.