7 Tips for Prioritizing Mental Health for Startup Success
As Mental Health Month draws to a close, we hope to open up dialogue on a topic often overlooked in entrepreneurship: mental health. Although the journey of starting a company can be exhilarating, it also comes with its share of challenges and pressures that can take a toll.
It’s no secret that becoming a founder often comes with immense pressure to succeed. Whether it's meeting financial goals, impressing investors, or surpassing customer expectations, the weight can often feel heavy. Acknowledging these pressures and learning to manage expectations is crucial to safeguarding our mental health. The good news is, entrepreneurs can take proactive steps to prevent burnout and cultivate a healthier mindset by implementing a few of these tips:
1. Set Work-Life Boundaries
The boundary between work and personal life can blur when you're building your own business, which is why it’s important to establish a healthy work-life balance. Learn to delegate tasks and responsibilities that can be handled by others and don't be afraid to say no to commitments that don't align with your priorities and long term goals.
2. Take Vacations and Breaks
Allow yourself to take regular vacations and breaks to recharge and rejuvenate. Although stepping away from our business can be one of the last things we want to do, especially in the early phases, disconnecting and enjoying quality time away can enhance productivity and creativity.
3. Cultivate a Like-Minded Community
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, but it doesn't have to be. Finding people who can relate to what you’re going through is essential to a healthy mindset. That’s where communities like Raleigh Founded come in! Building a strong support network can offer encouragement and a safe space to share challenges. We’ve even had multiple members team up for events, share business resources, and form genuine friendships outside of the space.
4. Stay Connected
Reach out to friends and family. They can offer encouragement, advice, and a listening ear during difficult times, helping you navigate the ups and downs of your entrepreneurial journey. They can also help you celebrate milestones and keep you motivated.
5. Practice Gratitude
Keep a gratitude journal and set aside a few minutes each day to write down things you’re grateful for. Whether it be small wins or big achievements, reflecting on these helps shift your perspective in a positive light. Another great way to practice gratitude is by engaging in mindfulness exercises, such as meditation and quiet reflection.
6. Make sleep a priority
Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining good mental health as it helps with emotional regulation and stress reduction. Establish a sleep schedule by setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Developing a relaxing night time routine can also be helpful. This may include limiting screen time through activities such as reading and relaxation techniques.
7. Create Goals and Priorities
Creating goals for your startup company and your personal life is essential for guiding your growth and measuring success. Set specific goals that are well-defined and realistic. When planning your business growth, it’s important to create both short and long term goals to ensure your actions are aligned. Remember that goal setting is an ongoing process that involves refining as you go to ensure they’re consistent with your growth.
Although these tips offer a great starting point for founders, prioritizing our mental health is an ongoing journey that requires regular check-ins and alterations. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to seek help when needed, just as they would consult experts for business matters.
Here’s some valuable resources within our community that can help support and enhance your mental well-being this month and beyond:
NAMI Wake County
NAMI Wake County is the local branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They’re based out of our Gateway location and they’re dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Trained NAMI volunteers bring free peer-led programs to a wide variety of community settings to support those affected by mental illness. With the unique understanding of people with lived experience, these programs and support groups provide outstanding free education, skills training, and support. NAMI offers peer-to-peer education classes, support groups for a wide variety of topics, including stress and anxiety, LGBT+, and more! They also have a HelpLine which can be reached Monday-Friday, 10am-10pm. Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text "HelpLine" to 62640 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for immediate assistance.
Choices in Wellness
Our member Consuela Chapman is the owner of Choices in Wellness, as well as a multi-certified trauma therapist, reiki practitioner, meditation teacher, 200 YTT in-training, and coach. As the name suggests, Choices in Wellness offers a wide range of services to best fit the needs of the individual, including resources, individuals, couples, and group counseling, yoga, reiki, meditation, vision boarding, poetry therapy, guided journaling, workshops, EAP therapy, and 1-on-1 coaching. Consuela was named the 2022 winner for Raleigh’s Best Mental Health Service and a 2022 finalist for Best Couples Counselor. Choices in Wellness currently offers both in-office and virtual sessions. Consuela also has a podcast titled Mental Maintenance, filled with short meditations, guided imagery, poems, readings, and inspiring conversations.
Need help improving productivity and banishing burnout? Our member Marcey Rader is an experienced coach who can help you build sustainable habits, hold yourself accountable, and show up as the best version of yourself. Sign up for RaderCo’s newsletter and access a free video to learn how to prioritize tasks, projects, and new habits! Marcey also has a podcast titled Health-Powered Productivity with RaderCo, which covers everything from productivity to nutrition and sleep.
In times of emotional distress or crisis, it's important to remember that you're not alone. Mental health crisis hotlines are here to provide immediate support and guidance when you need it most. These dedicated helplines offer a safe and confidential space to talk, offering compassionate assistance, resources, and referrals:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 988
Hopeline North Carolina: Call or Text: (919)231-4525 or (877)235-4525.
Therapeutic Alternatives Mobile Crisis Service: (877)626-1772
Find more crisis hotlines and resources here!
During Mental Health Month and beyond, we hope to advocate for a culture that places equal importance on mental well-being and entrepreneurial success. Together, let us foster an environment where entrepreneurs thrive mentally and professionally.