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Solopreneurship, or the process of leading yourself and working to solve interesting real world problems while making a business out of it, introduces specific stresses to an individual.
The definition of mental health is a person’s condition with respect to their emotional and psychological well-being.
As a solopreneur, your mental health can suffer…
Depression in entrepreneurs is common.
Indeed, being a solopreneur can make your mental health worse because talking to yourself may be your only form of therapy.
Solopreneurship is a growing phenomenon… More and more people of all ages, from young to middle age to retirement age will choose solopreneurship as a path to survival.
But as we have access to more and more information and data, but less meaning, solopreneurs run the risk of becoming mentally unhealthy.
Keep Your Entrepreneurial Health in Check
Here are a few things that solopreneurs can do on a daily basis to help them improve their mental health:
- Get out of your house: I don’t know why, but I tend to stay at home to do work, even when I know I shouldn’t. I know I feel better when I get out and see people, even people I don’t know. Force yourself to get out and go to a local coffee shop or the library and see human beings around you who are doing things.
- Get exercise: Any exercise, from walking to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is good for you. The more strenuous the type of exercise, the more you will be forced to concentrate on what you are doing – which will mean you need to get out of your own head. This is actually a form of meditation.
- Call friends: Talking with friends also gets you out of your own head.
- Be grateful: If you live in America, chances are you have a pretty good life, at least from a relative standpoint to what it could have been like if you were born and/or lived in another country. I don’t think that “life” was ever supposed to be easy for any living thing, ever… Yet humans have created an environment where you can get almost anything you want delivered to you just by touching a screen in your pocket. This is insane. The paradox is that none of this on-demand stuff really has a big impact on our level of happiness. Be grateful for living in America, and that life isn’t harder than it already is.
- Meditate: If you practice meditation you may experience a slight improvement in your ability to cope with all the thoughts in your head. I recommend reading Dan Harris’ book on meditation if you’ve never meditated and/or if you’re skeptical about it.
- Take a break from your phone: As I write this, my phone is off and sitting on a table nowhere near me. I feel better because of it. I don’t know why but I do. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the fact that simply having our phones nearby causes us to lose brain processing power. What the…?!? No wonder I feel better!
- Check your diet: If you eat a bunch of processed foods and don’t ever cook, this could be having an impact on your mental health. The process of cooking your own food is therapeutic, similar to meditation or intense exercise. You simply have to focus on what you’re doing or you’ll probably screw up what you’re making. It has a second benefit in that you’ll actually know what the heck you’re eating!
- Find professional help: As a solopreneur, if you’re suffering from mental health issues, you can go see a professional and some of it should be covered by your health insurance. If your business isn’t profitable yet, chances are you’re on Obamacare. If you currently have health insurance, you should be able to take advantage of mental health services because after 2014 all Obamacare plans include payment for mental health screening. You can find local mental health resources here.