It may seem like everyone is constantly working; they wake up early, stay busy all day, and go to bed late without missing a beat. However, there is the reality that we need rest, or we risk our mental and physical health. When we’re tired, thinking becomes difficult, and our work may become inadequate. Being tired can cause anxiousness and self-doubt. Studies on mental health and start-ups, like one from The National Institute of Mental Health, reported that over 70% of entrepreneurs are indirectly or directly affected by mental health issues. Non-entrepreneurs experience mental health issues at a much lower rate.
There are predictable reasons why so many entrepreneurs struggle with their mental health. Starting and running a new company takes much time and responsibility for the new owner/entrepreneur. There is a genuine fear of failing and losing everything. As humans, we want to be seen as competent and capable. We don’t share when we’re struggling, which causes increased feelings of isolation. While it might seem like you have to hit the ground running and work without sleep, there are other ways of doing things. Taking care of your mental health will allow you to thrive in the long run, increase your enjoyment and your chances of success.
Why We Need Sleep
In the entrepreneurial world, some may see a lack of sleep as a badge of honor. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs only get three to four hours per night. Not getting enough sleep does not work for everyone, and various studies have proven that most people need at least eight hours of sleep to function correctly. Depriving yourself of sleep can make you underperform throughout your whole day. Your body will crave heavy carb, trying to replace the energy it lacks, causing you to consume unhealthy foods. One thing you can do is check in your bedroom for anything that may be getting in the way of your sleep.
Create and Keep Connections
As a start-up, you may find yourself feeling relatively isolated. You work all the time, and your business is your priority. You find that you spend less time with family and friends. Conference calls and other meetings are online because of Covid-19 and because it saves time, but humans need to connect. We are a social species. Entrepreneurs may appear to be okay on the outside while feeling lonely and depressed. The truth is that everyone needs face-to-face human interactions. People on social media appear to be happy and successful when they are scared of making a mistake. Everyone has bad days. Being honest about our feelings and our needs can alleviate burnout or depression.
If you’re a business leader, it’s up to you to create a space where everyone can talk through their feelings and be heard. It helps you, and it helps everyone working in your organization. Having a culture of openness helps everyone connect.
Some consider gratitude for being a spiritual idea, but it can increase positive emotions in many aspects of life. When you express gratitude to others, you’ll experience the good emotions that come with it and reduce negative emotions. You can write out what you’re grateful for, but the real benefits come from expressing gratitude to the people around you. Showing someone that you appreciate them makes you and the other person feel good. Expressing gratitude is reciprocal; you get back what you give. Brain function improves when you praise someone, and it helps people improve their performance. Your employees will experience a positive effect on their mental well-being. Don’t just give people accolades for their significant accomplishments but acknowledge the smaller ones as well.
Things don’t always work out, even when you try your hardest. However, getting the right amount of sleep and knowing how to live a happy, fulfilling life is just as important. If you only live for your work and don’t care for your physical and mental health, even your accomplishments will somehow feel small. If you get the sleep you need, you’ll have more clarity. You can then lift others in your organization and focus on the people around you in your personal life. There’s no reason to focus so hard on your business that you miss out on connections, life’s fantastic moments, and sleep.