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Entrepreneurs are struggling with mental health - but where do we turn?

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

72% of entrepreneurs state that they suffer from mental health problems in a recent study at UC Berkeley

This is nearly three times the average prevalence of mental health issues in the standard population and founders are twice more likely to suffer from depression

In an April The Hustle surveyed more than 300 entrepreneurs on the state of their mental health, and a whopping 63% reported dealing with burnout, with 59% saying they’ve dealt with anxiety.

I’ve personally struggled lately, the pressures of running a business, raising money and dealing with the worldwide gloom haven’t made life easy, and I know I'm not alone.

The frequency of mental health issues among entrepreneurs raises the question of whether entrepreneurship itself spurs mental illness, or if individuals already susceptible to these conditions more regularly become entrepreneurs - I'm still trying to figure this one out.

There is a lack of resources for struggling entrepreneurs and there needs to be more open support and conversation around the subject to deal with the huge stigma around mental health in the business community.

Today is world mental health day, so it seemed like a good day to start conversation and set some intentions. So I've written some quick tips that have helped me when dealing with the mental pressures you can face when scaling a business.

Make a support group
Make time to check in with other founders, for advice, words of encouragement or a shoulder to cry on (depending on what day it is) I’ve created a small network of people key to lean on and learn from, and I'm lucky to have a partner who gets and supports what I'm going through on a daily basis - so make sure you share the downs as well as the ups with the people who are closest to you.

Reconnect with yourself
Take some time every day to acknowledge how you feel, it’s easy to ignore but being honest about where you are will help. I've found taking moments to switch off when you can (I know it’s hard) and to time to reflect, reset and re-energise will give you that all-important perspective you need to make progress.

Get back to basics - Eat, sleep, exercise repeat
If you can get these three basics in you will feel better - reclaim some control of your time and focus on yourself, even a 20min walk will help clear the mind. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function, good for your body and mind.

We all go through ups and down, so we need to look after each other as we go into one of the toughest times for business, so we can all come out better on the other side.
Thanks to all the people who have connected with me over the last few months to help support my journey - I appreciate you.

To help support other founders and leaders I've set some space aside in calendly for people in my network to connect and share experiences - I'm grateful for all the people who have picked up the phone or grabbed a coffee over the last few months, so I know how important it can be, so feel free to book in a chat with me here > or just drop me a DM if you want to share.

My intention is to commit and make some continual time in my diary to help support other leaders to be more mindful. To grow and learn from our experiences and to speak more openly about the mental issues, pressures, and challenges we all face when growing a business.

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