Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! It’s been a stressful past year, and running a small business has never been an easy feat to begin with. In order to take care of your business, you need to take care of yourself first. Here are 7 ways for small business owners to take care of their mental health. 

1. Journaling 

Journaling doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity. Set aside 10 minutes at the start or end of each day to get all of your business-related worries down on paper. The purpose of this is twofold: it’ll free up the mental space that it previously took up so you can think more clearly about how to approach the problem and it’ll give you a record of the problems you’ve solved in the past and how you did it in case you encounter the same problem again in the future. 

If there’s nothing worrying you, write down some of your accomplishments from the past week! It could be hitting a customer milestone or getting a good review on one of your new products—anything that reminds you of why you started your small business in the first place. If you ever run into a problem that leaves you feeling discouraged, this record of successes could serve as motivation to keep going. 

2. Incorporating physical movement 

If you ever find yourself stuck on one of the problems you wrote down in your journal, try incorporating some physical activity into your problem-solving process! Research shows that walking increases creative thinking, so carry your journal around with you when you go out in case inspiration strikes and you’d like to revisit some of the problems you’ve struggled with. 

When you’re a small business owner, there’s no shortage of problems for you to solve. Exercise also reduces the impact of stress when you’re presented with problems, so if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, try taking a walk for 15 minutes and see what happens! 

3. Utilizing your support network 

Do you know anyone who’s also running a small business? They might be able to offer you some insight into how you might be able to overcome your small-business-induced worries. And even if their advice isn’t useful to you, talking it out with someone may reduce your stress levels. Just putting a name to your negative emotions can lessen the intensity of those feelings; this phenomenon is called “affect labeling.” 

4. Practice mindfulness 

Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, improve mood, and increase productivity

From meditation to breathing exercises, you can practice mindfulness basically everywhere you go. You can even practice mindfulness while you’re on a walk (which also increases creative problem solving, win-win!), so you don’t have to stop going about your day to reap the benefits. 

5. Creating a work-life balance

You might work long hours because your small business is your passion, but be sure to set some boundaries between your work-life and your home-life. Having a poor work-life balance is a one-way ticket to burnout, which can take a long time to recover from. One way to set these boundaries is by separating your work and personal devices. Another is to have a designated day of rest. Nurturing this balance will ensure that you maintain your productivity in the long run. 

6. Practicing invigorating hobbies 

Another way to avoid burnout is to immerse yourself in a hobby that brings you joy. What rejuvenates you? What fills your cup? Many people like to participate in hobbies that are unrelated to their work, like gardening or sailing. 

7. Offloading tasks to others 

Being a small business owner is stressful enough. You don’t need to do everything yourself! If you’re looking to streamline your payment collection process, check Finli out! Finli takes care of everything payment-related, from scheduling to automatic invoicing, and so much more so you can take care of doing what you love. 

Running a small business can be rewarding. It can also be time consuming and draining. Finli wants to help. Schedule a demo here.