When your mental health influences you ability to build your business
It's been a difficult few months for businesses who are navigating a new way of doing business, or forced closure. To say that it has been tough is an understatement. Like many entrepreneurs, I have been feeling the pressure and at times it is unsurmountable.
The incredible anguish of not knowing what to do and being scared that the foundation of what has been built over 21 years of business, and 17 years with Marketing Eye, is something that I haven't taken lightly.
Some days I am upbeat and determined to push through, but other days, are not so good. It's not just what is happening in the world or its affect on the business. It's also the affect this is having on our team and their livelihoods. They are scared. I'm scared. It's real.
For the past few days I have been tense. My neck and shoulders have been in pain and I'm fatigued. Today, I didn't want to get out of bed. There is a lot happening. A lot on my shoulders and I am not alone.
According to WHO, I am not alone.
"One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide."
As I look around my office I see signs of stress, dispair, uncertainty. Yesterday was a good day and spirits were high. Today, the weather has brought everyone down.
Anyone who has ever held a job has experienced on-the-job stress at some point. They have felt the pressure of work-related stress even when they ultimately love their jobs. It may be a deadline, or a challenging part of the job. It could be the people or it may just be what is happening in your personal life and how it is making you feel about your work life. But there is a turning point and that is when stress becomes chronic and overwhelming which can ultimately harm your physical and emotional health.
Work related stress may be:
- Your salary: You may feel that you are not paid what you are worth and what you need to live your life.
- Workload: Your workload may be excessive and perhaps you don't work at the speed that others do.
- Team: Whether you are faced with an over-high achieving team and you feel like you are not up to scratch or the opposite, it all has an affect on you. You may not gel with the team members you have to work with or agree on everything and that could cause frustration that leads to stress.
- Growth: You have been doing the same job for quite some time and are looking to take the next step, but no-one is noticing or there is nowhere to go.
- Stability: Even before Cronavirus people may have felt that the foundation of where they work isn't that stable. Things change, businesses transform, jobs are replaced by technology, consumer buying habits are fickle and so on. But now, with the current economic situation it is believed that 20% of the workforce in America alone will be unemployed. That is a lot to stress about.
- Goals: You are not where you would like to be or your parents/friends/partners feel you should be.
Whatever the stress, it's real but right now it is harder than ever to show it. We are told to feel lucky that we are not sick with Coronavirus or that we haven't lost our jobs.
As an entrepreneur the pressures are unbelievable. This is not something we could have planned for. It's not our fault but it's ours to bear the burden of. Whether you are a billionaire running a large multinational or a small business - you are more than likely in the same boat especially if you are not a service/product that is necessary right now.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Chronic back pain
- Neck pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
Signs of stress:
- Lack of energy (fatigue)
- Difficulty making decisions with indecisive behaviours
- Feeling like you might just crack
- A change in eating habits
- Difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep
- Emotional imbalance
- Drinking too much
- Breathing issues
If the feeling of stress persists, see a Doctor. It will help you get back on a healthy path.
They may also help you with a diagnosis so that you can deploy tools to ensure that you manage your mental health long-term. Some diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic include:
A mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with your life. Symptoms include: Excessive worry, intrusive thought, fatigue.
Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities. Symptoms may include: Severe anxiety, emotional stress, excessive worry.
Generalised anxiety disorder in Adults:
Excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lad to repetitive behaviours (compulsions). Symptoms include: Anxiety, compulsive behaviour, depression.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD):
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