Entrepreneurship Lifestyle

4 Tips For Entrepreneurs On Dealing With Anxiety And Depression

With January being famous for its most depressing Monday of the year and with Bell’s Lets talk campaign to draw awareness around mental health issues, I’m here to provide the Entrepreneurs perspective on mental health.

As an entrepreneur, you are on a constant roller coaster of highs and lows, and anxiety seems to be a natural by-product. When sales are low, when there is staff turnover, anxiety sets in. While these challenges are part of the entrepreneur roller coaster, Entrepreneurs tend to have a heightened response to these symptoms.

I’m part of a mastermind group where entrepreneurs from different industries come together online to discuss issues and solutions. It’s also a place we come to vent and stay motivated. I turned to this group to gauge how many Entrepreneurs faced mental health challenges. To my shock, the response was absolutely overwhelming and oddly enough, it offered a feeling of community.

It seemed that I was definitely not the only person dealing with this and none of us were to ashamed to admit it. The stigma associated with anxiety or other mental health issues has truly changed over the last few years. The stigma is now outweighed by the benefit of talking about it and sharing personal experiences. We were all hoping that one solution would be the magic bullet to the problem.

The list below are things that resonated with these entrepreneurs and stood out as having been effective. Best of all, they are things you can start doing now.

1. Meditation.

I know, you’ve heard about it and it’s not you. Sitting still and chanting and emptying your mind is about as appealing as being required to sit with technical support for hours explaining to them yet again that you’re sure your computer is plugged in.You need to rethink this option.

As an entrepreneur with ADHD I felt that meditation would be virtually impossible. My brain seems to move at the speed of light, I jump from topic to topic every 10 seconds and sitting still for more than 30 seconds at a time has proven to be virtually impossible.

Then I tried meditating. I hated every second of it. I counted down the minutes, I could not stop my mind from racing and I kept fidgeting mainly because I was told I should resist the temptation. By my 4th session, things started to change. I started feeling a sense of calm. I noticed that I was having an easier time relaxing my mind. My mind never stopped for an extended period, but it felt like it was finally taking a few pauses in the race to keep running. Most importantly, it was helping reduce my feelings of anxiety. With continuous practice, I literally found a technique that I could use at any time to calm myself and gain perspective.

2. Exercise.

It works. Honestly. Research shows that it releases endorphins which in turn release a positive feeling in your body and helps with anxiety and depression. I started waking up at 5:30 am to squeeze in a workout. The first few weeks were hell. I hated every second. But slowly, my body started craving it, but more importantly, my mind started craving it. It quickly became routine. Now when I don’t go to the gym, I miss the peace it brings me at the start of a day.

A 5:30 a.m. workout isn’t for everyone but there is always time in your day to squeeze it in. There is no way you can’t find the time to exercise if you plan it in advance. Get up from your desk every couple of hours and go for a 15 minute walk to clear your mind. You do have the time. No one is that busy. Nope, not even you.

3. Read Inspiring books.

I love to read about hugely successful entrepreneurs. Behind most successful entrepreneurs, is a long story of failures which ironically makes me feel less alone as a business person. Read about Elon Musk and Richard Branson for a glimpse at how many up’s and down’s they encountered in getting where they are today. They weren’t “lucky”, they simply refused to give up.

If business books aren’t your thing, my other go-to is Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. It provides insight into how a man survived the holocaust by deciding that while almost everything could be taken from him, they couldn’t take away how he chose to respond to his situation. That knowledge kept him from giving up on life. That should definitely inspire you to look at your challenges differently.

Finally, audiobooks for those of you who spend hours commuting daily. Perfect use of your time.

4. Join a group.

I joined a mastermind group and a mentoring program. I also took the next step and set up a board of advisors to hear other perspectives on how I was doing things. While these people couldn’t solve my problems, the insight they provide is often enough to keep me on track. Sometimes we simply need to be heard by our peers. Sometimes hearing similar trials and tribulations from others is all that’s needed to make one feel less anxious. Knowing we are not unique in our struggles tends to be comforting.

Have methods that work for you as an entrepreneur? Please share them in the hopes that they help others who struggle.

Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to dissuade any one from the use of medication or seeing their physician. Often people are looking for ways to make small changes in their lives for a big overall impact and these tips are meant to provide exactly that.

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Entrepreneurship Television

20 TV Shows in 6 Hours!

I know, its sounds incredibly glamorous. Flying to New York, getting to appear on 20 TV shows, getting dressed up, makeup done, new outfit, beautiful hotel. Sounds like a dream right?

Well, the reality is far less sexier than the “dream”.  Thought I would give you a glimpse into the reality of what  20 TV shows in one day actually looks like.

5:00am–  Wake Up.  Try to figure out how those puffy bags under your eyes are going to fade in the next hour before you have to be in studio.

5:15– Hair. What the heck happened?  Did I have a wrestling match with my pillow overnight?!  Thank goodness I never leave home without my secret weapon.  Jonathan Torch Curl Keeper.  15 years later and it still keeps my curls from having a mind of their own.

5:16 – Huge bathroom in hotel. Not a single shelf on which to place any makeup!  Who does that?  Clearly this hotel did not consider a woman’s needs when designing their space.  Literally had to lay a towel on the floor and spread my makeup on it.  Way to much bending up and down to the floor to get each makeup item.  Feel like I’m in a cardio class.

5:18 – Eye shadow.  This is always the funniest part.  I have no idea how to apply eye shadow.  Yup, I am 46 and no matter how many Youtube videos I watch, Bozo the clown does a better job than me. By the time I’m done I am usually ready to wipe it off because I can’t stop laughing at myself.

5:25 – Outfit time.  This outfit looked like a such a good choice when I first picked it. Hmmm, since it’s my only choice, I’m going to pretend to love it and just rock it.

5:45 – COFFEE.  Why aren’t coffee shops open in Soho at 5:45am?  Starbucks?  I’m at your window. I see you in there.  Please let me in.  Please? No? Really? So sad.

6:00 – Studio arrival. My production team has set up the studio and it is pretty darn gorgeous.  Oh, and they’ve brought me Starbucks because they truly are the best. And they want me to seem moderately alive when I go on air.  Good thinking.

The result?

  • 10 Radio interviews.
  • 20 TV show hits.
  • 5 x 2 minute tapings for commercials
  • and a preview for you that takes 1.5 minutes to watch so be sure to check it out below!

All in a glamorous (not) days work.

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