This blog is sponsored in partnership with Dell in honor of June being Men's Health Month. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment.
Behind every startup founder is a looming statistic: Thirty-two percent of entrepreneurs struggle with two or more mental health conditions. Entrepreneurs are at an ever higher risk than the average American to experience depression, anxiety and ADHD--only the top three of an extensive list.
To maintain mental and physical health and be successful over the long term, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to find ways of keeping stress from taking hold.
While temporary stress is normal and can be healthy, chronic stress, on the other hand, is where the physiological effects become more dangerous: headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, suppressed immune response, and more.
At Excelerate America, one of our main goals is to help small businesses and entrepreneurs build a business that lasts. Statistics show that 50% of small businesses die within 5 years. But typically, the entrepreneur burns out before the business.
Given the extraordinary impact entrepreneurs have on our world, we've partnered with Dell on these tips to help entrepreneurs better handle stress so they can operate in a state of optimum emotional and relational health.
1. Get it out
Never underestimate the peace of mind that comes from writing down what’s bothering you. This can be an important outlet for emotions and will help you get clarity. When stress becomes overwhelming, experts suggest that journaling is a great way to help you deal with negative emotions. Take a few minutes at night to write down your thoughts and your feelings.
Don’t feel like you have to write a ton or have a beginning, middle and end. Stream-of-consciousness writing is a great way to let out your emotions and can help you overcome mental health challenges. Even maintaining a to-do list will help you cut through unnecessary muck and give you a sense of purpose. If you are feeling overwhelmed with a list that’s growing out of control, check out the framework we use at Excelerate America.
2. Hit the gym
Everyone knows that getting some high-intensity cardio, or even just taking a brisk stroll, is a great way to release endorphins and give yourself an instant pick-me-up. Research has found that exercise is an excellent outlet for negative emotions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
One study showed that people who burned calories on a daily basis through exercise were less likely to take out their irritation about work issues on those around them. So take your dog for a run, shoot some hoops at a local basketball court or hit the gym. Just make sure to pick physical activities you enjoy, so you’ll stick with it.
3. Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs
Sometimes you just want to vent about a problem or an issue, and maybe get some empathy and useful feedback from others who are in a similar situation.
It can be helpful to know that others have been through the same thing, so you know you’re not alone. Recognizing that every stressful problem and overwhelming obstacle has likely been faced by others can help you put things into perspective.
4. Start the day with gratitude
Have you ever woken up feeling stressed out before you even got out of bed? Most likely you went to bed feeling anxious and upset, so when you wake up, it's almost like having a stress hangover. When you wake up feeling overwhelmed, try taking a few minutes first thing in the morning to cultivate a sense of gratitude.
Think about the things you are grateful for and all the positive things in your life. It can also help to quickly jot down these thoughts -- whatever comes to mind that brings you happiness and joy.
5. Find a fulfilling hobby
Doing something that you love, especially something hands-on that absorbs your attention, can truly give your mind a break. Just as playing during recess gave you down time as a child, engaging in a hobby gives you a little breather during a busy week; it’s a chance to play and do something fun and lighthearted.
A hobby can also be a good way of engaging with others socially, away from work. Some ideas include playing golf or hiking, or taking dance lessons, a yoga class or a cooking class.
Recommended Resource: Keeping up with technology can be a total headache, but Dell makes managing business simpler and more secure with their product offerings, protected networks and dedicated support. Plus, they also offer all Excelerate America customers access to a slew of savings on popular laptops, workstations and more.
Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the fun, smart services for businesses looking to level up. Do you have any additional tips for coping with stress? Share them with Emily by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.