By Kristin Winchester
If you’ve been feeling excessively drained no matter what you do these past few months, here’s your sign to show yourself some grace and slow down. Many people are completely exhausted, worn out, overworked, and probably on the brink of burnout.
I’ve noticed that we don’t take care of ourselves over the years as an entrepreneur. We tend to put ourselves on the back burner and prioritize the hustle over our health. But sis, like our girl Lauryn Hill said, how you gon’ win when you ain’t right within?
I know for me that back in the day, I used to stay up to 4 or even 5 a.m. every night working. And that’s after working a full-time day job, I was reminiscing about the times, and I don’t even remember what I was working on for real.
It makes absolutely no sense.
We have to understand that it all starts with our mental health. Our thoughts and emotions impact our behavior, so if we want to behave optimally and effectively in our personal lives and professionally, we have to take care of ourselves. Period.
Here are a few practical mental health hacks that have worked for me:
1. Commit to rest as much as you commit to anything else
Why is it so hard to pause everything and take a moment to reset, relax or sleep?
We’ve been conditioned to feel the need to be productive all the time. Even if we’re not working, we find it uncomfortable to “do nothing.”
Your sleep impacts your ability to function correctly. In the same way, you put your phone on the charger at night, you’ve got to recharge your brain and your body by committing to a proper sleep routine. Even taking more breaks and naps throughout the day is beneficial.
2. Lean on your support network
We all should have at least one person in our life to reach out to for some extra support during this time. I know it’s hard sometimes to admit that you need help, but when you’re feeling a way or going through something, you don’t have to do it alone.
I know I’ve said this before, but one thing that I know for sure during these uncertain times is that we need people! The relationships that we form with others are vital to our emotional and mental well-being and our survival.
3. Seek professional help
You probably knew I was going to say this, but I can’t stress this enough.
Consult with a mental health professional. Depending on where you live, most therapists operate virtually right now, so consider going to therapy regularly to help you identify solutions and improve your mood. There are so many more benefits, but I know that once you start and commit to doing work beyond the couch, everything will begin to flourish as a result of you tackling that mental and emotional health and wellness.
This is just a start. I hope this encourages you to check in with yourself and do what feels good to you.