Today marks World Mental Health Day, aligning with our official launch event for The Reignite Project, our new 5 year campaign to reduce the issue of entrepreneurial burnout.
So, what does Mental Health mean to you?
We all know what it’s like to feel like we’re struggling, and at the same time we also know what it’s like to feel positive. You could look at the term ‘Mental Health’ as a spectrum, just like the state of our physical health can fluctuate, so can the state of our mental health – which means there are some days where you’ll feel great and some days perhaps not so great. This is part of the human experience.
In terms of public perception, I believe we’ve come a long way in how we talk about mental health and letting go of the stigma attached to this term - in general, we’re starting to realise more and more just how much strength can come from vulnerability, from reaching out and getting the support we need, whenever we face a challenge that we find difficult to cope with.
It could be suggested that part of experiencing good mental health isn’t just about being happy - it’s about being authentic, honest, and true to yourself, not being afraid to express whatever emotions you’re experiencing - whether good or unpleasant. Being open about how you feel is a hugely positive step to empowering yourself on your journey through life – we’re all in this together, at the end of the day.
The World Health Organisation explains good mental health as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
This is one overview, and it can mean different things to different people. Essentially thought, your mental health represents a state of wellbeing. So I’d like to ask you to consider the following question, without self-judgement - what does the state of your mental health feel like today?
We all have ups and downs
A much as I consider myself to be an outgoing, bubbly person with a positive outlook on life, I’ve also struggled with poor mental health in the past through experiencing stress and burnout while setting up my second business - particularly when I transitioned from running a local business to running an international events company.
I found it difficult to cope in the early days and I struggled to manage my own wellbeing – it was more than I had mentally prepared myself for. I wasn’t really looking after myself, I worked all the hours I could and I ended up going through a spout of depression and then anxiety attacks on and off for about a year. You can read more about my story here, and how I overcame these challenges to get to where I am today.
Through personal experience and from mentoring a range of entrepreneurs who were struggling with poor mental health and concerned about opening up, this inspired me to set up Calmer as an answer to this issue in the business world – to put an end to staying quiet if you need support and to empower entrepreneurs to take control of their own wellbeing. I am proof that it’s possible to come out the other side and embed a meaningful business-life balance, and it’s my goal to empower other entrepreneurs to achieve a business-life balance that resonates with them.
Our mission to reduce entrepreneurial burnout
The Reignite Project is our new 5 year campaign and mission to reduce the issues of entrepreneurial burnout by at least 10% in the UK, and extend this support worldwide. Burnout can affect performance, productivity, and for some entrepreneurs, even put their business at risk – so it’s time to extinguish this issue once and for all.
It’s not acceptable that such a high percentage of entrepreneurs don’t fully realise their vision and end up quitting their businesses within a few years due to burnout - and the good news is there are ways to combat this.
The more we collectively come together to learn how to recognise the onset of symptoms of burnout, the more equipped we’ll be over time in managing these symptoms, building our levels of resilience and exploring different coping strategies to nurture good mental wellbeing - with a strong support network in place. This is essential for long term success!
Believe me, your mindset truly plays a vital role in the outcome of your overall wellbeing and therefore, your business success too.
And in the context of work, whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or are building a business alongside working for a company – there are lots of ways to strengthen your mindset and build your resilience when faced with challenges.
So where do you get started on reducing the symptoms of entrepreneurial burnout? Here are a few tips to get started:
Create boundaries from the get-go
Working for yourself can create blurry lines as to when your working day starts and ends. Remember not to lose sight of all the other things in your life that are important, to help ensure balance. Running a business won’t feel enjoyable if you’re disengaging from other aspects of your life that bring you joy, or are feeling constantly burnt out and starved of energy. Your business is one aspect of your life – remember to make time for yourself, other people and activities that nurture your wellbeing.
Never stop learning
Whether it’s through mentors, coaches, workshops, books, networking events… there are endless opportunities for growth. What small action step can you take today to broaden your learning experience and immerse yourself in environments that enable you to thrive?
Build your support network
Whether you’re just starting out or have been running a business for a while, it doesn’t have to be a lonely experience – far from it. Seek out opportunities to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, take a look at the variety of courses and membership groups that are available and see which ones resonate with you. Seek out mentors and learn from experienced professionals who have succeeded in the industry you work in - strive to be inspired every day.
We’d love for you to show your support on this World Mental Health Day by sharing this post with others in your professional network and encourage you to join us on our Reignite journey - become a Calmer Ambassador today to influence meaningful change in the business world. After all, small gestures go a long way, and lots of people collectively sharing small gestures can make a real impact.
Here’s to your inner and outer success.