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Five ways to maintain positive mental health when you’re starting out as an entrepreneur

Starting your entrepreneurial journey is exciting. You have an idea and you’re actually running with it.

But with it comes a strain; the pressure of making it a success, the physical and emotional drain on you 24/7 and the risk of it all going wrong. 

So how do you maintain positive mental health through it all? We’ve recently created an infographic to help with some straight-forward tips to help you stay positive and healthy, and explore it in a bit more detail below.

Rethink your perception of time

When you’re first starting out, there are naturally a lot of things to keep you busy. If you’ve left employment to commit to it full-time, you also find yourself with a wealth of free time to do it in, putting pressure on you to use that time to be productive. 

But that isn’t a match made in heaven, and you risk burnout by spending every minute of your day and night working on your business.

Just because you have the time, doesn’t mean that you have to fill it; it’s time to rethink your perception. Downtime, family time, and self-care are essential in your daily life in order to maintain a healthy mindset and by starting off with this state of mind from the beginning, you set out with a healthy attitude to your mental health from the very beginning.

Get social

50% of entrepreneurs find themselves feeling lonely some of the time, according to research by Enterprise Nation, so it’s nothing new to be struggling going solo.

But loneliness can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing. Not only does it dilute any feelings of satisfaction or success, killing your productivity, feeling lonely can lead to mental health issues such as depression, stress and sleeping problems, according to Mind

Counselling service provider, NECS, also links your personality type to how working alone at home can impact you mentally; they have free resources to understand this further on their website

To combat these feelings, start building a social network that will support you both from a professional and personal basis from the very beginning. 

Search for business events in your local area and sign up to a mentorship if you can. You could always apply for an incubator programme, such as ours, where you will not only work side by side with like minded entrepreneurs, but you’ll have access to contacts and business leaders may struggle to get on your own.

Prioritise your wellbeing

It’s easy to let your wellbeing slip when you’re balancing so much as a new business owner. 

It could be hours before you realise you’ve not had a drink, or you may not be able to stop yourself being anxious about a deadline. 

These and many other things, big and small, lead to waning mental health. 

Spend time to rethink how you define wellbeing – did you expect something as simple as drinking enough water to be there? Did you appreciate how much better you feel after a break?

Programme self-care into your routine – set alarms to remind yourself if you need to – and don’t let the excuses mount up to prevent you from following through.

Be realistic with your expectations

No one goes into entrepreneurialism and gets everything spot on. Some things you’ll get right and others you won’t. 

By accepting and anticipating this, especially if you incorporate worst-case scenarios into your decision making, you will be far better prepared to deal with the ups and downs you’ll go through, both mentally and literally. 

Give yourself a break – learning from mistakes can provide you with valuable insights to use going forward. 

Seek help when you need it

It might get to a point where you’re tempted to pack it all in. 60% of new businesses don’t make it past their first three years for a variety of reasons, but avoid making a snap decision if you think you may be one of them.

Take a step back and assess your situation. Are you simply burnt out from a run of poor luck? Would you benefit from having structured support, such as being part of our incubator programme? Perhaps you need some investment? 

Whatever the issue is, rushing into a decision you may regret could leave you with festering feelings of regret and failure, affecting your mental wellbeing for some time. 

As we’ve discussed, there are a range of reasons to be aware of how your mental health can suffer while starting out on your entrepreneurial journey. If you’re starting your own business, and it can be based in Durham, joining our incubator programme can help you take your start-up to the next level in a safe environment. Apply now or get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we can help you.  


The next application deadline is Friday 6th May 2022

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