Today, I’m so happy to share Abby Howard with you. Abby is my friend, a fellow social worker, mental health clinician and she’s also a Co-Active Trained Coach (like me!). We’re teaming up to talk about Mental Health during National Mental Health Awareness Month! We’ve also partnered up for a webinar where we’ll be discussing healthy emotional habits for entrepreneurs!
I’m so happy to introduce you to her, here’s the brilliant Abby Howard!
What led you to become an entrepreneur? I bet if we were to sit down over coffee you’d tell me about your beautiful dreams, incredible passion, and the desire to create your own schedule and be your own boss!
Being an entrepreneur can be so amazing, right?! And, as with anything in life there are challenges, too. Stress around money, hustling to find clients, lack of work life balance, and comparison to or jealousy of other entrepreneurs in your field, are all just some of the ways we may be challenged as entrepreneurs.
And, these challenges can often take a toll on us personally from our self-esteem to our relationships. It is not rare for entrepreneurs to be more focused on the health of their businesses than on their own physical and emotional well-being. What’s ironic about this is that our businesses ultimately rely on our well-being in order to succeed and grow over time.
Prioritizing emotional health is actually one of the best things we can do for our businesses and our clients, and yet many entrepreneurs don’t know exactly how or where to start. There are programs galore about how to improve your bookkeeping and marketing schemes, but what about how to get out of a funk after a bad day in your biz?
Sure, everyone has bad days from time to time, but for entrepreneurs those difficult days can be even more challenging due to the unique circumstances we face (working alone for multiple hours each week, wearing multiple hats at once, uncertainty about money, etc.).
So, let’s talk about our emotional health as entrepreneurs! To start, I want to explain exactly what emotional health is. Just like we have physical and mental health we also have emotional health. Obviously, physical health has to do with our bodies and mental health our brain chemistry, and to some extent we don’t have full control over either of those. For example, one might have a chronic physical illness or experience a life trauma that changes their mental health.
But, emotional health actually has to do with your thinking and how you view yourself as well as the world around you. And, our emotions, or how we feel throughout the day, are directly linked to how we think. For those us with ‘neurotypical privilege’ (meaning we don’t have a developmental disability) we have power over our thinking and can do quite a bit about it to improve how we feel emotionally. And, changing our thinking not only improves our emotional health, but can also improve mental and physical health as well in some cases.
So, let me share with you 3 of the key habits emotionally healthy entrepreneurs practice on the daily. These practices are simple yet powerful. And, while these habits might not change all of the challenging circumstance in your life, they will most definitely improve your ability and resiliency to handle those challenges when they come.
1. Have a support network and use it!
Obviously, in your business, you would be challenged to run it well without your team members, be that your accountant, attorney, website designer or virtual assistant. It takes more than just us to get our businesses off the ground. The same is true for keeping our emotional health intact.
We need our friends, colleagues, maybe even our own coach, and community of people we can reach out to share successes and challenges with. A lot of people have support networks but they don’t use them as much as they need to for fear of vulnerability or “appearing weak.” This can be especially true of boss ladies like us who are accustomed to doing so much on our own because we are just that incredibly resourceful and capable.
But, remember, reaching out and asking for support doesn’t take away from your awesomeness, it simply reinforces that you are incredibly talented and worthy of refueling your tank through connection with people who believe in you! The more you are refueled and supported the more you will a support to others through your business.
2. Practice daily self-care!
As entrepreneurs we can often struggle with work life balance. Working from home and having a never ending to-do list for both our personal life and business can be a major challenge to turning off “work brain” in order to have some fun or relaxation.
A lack of self-care will not only have a negative impact on one’s emotional health, but physical and mental, too. Emotional eating, anyone? I always know when I’ve reached my limit when I start craving sweets and carbs even though I’m not hungry! This is often my body’s way of telling me that I am needing to take care of myself, relax, or go do something fun!
And, self-care doesn’t mean you have to spend all day at the spa (Although if you can do that go for it, Girlfriend! Can I come?). Self-care can be as simple as lighting a candle and sipping tea or it might be attending to a deeper emotion, like anxiety, that is coming up for you. And, great news! Using your support network from practice #1 can be a wonderful way to take care of yourself, too! Double win!
3. Develop a mindset of celebration!
I have had some dark days in my business – days where I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay my bills, days where blogs flopped, and days where clients, if I may be frank, were a tad bit difficult. On those days it can be so easy to focus on the negative and feel like a failure. But, this does not serve us or our businesses.
Developing a mindset of celebration is imperative in our businesses. This doesn’t mean putting on a happy face and pretending like everything is ‘peachy’ when you’re really sad and frustrated. Celebration is about noticing all that there is in a day to be grateful for; “I celebrate that my client had a break though today. I celebrate that I’m paying this bill on time. I celebrate that I learned a hard lesson about the importance of market research since that blog flopped. I celebrate that I am an entrepreneur!”
I am a firm believer that what we put our attention on will grow. If we focus mostly on the negative, we will feel negatively. And, how we feel will impact the work we do and thus the health of our business. However, if we focus on what is going right we will increase our positive feelings and be that much more resilient in the face of challenging circumstances. One of the quickest ways to get out of a deep and dark funk is to practice the art of celebration!!
So, there you have it! Three habits that you can practice on the daily to improve your emotional health as an entrepreneur and therefore improve your business! If you liked what you read here then I hope you’ll join me on May 26th at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a webinar on “Healthy Habits for Emotionally Healthy Entrepreneurs.” In this webinar we will be going into much more depth on this topic and you will walk away with simple and highly effective skills for being a boss lady not only in your business but at managing you bad days, too! You can use this link to sign up and share with your networks. I hope to see you there!
Guest Post by: Abby Howard