How to maintain your mental health whilst running a business

As part of a series of content to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we spoke with inspiring women that are part of the Escape The City community. They share their valuable lessons and advice to support other women in the workplace who are making brave career changes or are hustling to get a business off the ground.

helen morris samsara communicationsMeet Helen Morris, the founder of Samsara Communications, which is a specialist marketing and social media agency for wellness and conscious small businesses.

Helen started the business four years ago after experiencing her own mental health struggles due to corporate burnout.

Once Helen started feeling better, she didn’t want to return to corporate life and wanted to do work on her own terms. Work that she loved and that has a positive impact on people’s lives.

Read Helen’s top advice for maintaining your mental health whilst running a business:

1. Creating a support network

Often when you start a business, you are by yourself. It doesn’t have to be this way. My recommendation would be to:

  • Consider joining a co-working space – to have somewhere to go to work alongside like-minded people that are going through similar experiences. You can share ideas and it’s far more sociable!
  • Hire help – delegating the tasks that you don’t have time for can free up time to help you focus on the big things. Whether that is hiring a freelancer through a platform like Upwork or Fiverr – or simply, asking friends for recommendations.
  • Talk to peers that have done something similar experiences – It will enable you to get a different perspective and opinion on the situation. People like to help and it’s always reciprocal – I support people where I can as well.
  • Check out resources – Communities like Escape The City, meet-ups, Facebook Groups.

… We’re really lucky to work in a time where there is plenty of business support!

2. Implement practices that help you feel good

These can be the real basics, like making sure you:

  • Get enough good-quality sleep at night
  • Turn your computer off at a specific time each evening
  • Stay hydrated and have a nourishing lunch
  • Still make time to see your friends – it’s really tempting to get completely absorbed in your business.

I meditate every day and it has been transformative for my mental health. It gets me into the right frame of mind to start the day and calms down my nervous system to more easily navigate the day.

Have a think of the things that make you feel good. Write a list of 5 things and schedule them in!

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3. Creating systems and processes

Creating systems and processes is a quick-fix to reducing time and stress. Things like:

  • Hiring an accountant to help with taxes
  • Getting your contracts in place
  • Being organised with onboarding processes for new clients
  • Making sure people involved in projects are clear about their responsibilities

4. Set yourself boundaries

Think about what you are, and are not available for. These can be things such as:

  • Answering emails – I am available to answer client emails from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Maybe you need to set an out-of-office to manage people’s expectations about when they can get hold of you
  • Being clear on roles – When working with employees or contractors, make it really transparent who is responsible for what task
  • Being clear with yourself – ask yourself what is a realistic amount of work that I can get through today?

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 Remember, you can’t run a business effectively if you’re not feeling good!

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