Every business owner goes through anxiety. You have to! There’s so much care that goes into this thing YOU’VE built and there are a lot of unknowns that come with the process of being successful. You don’t know when you’ll get your next inquiry, you don’t necessarily know if you’ll still be a business owner five years from now and sometimes you don’t even know the next time you’ll get paid.
ALL of this causes us to have anxiety and, unfortunately, when we get stressed, we turn to social media to relax and unwind. Yet, we aren’t able to. When we get on Facebook or Instagram, we’re flooded with posts talking about how wonderful everyone else’s business is. Everywhere we look, we’re reminded that we’re not doing nearly as well as we think we should be. It becomes a comparison game.
“Why am I struggling when he’s/she’s doing so well?”
After going down the rabbit hole, we drag ourselves off of social media. We try to go back to work and use our heightened anxiety as a source of energy and motivation. We decide to neglect our self-care for the sake of hustling. The problem with doing this is it’s actually causing us to not work as productively as we could be.
I’m INCREDIBLY guilty of getting caught in this anxiety web. I recognized a year ago I needed to start implementing strategies to unravel my anxiety in a healthy way. In return, this upped my productivity and helped me become a healthier entrepreneur. These are six things I encourage business owners to do when coping with anxiety:
1) Establish a morning routine that doesn’t involve social media
Isn’t it easy to start the morning with reaching over for our phones and getting caught up on what’s happening on Facebook and Instagram? Yesssssss. However, two things happen when we start the day like this:
First – we’re already getting sucked into the comparison game and doubting ourselves before the day even starts. Second – social media has a crazy way of eating up our time (all of those algorithms work on us, too). Before we know it, a quick Instagram check turns into a two-hour deep dive that leads us to scramble once we finally manage to pull away.
Leisurely checking social media in the morning makes us start off the day feeling anxious AND unproductive. If we want to start the day efficiently and healthily, we have to create a morning routine that doesn’t involve getting virtually sucked in.
2) Create a daily to-do list
Instead of beginning the day with a social media checkup, we should start with laying out what we need to accomplish. Whether it’s writing tasks down on post it notes or using a computer to stay on top of everything, it’s important to lay out what needs to get finished that day. Writing out our tasks and creating a game plan helps create a productive mindset that will carry on throughout the period of time we’re working!
3) Turn off notifications
Every time a social media notification pops up, we get a genuine rush of excitement. We want to feel loved and appreciated, so we immediately check our phones when someone has left us likes or comments! The problem is that it takes A LOT of restraint to stop at that one notification. One moment we’re looking at all the lovely things people have left us, and the next we’re right back in the cycle of looking at others and feeling anxious about ourselves. Turning off social media notifications gives us room to work on what needs to get done without being interrupted and helps avoid an unnecessary spike in anxiety throughout the work day!
4) Make time to eat meals & drink water
We try to take care of our business like it’s our baby, which means sacrificing every little thing to make it thrive. But sometimes our mental health fluctuates depending on how we physically feel. I used to neglect eating meals and drinking water regularly, which took a huge toll on my physical health. I would tell myself, “I just need to finish this oneeee thing before I eat.” (Which would actually turn into 10.)
When we neglect our body’s needs, our mental health is more susceptible to anxiety. What we need to do as business owners is make sure we’re taking care of our health OVER our businesses. It’s hard, but allowing our health to be prioritized over business ensures a boost in healthy productivity and less susceptibility to workdays filled with anxiety!
5) Give yourself time to _!
This is left blank because you need to be the one to fill it in! There should be a point in your day where you do something that helps you reduce your anxiety. Whether it’s going on a run, meditating or taking a hot shower – there should be a simple activity you can do that gives you mental relief. It should be something that can easily be a part of your daily work routine. Adding this prevents your anxiety from building up until it feels unmanageable. When you have a routine that prevents anxiety, you’ll begin seeing healthier workdays that are substantially more productive.
6) Be kind to yourself
This is the last tip because it’s the most important. Even when we become skilled at handling our anxiety, there are going to be days where it feels more overwhelming than usual. It may be frustrating, but the number one thing that helps on these days is remembering to be kind to yourself. Be gracious with your anxiety and recognize that there’s nothing wrong with feeling the way you do. When we start being kinder to ourselves and more compassionate toward our mental health, the easier it becomes to embrace the harder days and accept who we are and our anxiety entirely.
We can’t control that we have anxiety, but we CAN control how we handle it! When we start implementing self-care in our daily work routines, we become physically AND mentally healthier. This helps us handle anxiety efficiently and increases the productivity of our businesses. 🙂
Thanks for sharing these tips, Lara! I, too, struggle with anxiety, which can be especially difficult as an entrepreneur. Starting my day without social media has been on my to-do list for a while. My plan is to get a traditional alarm and leave my phone in the living room at night—no more auto-pilot A.M. phone checking.