Mitigating The Worst Of Seasonal Affective Disorder: For Entrepreneurs
Success in entrepreneurship requires an individual to perform at high levels of stress for long periods of time. Now that winter is setting in and days are getting shorter, leaders are bound to have difficulties being productive and focused on their professional goals. Studies have shown that more than half a million people in the US suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
As an entrepreneur, you know better than anyone the amount of energy and motivation required to keep your business in shape. That’s why SAD can be so debilitating to the success of your business.
7 Ways To Manage Seasonal Depression As A Entrepreneur
For founders, having control over your schedule can be very helpful to manage your time and mood over the bleak winter months but there are other steps you can take to function at optimal levels. In this article, we’ll discuss seven tips that help with managing your mental wellness. But do not be hesitant to consult a mental health professional if the negative emotions persist for long periods of time.
#1 Celebrate Small Wins
Big goals are undoubtedly important for finding happiness and satisfaction in both your personal and professional lives. However, they could mentally exhaust you, especially when they are long-term. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate small wins.
Small wins could be as simple as a positive email exchange with a prospect you’re trying to land, or even a team meeting that brings everyone to the same page. These small victories may seem insignificant in the larger context of your business, but they provide you with little hits of dopamine that help keep you motivated throughout the day.
#2 Find A Good Support System
If you spend the majority of your time working indoors during winter, it’s important that you find a good support system. But what exactly is a support system? In short, it is a network of individuals that offers you emotional and practical support.
As an entrepreneur, there will be times when you fail and feel like you are the only one going through it. This phenomenon is aggravated for those experiencing symptoms of SAD.
Make sure that you reach out to people from the startup community where other founders share their stories of failure. Doing this will not only make you feel better about yourself but will also introduce you to seasoned pros who can help you overcome your failures.
#3 Practice Mindfulness
Research suggests that people who meditate or practice mindfulness exercises such as meditation and yoga tend to stay happier than people who don’t. Many successful leaders swear by yoga as it helps you stay in the moment and develop better cognitive abilities.
Winter can be an exceptionally difficult time to focus on your tasks at hand, so practicing mindfulness can help you manage your mental well-being and alleviate your stress.
#4 Spend Time With Your Family
Family and social life are two of the most important things to an individual, and naturally, leaders are no exception. With the holiday season approaching, it’s more important than ever to make time for those in your life whom you care about.
However, the unfortunate reality is that work pressure prevents most leaders from being able to spend enough time with their friends and families. This gives rise to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which worsen the symptoms of seasonal depression.
A study conducted in 2018 suggests that individuals who feel lonely daily have a shortened lifespan. Therefore, it’s imperative for all solopreneurs and business owners to set aside some hours every day to spend quality time with their friends and family.
#5 Schedule Your Tasks In Advance
Batching your tasks and organizing them by date can go a long way in making you more efficient when you’re experiencing symptoms of SAD. You only need to address them one or two days a week, and as long as you’re not procrastinating, you should have ample time to recuperate.
In general, this is a good habit to practice throughout the year. Once it’s become part of your routine, you’ll see your productivity and efficiency increase.
#6 Avoid Burnout By Outsourcing
Being an entrepreneur, you don’t necessarily have to do everything on your own. You could consider outsourcing some of your less important tasks to get some free time and avoid burnout.
Although outsourcing might prove to be a hefty investment, it’s worth it in the long term as it builds your network and introduces you to freelancers who might one day become employees of your business.
#7 Be Kind To Yourself
Entrepreneurs are notorious for being hard on themselves. Depression in both seasonal and ongoing forms is crippling but it is not a fault in your design. During winter and even throughout the year, it is important to remind yourself that your depression does not define you.
So this new year, make a resolution to be kinder to yourself. You are not alone in your struggles.