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How Running a Business Can Affect Your Health

Even if you’re living the American Dream and finally starting your own business, you probably know that not every day is sunshine and rainbows. In fact, you may find being an entrepreneur to be very stressful.

You have to make all of the decisions, which does come with its own freedoms, but it can simultaneously put a lot of pressure on you — every decision you make could have a positive or negative impact on your business’s future.

Needless to say, running a business can have a significant impact on one’s health — both in the short and long term. As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of how your role can impact your health. The more you educate yourself on the impacts your business has on your health, the more time you’ll have to enact positive changes in your life. In doing so, you’ll be able to maintain your health over the years and improve your well-being while running your business.

The Mental Health Risks of Running a Business

Business owners have to wear many hats, especially when they’re first getting started. You might be involved in everything from product development and marketing to actually being a salesperson or taking care of customer service. Even if you have a strong team working with you, you’re the one who has to show up every day for your business.

Playing these parts puts a lot of stress on the average entrepreneur. On top of it, it’s up to you to make sure the business keeps running behind the scenes. You might take it upon yourself to stay in charge of your finances, adding another layer of stress.

Without the right help and support, you could develop anxiety, depression, or even burnout. These mental issues often make it difficult to operate your business daily, but you’ll also see effects in your personal life as well. You might be more irritable or withdrawn from those closest to you. Even though you may feel like your business is your life, it shouldn’t take away the positives in every other aspect of your life.

The Physical Risks

Depending on the industry, you might also see impacts on your physical health while running your business. For one, the stress involved may start to damage your physical well-being. Ongoing stress can cause issues like:

  • Hypertension;
  • Heart attack;
  • Stroke;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Weight gain.

If you’re overworking yourself in an effort to be more productive, you may also see a development in other chronic health conditions as well. For example, You might also neglect to get enough sleep, which can have huge consequences. Not sleeping enough can impact both your mental and physical health, contributing to everything from reduced alertness to an increased risk of diabetes.

If you already have a chronic health condition, you may exacerbate your symptoms while running your business. Without stopping to take care of yourself properly, you could experience flare-ups of pain, you could get sick easily, and you might eventually find it impossible to work because you haven’t taken the time to manage your condition.

Certain working habits also increase your risk of developing chronic conditions such as arthritis and high blood pressure. You’re also at a greater risk of getting injured on the job, depending on the industry you’re in. As you get older, those risks increase if you don’t take proper precautions.

What Can You Do?

Despite the danger of overworking yourself in your business, experiencing difficulties while prioritizing your passions, your work, and your health is normal. However, striking that work-life balance is essential to your well-being.

First, consider any existing health issues you might have. If you’re trying to maintain your business while living with a chronic condition, set manageable goals for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed. Adapt your business to fit your needs. That might include things like a more flexible schedule, hiring more help, or automating tasks whenever possible.

Self-care

Whether you have a chronic condition or not, you should prioritize self-care. Self-care isn’t selfish or lazy. As a business owner, it’s a necessity. If your company is successful and you turn a profit, what good is it if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it?

Practicing self-care each day is easier than you might think. It starts with awareness. Don’t be afraid to “check in” with yourself when it comes to your mental and physical well-being. Sometimes, you might get so busy that you don’t even realize you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. One of the best ways to check in while helping to reduce that stress is to practice mindfulness.

Things like mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, and even yoga can pull you into the present, help you focus on what’s going on now rather than worrying about anything else and can re-center your thoughts.

A few other ways to stay healthy and prioritize self-care each day include:

  • Finding reasons to laugh every day;
  • Being social;
  • Staying physically active;
  • Eating a healthy diet.

Preventative Health Measures

Taking care of your physical health through a nutritious diet and staying active is just as important as prioritizing mental self-care. Additionally, make time to see a doctor regularly. Preventative care might seem like a hassle, especially when you’ve got a business to run. But, it’s much easier to take care of yourself now than it is to have to deal with a chronic condition

Prioritizing health may sound easy to the layperson, but when in fact, it may be impossible for a business owner who doesn’t maintain a regular routine. The life of a business owner is busy and your schedule might not be as predictable some days as others. However, you stand to receive many benefits if you maintain your routine. You’ll reduce your stress, boost your mood, and have something comforting to look forward to each day.

A routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Make time for meals, family, and exercise.

Like your business, you can cater your routine however you see fit. It’s the idea of sticking with it that really makes a difference.

Not everyone gets to live out the dream of running a business, so don’t lose sight of how lucky you are. But, don’t let the business take over your life to the point of becoming unhealthy.

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