Entrepreneurship is not always easy. Throughout my 20+ years as an entrepreneur, I have endured many challenges and difficulties to ensure my businesses continued to survive and thrive. Even when my businesses were doing well, owning a business must be balanced with other personal priorities – and everything takes time. This can all take a toll on a person mentally and physically and I’ve also learned there is a price to working more than the average person, and it can show in many ways. The following are just a few health concerns that are common among entrepreneurs who forget to take time for themselves.
Depression and Anxiety
Although common in the general population, entrepreneurs can have a higher risk of depression and anxiety for many reasons. The increased stress of keeping a business afloat while keeping everyone happy is difficult. The lack of social time outside of work can make one feel isolated. And entrepreneurship often takes people away from their support systems. Every entrepreneur needs to be aware of the warning signs for these conditions, as they can lead to a bad outcome when ignored.
Unfortunately, addiction can be very common in some circles of entrepreneurship. Tech entrepreneurs in particular have a reputation for using substances that keep them working long hours and running on little sleep. Other entrepreneurs may use addictive substances or habits to cope with feelings of depression or anxiety. If entrepreneurs feel a dependence upon a substance or other harmful habit, they should seek help immediately, as addiction can quickly take over a person’s life and health.
We all know that our blood pressure goes up when we’re nervous and stressed. However, when blood pressure is raised for a long time, it is called hypertension. Hypertension is tied to numerous serious, and sometimes fatal, illnesses, such as heart attack and stroke. Entrepreneurs should regularly check their blood pressure if they are at increased risk, and should set aside time for mindfulness and relaxation in order to calm their bodies.
Nearly everyone has experienced a night of insomnia. This can be the normal for entrepreneurs, particularly in tough times. When thinking about how to keep the lights on, whether to let an employee go, or if it is a good idea to make a risky move, entrepreneurs may struggle to let their brains turn off for rest. Additionally, other entrepreneurs may have recurrent nightmares or other sleep conditions. If left untreated, these can have long-term consequences for their health and mental wellbeing.
Health conditions caused by the entrepreneurial lifestyle are nothing to ignore. Entrepreneurs need to be aware of their health in all ways in order to continue to live long and happy lives. Be sure to keep an eye out for any of these conditions as you build your business.
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