4 ways to battle entrepreneurial depression
Entrepreneurs, who have seemingly boundless energy early in a business’s development, do not necessarily retain the same levels of leadership, productivity, decisiveness, and enthusiasm as the company reaches more mature stage of development. In fact, many entrepreneurs of growing businesses become depressed after a few years.
While you’re deeply committed and invested in your business, your friends and family may not understand what it is that you actually do all day or why. Not to mention you may spend the majority of your day physically alone without any input from a team or peers.
How can you lift yourself out of this pattern and start feeling brighter every day? Here are a few tips:
1. The first thing to realize is that founder depression is depression. To state the obvious, you will need to treat it like any other form of depression. Sure, there may be some additional level of stress involved when it comes to handling the day to day activities of being a founder. But just because you are a founder, it does not make the level of activity that may be occurring in your brain any different.
2. Find a safe space. Part of what gives depression its power is the shame and the need to conceal those feelings. Brené Brown speaks eloquently about how vulnerability can eradicate shame. Seeking therapy is always a good idea for someone suffering with depression. Having an entrepreneurial support system isn’t a bad idea either. Mastermind groups can be a safe place to share business and personal struggles. The fellow entrepreneurs in a mastermind group may have a deep understanding of the issues you're facing and can provide keen insights for solutions.
3. Limit time on social media. Have you ever scanned your Facebook feed and felt bad about your perceived lack of accomplishment? Social media allows people to present a glossy, filtered view of their lives and greatly skews what success looks like. You may be comparing your progress to an inaccurate picture of other people’s achievements and unnecessarily eroding your self-esteem and motivation. Comparison is the thief of joy. If you find yourself in this trap, it’s time for a social media detox.
4. Move. Like someone once said, if you’d like to be happy, then change something and keep changing it till you get to that ideal life that you envision. Here, the importance of scheduling activities and turning them into action with the specific intent of measuring the effort is very important.