Running a business isn't easy, so prioritise your health with these practical mental wellness tips from entrepreneurs in Hong Kong.
Being your own boss sure sounds great, but most people don’t see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. To build a successful business and avoid burnout, you’ve got to put your mental health first. Need a few tips and tricks from those who’ve been there? Here are what six entrepreneurs in Hong Kong have to say about mental wellness tips that have transformed their lives.
Mental wellness tips for entrepreneurs, from entrepreneurs
1. Give yourself a proper break
In order for our brain to thrive, we need to give it a proper break. It can be a long walk, a relaxing massage, or shopping therapy. The goal is to move our thoughts away from the grind and let our brains soak in the present moment. It’s hard for an entrepreneur who wears many hats to do this, so I free up my Friday mornings. At 9am, I would let my mind and my feet journey to where they want to be, or what they want to do. When I return to work in the afternoon, I feel that my mind is much more open and I often have new ideas on how to face my current challenges.
– Karen Villard, Founder and Chief of Play at Cubo Toys
2. Even more practically: schedule breaks for yourself, three times a day
Much like managing your physical health, taking care of your mental health needs planning and some sort of routine. You can start simple by scheduling a three- to five-minute mindful break, thrice a day. Here is my personal formula:
- A break in the morning for intentions and breathwork: create an image of what you’d like the day to be and how you’d like to feel (such as peaceful, energised, or grounded). Then, take seven intentional breaths to bring that feeling into your body.
- A break in the afternoon for a mindful pause: set a timer, close your eyes, and be conscious of your inner and outer environments. Notice the impressions on your senses and make a mental note of how your body is feeling.
- A break at night for reflection and closure: right before you sleep, close the mental files that you’ve opened during the day. Accept what you have and haven’t done, then imagine putting your to-do list in the back of your mind. Reflect on what the day has taught you and give yourself a positive affirmation before sleeping on that note.
3. Set clear boundaries
New challenges arise for entrepreneurs everyday, so I realise the importance of optimising my performance. To do this, I look after myself and put my mental wellbeing first. One of the ways I manage stress and overwhelm in my business is by setting boundaries. In addition to my work-related tasks, I’ve begun scheduling my non-negotiable breaks, as well as my personal and family time in my calendar. This has helped me maintain a healthy work-life balance.
– Anne Suaverdez, Founder of Wresonate Media
4. Master the art of prioritising
When it comes to my personal mental wellness tip as an entrepreneur, mastering the art of prioritising has been a game-changer for me. Setting clear priorities for the year, month, and week has made a significant difference in how I manage my workload.
But, for the times when we don’t have time to even think about our prime concerns, I recommend that you identify the one priority you’ll work with everyday. For me, it’s my clients. This habit helps shape my day and keeps me on track. Whenever this priority comes to mind, I check in on our ongoing projects, making sure we’ve responded to all inquiries and that all projects are on schedule.
– Nassim Secci, Founder of The Happy Space Company
5. Build the capacity for rejection
Rejection is inevitable in the life of an entrepreneur. If we don’t build the emotional and physical capacity to experience rejection, the feelings it evokes can get entangled with our sense of self-worth, motivation, and wellness.
When you experience rejection, locate the feeling of it in your body (such as a tight chest, butterflies in the stomach, and tensed shoulders). Breathe into the sensation of it. Allow yourself to feel it, and be with it. Be tender with yourself as you practise this. Allowing yourself to feel the sensation of rejection lets the emotion run its course quicker. You can build the capacity for your body and mind to know that you can experience the pain of rejection – and be well.
– Natalie Goni, Developmental Coach & Embodiment Practitioner at Natalie Goni Coaching
6. Redefine what “success” means to you
While running business, I’ve discovered valuable mental wellness tips as an entrepreneur. Instead of living up to the expectations of others, I’ve learnt to define success on my own terms. It allows me to focus on what truly matters to me and find personal fulfilment. I’ve also been practising gratitude. It helps me find joy in my journey and stay resilient when obstacles come my way. Remember: taking care of your wellbeing is the key to long-term success!
– Mandy Pao, Purpose-Driven Brand Coach; Founder and Creative Director of EQ International