Lessons in managing your mental health
Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said that it would be this hard…
Is it just us or could Chris Martin have been talking about running your own business when he sang this line in the Coldplay classic? Going it alone is hard work. Don’t get us wrong; we’re all about the positives that come with taking the wheel of your own ship, but with the crazy good comes the bad. There are the long hours, the money worries, the endless hunt for clients and the merry-go-round of wins and losses. There’s no wonder it can all leave us feeling a bit ‘meh’ is there?
When the worries stack up and you’re putting in the work like a Trojan, maintaining decent mental health can be a damn hard slog. But we’re all in this together, so here are some of the tips and tricks that have gotten us through the tough times, many a time.
Rethink how you see success
It’s easy to equate success with money in the bank but give it a rethink; if you set up shop to spend more time with your kids and now get to do the school run everyday, something you once dreamed off, you’re winning. You might not be award-winning yet like that competitor you envy from afar, but if you’re clinching contracts with your dream clients, you’re winning. Reframe the way you see success and those worries might just sit a bit lighter on your shoulders.
Find your tribe
There’s more to Helm than a few desks. These are our people, the ones who know exactly how it feels to have to hustle for your next job and to bloody love it anyway (mostly). Your tribe might not be here, but you’ll know once you find them; they’ll be the ones to pick you up and give your head a shake when you need it most and vice versa. They’re the ones who say ‘come on mate, you need a drink’ when you’re losing the will to live with that project or to chuck some work your way when things are a bit thin on the ground. And sometimes they’re just there, ticking over in the background. And that’s enough.
Be honest with yourself
You aren’t doing yourself any favours if you can’t focus for toffee but you stayed up until 2am scrolling through Instagram and haven’t been near a vegetable for weeks. Being accountable for looking after your own mental health has to take the same priority as brushing your teeth or having a shower, especially if you’re trying to avoid days when both of the above feel like an impossible task. Get into a routine, move your body and feed it the good stuff every now and again, get an early night and some fresh air and you’ll be laughing. Literally, with a bit of luck. Likewise when it comes to money; we all have those bits of the job we love, but giving the bits that pay the bills enough attention will lessen the anxiety of keeping your head above water. Pitch for new clients, save some cash when you can, do your self assessment in plenty of time…Sometimes knuckling down and doing the things you don’t really want to do clears your head better than doing the things that you do.
Lastly, give yourself a break
We’re all giving it our best shot. Cut yourself some slack yeah, you’re doing alright.