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3 Tips From Company Founders To Preserve Your Mental Health

Several founders of companies shared their knowledge about the best practices to improve mental health and stay alert.

Isaac Rudansky, the founder and CEO at AdVenture Media Group sent his employees home after six weeks of hard work in newly bought offices. It lost 35% customers in the first three weeks due to the pandemic. He says, “I am actually optimistic but this was really dark.” It is difficult to see a longer-term horizon when you’re dealing with depression and stress.

Rudansky instead of looking ahead, he looked back over the past five years. He saw that his career and life had been in a positive place, even through all the valleys and peaks. This gave him the confidence to continue his journey.

Eve Lewis Prieto is Headspace’s Director of Meditation and Mindfulness. She says that mindfulness can be applied in all aspects of life. Mindfulness refers to the ability to be fully present and engaged with your mind. Soft and open is also known as paying attention, or being present with your purpose.

Several founders of companies shared their knowledge about the best practices to improve mental health and stay alert.

1. Identify your feelings

Meha Agrawal, founder and CEO of Silk and Sonder, struggled to find coping strategies for her anxiety and burnout. She was also a software engineer and was worried about therapy and became bored with meditation. He discovered that writing was the only way to get out of his problems. He says, “Pencil on paper has many advantages.” It reduces stress and anxiety, as well as increasing memory and IQ. It has been proven to be effective in healing trauma. Agrawal started a journaling routine in 2017 and quickly built a subscription journal business to allow clients to copy his journaling style.

Aaron Sternlicht, therapist, and co-founder at Family Addiction Specialist in New York City, recommends writing to help you track your emotions throughout the day. He says this can help you identify the times and activities that cause anxiety. You can prepare yourself for your response better once you have identified triggers.

2. Lean on other people

Angela Ficken, a Boston psychotherapist notes that founders face constant challenges in maintaining their personal relationships. This situation has been made worse by the pandemic, which has led to more mental health problems for founders. Agrawal recognized the importance of community and created the Sonder Club, an online group where Silk and Sonder users could connect and share their wellness journeys.

Rudansky says that talking to others can help you maintain your mental health. “It allows someone to show sympathy and empathy for what it is you are going through.” He recalls that his boss contacted him a few months back to tell him that he felt overwhelmed at work. Rudansky says that he didn’t show weakness but instead showed strength and character. They ended up having an hour-long telephone conversation in which they shared their feelings and struggles.

3. Take some time to yourself…and start small

Tori Farley, cofounder of Better Than Belts (a unisex suspender brand), joined a book club last month and read The Gifts of Imperfection. This book teaches readers how to refocus their mindset and discover authentic life psychology. Farley admits that he was skeptical about reading “almost self-help” books, but that he found it to be a good book. “If I want two hours of painting watercolors in the morning because it will make me happy the rest the day, then that’s what you have to do. I don’t have the obligation to check my email before I start the day.”

Farley says that even if it is only for a moment, taking initiative can help you overcome a slump in your workday. Ficken also said that the mentality of “all or nothing,” can be detrimental to your mental health. Ficken says that even if you are unable to do your full workout on a given day, it is not a reason to stop doing physical activity. Instead, go for a walk around your home or to the kitchen to get cold water.

Prieto states that Headspace encourages users start with three to five minutes per day. He says that “some days the mind will feel very busy, while other days it will feel calmer.” It is important to feel comfortable where you are, not empty your mind.