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Are You a Small-Business Owner on the Brink of Burnout?

51% of male small-business owners experience daily stress, and 62% of female small-business owners report the same. Improve your mental health in 2023 to better yourself and your business.

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WE’RE STARTING YET another year as small-business owners! With that in mind, I propose a challenge: Become the best, most balanced version of yourself in 2023. You may be thinking, “I got this. I’ll hit the gym.” No! This challenge is about more than just physical health. Commit to better mental health this year, too.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 49% of entrepreneurs deal with mental health issues directly. The 2020 Gallup Wellbeing Index found that 51% of male small-business owners experience daily stress, with 62% of female small-business owners reporting the same. As a busy wife, mom and owner of a grooming salon, I can relate and started the climb out of my own sunken mental place last year. I was sleep deprived, out of answers and on the brink of burnout.

Then one day, I had an epiphany: Life doesn’t have to be this way! I realized I didn’t have to be held captive by thoughts and fears of failing at home and/or at work. I began seeing change when I got serious about taking care of me … just like I had been about taking care of everything and everyone else around me.

I hired a mental health coach. She helped me to shake off my stinkin’ thinkin’, better manage my anxiety, and identify unhealthy habits keeping me from living the life I truly desired.

You can do the same! Imagine yourself as a more positive person who sets healthy boundaries. One who heals from past traumas and is unapologetically you. Anxiety will always arise … learn to not let it blaze out of control. Unattach from emotional eating. Confront the issues in your relationships. Get on the path to a better life!

The benefits of therapy are endless. And it doesn’t have to involve lying on a couch, crying into tissues. It can feel like talking to your best friend after spending years apart, and now you’re catching up. And if you aren’t comfortable sharing your journey, nobody else has to know. But I can almost guarantee that those around you will notice the positive changes, both personally and professionally.

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Your attitude affects your latitude. You will only go as far as you think you can. Let’s all commit to not being stuck this year, to carving out time for ourselves and getting the support we deserve.

And don’t forget: Mental health is wealth, too. What good is having all of the riches in the world when you’re too stressed and/or depressed to enjoy them with the ones you love. So again … I challenge you! Dig deep and be open to professional help.

Lashonda Geffrard co-owns The Paw Shop in Ocoee, FL. She also founded the Black Pet Business Network, a non-profit organization committed to growing Black-owned businesses and leaders in the pet care industry. You can reach her at [email protected].

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