Being motivated, self-driven, innovative and busy are all traits of an entrepreneur. We also know that it takes a lot of commitment, constant learning to grow a business and take it to the next level. With all the hard work pointing in one direction, it makes sense why most of the entrepreneurs neglect their health to pursue their business goals.
Entrepreneurs commonly suffer from a wide range of health issues including hypertension or heart attack from job stress, obesity from the lack of exercise, depression, headaches, chronic back pain and a long list of digestive issues. A research conducted by the Louisiana State University in a small town surrounded by small self-owned businesses revealed that as businesses got less, the health of the community got better. Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, all reduced at a fast pace than they did in the entire country.
While most entrepreneurs maintain their physical health, studies show that mental health problems like, ADHD, anxiety and bipolar disorders are common among entrepreneurs. Some common health issues that most entrepreneurs face are discussed below along with some guidance to combat the health problems.
High Blood Pressure/ Heart Attack
We all know the struggle of being financially responsible for hundreds of other people and your own can be stressful and high stress leads to high blood pressure and heart problems. Also, unhealthy eating habits, disrupted sleep patterns, can also dysfunction your heartbeat.
Tips to Combat
It is estimated that one out of every 3 entrepreneurs suffers from high blood pressure. While you can’t control the reasons, you can always try to maintain an active lifestyle that will prevent high blood pressure and other health problems.
Here are a few habits that every entrepreneur must adopt to prevent any heart-related issues: maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, never skip meals, reduce salt intake, limit alcohol, exercise daily and monitor your blood pressure. Spending time with loved ones after a hectic day also plays a great role in beating stress and improving your overall well being.
With a vast number of entrepreneurs and CEOs working late hours and not coming home for days there’s not much time left for sleep. Health experts suggest, an average adult requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day, but busy entrepreneurs working long hours can receive only 4 to 5 hours of sleep per day. Insomnia and jet lags are also common among CEOs and busy entrepreneurs.
Tips to Combat
Sleep disorders can be prevented when you adopt a healthy lifestyle i.e. good sleep habits also referred to as sleep hygiene. Busy entrepreneurs can overcome bad sleeping habits by limiting the use of technology in the bedroom and going to bed at the same time every day. They can also take short naps during the day that will keep them refreshed and energetic.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol as they contain stimulants that keep you from falling asleep. Replace caffeine with a glass of warm milk and honey at the night, this will not only give you a good night’s sleep but also help in strengthening your immune system.
A recent study by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at the University of California revealed that 50% of the 250 entrepreneurs suffered from chronic depression along with other mental conditions, like; anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorders, personality disorders etc. Mental conditions might not be that clear but they affect the productivity, the thinking process and surrounding energy of a person.
If not treated immediately, mental problems can lead to serious issues like memory loss, dementia, or even suicidal thoughts. If depression reaches a severe stage, it needs to be treated by therapy and counseling session that will help a person get back on the track and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Tips to Combat
Depression is not visible, and it does not affect you late at night either. It is a silent killer that can be harmful at any point of the day and lasts for a longer time.
Entrepreneurs get sucked into responsibility, liabilities and tons of workload. Difficult situations can lead them to depression which can be cured to an extent by listening to a favorite song, drawing your emotions, talking to a therapist or a friend. The good news is that you can use reliable telemedicine platforms to contact a mental health counselor.
The first step is always the hardest. Talk to the people closest to you and find solace in things that make you feel good internally.
Any habit that affects your life negatively and occupies most of your thoughts and days is an addiction. Apart from getting addicted to alcohol, drugs, and sex lots of entrepreneurs develop behavioral addictions too, such as gambling and excessive internet usage.
Symptoms include compulsive thoughts and negative emotions that can cause dangerous behaviors in which a person can harm themselves and others. When addicted to a certain behavior, the addicts are unaware of the harm or pain they might cause to the immediate family, losing time they could have to spend achieving goals and working towards development. Other symptoms may be, high alcohol consumption, guilt, stress, abuse of food and drugs.
Tips to Combat
Addiction can be both dangerous and satisfying. To fight the cravings indulge yourself in healthy habits. Invite friends and family to your place after work to engage in a productive conversation that will prevent you from thinking obsessively.
Read a book, analyze your weak points, write them in a diary and work on overcoming them. Every time you feel the cravings are getting stronger distract yourself, watch T.V, talk to a friend or fix something around the house to keep yourself busy.
Salman Zafar is an acclaimed blogger, editor, publisher and digital marketer. He is the founder of Blogging Hub, a digital publishing portal with wide following across the world.