“ There is no health without mental health”- David Satcher
World Mental Health Day – observed today – aims to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 300 million people irrespective of age suffer from mental ailments.
With increased awareness and education, talking about mental health is becoming more normalized across the world. We are set to destigmatize mental illness and adopt a positive attitude to overcome the same. Fortunately, today, there are more resources than ever before dedicated toward helping people, especially women, who live with mental illness, or who cope with stress on a daily basis.
The importance of entrepreneurial mental health ( women entrepreneurs)
One of the recent surveys tells us that:
29% of women entrepreneurs experienced ADHD
27% of women entrepreneurs suffer severe Anxiety
30% of women entrepreneurs are struggling with Clinical Depression
Adding to the above figures mercilessly, was the advent of COVID-19. Stress levels rose thereby shaking the lifeblood of our economy – entrepreneurs. The work of women entrepreneurs tripled as they struggled to juggle between family responsibilities, household chores and their business demands. We know that mental health encompasses your physiological as well as psychological well-being and it directly impacts your actions, reactions, and decisions. Therefore the need to maintain sound mental health became imperative to keep the backbone of our economy strong.
The importance of maintaining sound mental health in women entrepreneurs, cannot be overlooked. It ensures that not only does the country’s economy rest on responsible shoulders and a sound mind, but the family also, which is the basic unit of society, is nurtured by a stable woman.
Good mental health acts as a catalyst that allows women to take bold and confident decisions in life. As an entrepreneur, they may have to take some tough and experimental decisions at any stage of their business and only when they are mentally fit and strong, would they be able to foresee the results of their actions.
Further, stable mental health helps women to keep their thoughts balanced and actions progressive and this in turn enhances productivity. Again, their journey of entrepreneurship has its own ups and downs. Thus, they need to be a strong-headed personality who can sail this roller coaster ride with perfection. Only if they have mental clarity, it would be easier for them to cope with adversity. This is why good mental health should be their priority.
Challenges around securing mental health in our nation –
Although, globally, the conversation around mental health has shifted significantly towards destigmatizing mental illness and encouraging people to take advantage of the available mental health resources, these views are not completely accepted and implemented in our nation. Understandably, it is no easy feat to speak candidly and openly about mental health challenges and obstacles, especially when people do not have an empathetic and supportive stance towards those suffering from mental illnesses. However, Indian celebrities’ open confession about their battle with depression and mental illness has served two purposes – it has encouraged one and all to not shy away from their mental health issues and seek help as soon as possible and it has also proved that a luxurious life doesn’t necessarily have to hint at contented life. Actors Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan; singer Neha Kakkar and many more like them have been ‘there’ and have emerged victorious over the ailments as well.
Optimizing Your Mental & Emotional Wellbeing-
Mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. The first step is understanding the relationship between awareness and control over mental wellness. Secondly, sleep is incredibly important to our sense of mental well-being. The third strategy that helps optimize our mental well -being is to consciously identify our emotions and name them. The fourth way to improve your mental wellness is to pay attention to the messages you send yourself; never think low about yourself. Also, it is extremely important to remain connected with family and friends as they are your true support system. Further, practicing meditation, yoga and exercising is very essential for mental health. These habits in place, will help women entrepreneurs remain calm while pursuing their entrepreneurial journey.
Awareness is the precursor to change – It is time we understood that mental health is not a destination, it is a process – it is not about where you are going, it is about how safely are you driving! However, to aid mental health one has to be aware about both, positive and negative factors affecting it. Women (entrepreneurs) must open up about their problems once they are aware of them and seek help in which ever form it is available, because as wisely put by Plutarch, “ What we achieve inwardly, will change the outer reality”.