Considering the recent increase in the number of start-ups being initiated, managing entrepreneurship can in itself become an important factor to be kept in mind to ensure the mental health and psychological well-being of the entrepreneurs as well as the employees and their team leaders.
By Dr Samir Parikh
Stress levels are undoubtedly at a rise for all of us, especially in the last few years. And there cannot be any exceptions to the rule, as stressors can hardly be expected to discriminate based on age, gender, occupation, etc. Be it an employee or a leader, the workplace in itself is also a factor which plays a significant role in contributing to stress levels, amongst others. Considering the recent increase in the number of start-ups being initiated, managing entrepreneurship can in itself become an important factor to be kept in mind to ensure the mental health and psychological well-being of the entrepreneurs as well as the employees and their team leaders.
Furthermore, it is absolutely unavoidable and inevitable for any leader or an entrepreneur to experience some kind of stress, which could be attributed to a multitude of factors, both within the organization and extraneous factors as well. As a consequence, all of these stressors in themselves may or may not be in the control of the individuals themselves. For example, the stress could be attributed to managing the team members, group dynamics, work pressure and demands, striking a work life balance, meeting timelines and objectives, leading a group, or being responsible for the team’s performance… this list could never be exhaustive!
Therefore, instead of trying to search for an escape route for dealing with the stressors one encounters as a part of managing any business, entrepreneurship or organization, it is essential especially for the leaders to be equipped with adaptive coping mechanism to help them alleviate their stress levels, thereby helping them not just become a mentor for the other employees and team members, but also to be able to do justice as well as ensure maximal productivity for the organization. Some of the stress-busting tips which can be helpful if kept in mind to help such leaders and entrepreneurs while managing their stress levels at the top-most rung of the ladder in an organization are as follows:
Regular breaks are a must. This point cannot be reiterated enough, as it is the most important and quite often heard and yet ignored tip to help deal with stress. Taking a break from our routine or work life is essential for all of us, regardless of our occupation or stature in an organisation. More so for a leader or an entrepreneur, ensuring a break from the routine and the rut of dealing with a stressful lifestyle, rather than drowning oneself in work and pressures is essential.
Do not attempt to escape problems. Yes, problems are inevitable, but running away or escaping them is not the ideal solution. Instead of becoming avoidant and running away from our responsibilities, especially as a leader, we need to adopt more functional coping mechanisms to deal with them.
Adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Yes, having a disciplined and healthy lifestyle is very beneficial in maintaining both physical as well as mental health. Therefore, ensuring a regular and stable routine despite the work schedules is a must.
Make an effort to be engaged with colleagues. Especially as a leader or an entrepreneur, it shall be extremely beneficial to put in efforts to engage and form a good connect with team members and colleagues. Not only will this help in building relationships amongst team members but will improve the team dynamics, enhance the group’s performance, and finally improve the individuals’ and organizations’ overall health and well-being. to ensure that you form a good connect with your team members. This also helps in serving as a support system at the workplace, something that goes a long way in preventing exhaustion and burnout considering the number of hours spent at the workplace.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. It is inevitable to experience stress, regardless of your designation or stature at the workplace. Instead of letting the stress levels prolong over a period of time to lead to a burnout, it is important for us to recognize the red flags, and not hesitate to reach out for the help of a friend, a peer, a colleague or even a mental health professional to talk about one’s concerns.
(The author is a Consultant Psychiatrist with Fortis Healthcare, and Director of the Fortis National Mental Health Program. Views expressed are personal.)