The ups and downs of starting a company are like a rollercoaster. One day you can be on top of the world and the next day you can feel like you’re sinking in quicksand. Not everyone will understand, especially those who aren’t entrepreneurs. The good news is that there are ways to help combat those dark feelings when they come up.
- Know that you won’t want to work on your business every day: There’s a common misconception that if you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll want to eat, breathe, and sleep whatever it is. For the most part, that’s true. However, that doesn’t mean that every day you need to be jumping for joy to prove that passion exists. Some days you’ll simply wake up and doubt your idea, your skills, and maybe even your team. Those feelings will come and go. Just remember that they’re normal and take a day off if you need to. You’ll end up hurting yourself in the long run if you aren’t putting 100% into your work anyway.
- Set a routine: Depression can leave your mind wandering constantly. You may feel like the days are bleeding into each other. Perhaps you’re noticing you aren’t as productive as you should be and it’s becoming a habit. Setting a routine will provide some structure in your life and keep you productive.
- Set short-term goals: Notice I said short-term goals. When you’re depressed, a day can feel like an eternity. A long-term goal that you may not reach for years isn’t a very good motivator. So set weekly or monthly goals that can give you that sense of accomplishment quicker. Needless to say, that doesn’t mean you should neglect setting long-term goals. As your depressive feelings subside, you’ll be motivated by both long-term and short-term goals.
- Try something new: Take the night off and watch a new movie. Go for a walk. Go to the mall. Anything that’ll throw your mind for a loop and get you out of a rut. This tip works best if you’ve already been following a routine for some time and are starting to notice depressive feelings coming back.
- Avoid naps: Staring a computer screen can cause your eyes to strain and feel tired. This tricks your mind into thinking you’re actually tired. To solve this, you drag yourself into bed and take an hour nap. No big deal right? Wrong. Too much sleep can cause you to be even more tired. You’ll also wake up and regret wasting a good portion of the day away.
Consistent or seasonal depression can suck the energy right out of you. When this happens, you don’t get much work done and you feel frustrated at the end of every day. This vigorous cycle can force the feelings to get worse and worse.