How do you deal with your anxiety and depression as an entrepreneur?
I'm curious because I have ADHD and have anxiety and depression.
I'm keeping emotion diary, doing Yoga, and sometimes listening to natural music or ASMR.
I haven't yet found a "Solution", but I think I'm on the right path. Here's some random advice:
There is no single trick, or a silver bullet, many things work together to create anxiety and depression and there is no miracle cure.
Books I found immensely useful in understanding myself and getting onto the right path: "Driven" by Doug Brackmann and "Feeling Good" by David Burns. "Driven" is especially important, because if you are an entrepreneur with ADHD, you already exhibit the major markers to be one of the people (about 10% of the population) who due to genetics are "driven". This has implications for you, so read the book. Read both books, actually. There is lots of good advice in there that I'm not repeating here.
Meditation does help, but not immediately, and I'd really recommend you follow Brackmann's advice and do zazen meditation with your eyes open. Headspace is good for starting, as it gently guides you, but I'd say after you're done with Take 10, switch to open-eyes zazen and do it yourself.
Physical fitness is important. I'd recommend both strength training (for your general health and well-being) with a barbell, and cardio, preferably outside (biking, running, etc).
Therapy is great, if you can find a good therapist. It's mostly good for getting a different viewpoint and to notice things that your mind blanks out. The problem here for many of us in this crowd is finding a therapist who is more intelligent than you.
Small things accumulate to increase your anxiety level. If it's high already, even watching an episode of Game of Thrones might push you over the threshold into insomnia.
Find your peers, if possible, and exchange experiences. Especially solo bootstrapped founders are lonely, you sometimes feel like you live in a different world from everybody else.
This is as much as I've figured out, but in no way do I consider this to be a "solution". I myself still have a long way to go. These things are hard.
Great list! I'd add "You Are Not Your Brain" by Jeffrey Schwartz to the list of books that can help anyone immensely.
Yeah, Founders are lonely...
I think to find a great therapist is very difficult for me. Sometimes I met one who just prescribes the medication, and never hears my story...
The compatibility is one of the keys.
Regular sports is the #1 cure for that. Try running, playing soccer, tennis etc anything where you’ve got periodic high intensity at least 2-3 times per week.
If you’re not in shape to run than as a minimum take at least 1 hr walks daily and do some basic HIIT exercise at home 2-3 times a week.
Meditation etc are great if you do them on top of doing some regular sports.
Yeah, exercise and sports are good for our health.
Also, keeping an emotion diary is good for me as well.
I've got a dog. The effect is unbelievable!
Firstly, while she is still a puppy she took so much of my focus. I've so many breaks during the work now.
Secondly, since I'm accountable for her wellbeing I have to walk her twice a day. Dogs need to be walked for both physical exercise and mental stimulation resulting in them living a happier and healthier life. This commitment has proven to be an enjoyable part of my day.
And yes, home is now is a main hub for positive energy.
I would not say that this is a solution for everyone, may be it's just me and my love for pets, but my days become much brighter
Dog makes you strong!
When I'm stressed, playing tennis really helps me!
I noticed that when my mind is 100% focused on something else, something that requires concentration but that I also enjoy doing, some sort of "mind reset" happens.
After 1 hour smashing balls I feel deeply regenerated!
Yeah, exercise makes me energize as well!
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Headspace every morning to start the day. Not bc of any of the symptoms you mentioned, but rather to get clarity and inner calm.
Great, I use MUSE though I cannot focus on the meditation...
First of all, you need to get professional help from the Psychiatrist. You can also try vaping. It personally helped me somehow to reduce the impact of anxiety on my mental health, it worked kinda like a sedative, also it isn't as addictive as smoking. You can order from https://vapingdaily.com/ , they've got good products. Try, it will not affect your health and you'll see how you feel after that.
always on the wound
I'm surprised only a few people mentioned therapy so far, but it has been the single most effective thing for me and I personally think nowadays that everyone should be on therapy (and that it should be affordable for everyone, but that's another topic).
Yoga, sports (or any exercise for that matter), meditation, diets, etc, all of that has always helped me too and I still try to do them as much as I can (except when those things themselves become an anxiety issue for me). But I'd say you need to combine whatever that helps you get through the day, such as exercises and meditation, with therapy.
Having anxiety disorder, only therapy has been so effective at actually tackling the real issues for me. It's slow and you gotta be patience, sometimes even to find the right professional for you. But anxiety, depression and any other type of disorder should be treated just as common diseases, people should seek professional help.
It's expensive for me, it costs $200 per hour in SF!!!
You might find more affordable options looking for online therapy, you can get access to professionals from less expensive places for instance. Perhaps it's worth checking out something like that.
I feel online therapy is not for me...
I cannot focus on communication and difficult to be open-mind on the online environment.
I landed myself in hospital about 3 years ago, stressed out and puking multiple times every day. I thought I was going to die and it gave me a new perspective on life and taught me not to get stressed out or worried about stuff, and to be grateful. It was an extremely tough lesson.
Oh nice story.
So how do you deal with your emotion?
I just accept them and let it be, if I feel bad I focus on the things I’m grateful for.
I see! Thanks.
I have a mood diary as well (I've been using the Daylio app for a while now), and I go to the gym on a regular basis, that helps regulate my moods a lot. I also see a therapist, which is for various long-term mental health problems, but helps with general stress and uncertainty as an entrepreneur. Music also helps a fair bit.
I've also found having different kinds of tasks around - this won't always be the case, but if I've got a whole variety of different things to get done, then if I can't concentrate on coding, I can dive into research, or writing copy, or emails, or something like that, which might fit better with how I'm feeling. There are days where everything is hard, but you just have to do the best you can, and not be too hard on yourself when it happens.
Why did you stop to keep a diary?
I'm curious because we are creating a mood diary.
Sorry, probably wasn't very clear - I haven't stoppped with the mood diary, I'm still going every day with it.
If you are okay, can you try our product? It's mood diary to overcome negative feelings.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nao
I'll see how things go, but if I have the opportunity, I'll give it a try.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu works pretty well for me.
Exercise would be good!
Meditation (Headspace is stellar), therapy, medication, healthy eating, increased physical and social activity, tracking emotions, energy levels and activities up to a point of being obsessed.
Don't be afraid of seeing a shrink and taking medications. Both helped me immensely!
How do you focus on meditation?
I cannot be still just sitting.
That's where Headspace comes in as indispensable
OK, I will try it.
it became interesting to me
Thank you for the recommendation! I will check it.