Dr. Joseph Yi works with high performing entrepreneurs to promote their mental and physical health.
Entrepreneurship is stressful at the best of times, but when you also deal with concerns about the health of your own and loved ones, the financial uncertainty, and the intensity of an election year, it’s easy to see why health organizations and helpline lines report up to eight times higher Guessing from people who ask for help.
Part of it, of course, is that it was harder to get regular psychiatric services during the quarantine. There are a number of reasons for this – including loss of disposable income, concerns about the safety of going to a therapist’s office, or inability to access telehealth services. Entrepreneurs in particular may be more likely to put mental health services at a disadvantage due to pressures to keep their businesses alive during this pandemic.
As a parent, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO, I live under the same pressures that so many of my friends and colleagues face. And while I firmly believe that mental health support should never be neglected, there is a lot to be said when you are doing everything you can to support your mental health at home.
To get some tips, I recently met with Dr. Joseph Yi, a board certified addiction psychiatrist who specializes in holistic psychiatry and detoxification. He is himself an entrepreneur – founder of his Modern Behavioral Clinic – and a practitioner of holistic psychiatry. He shared some of the most important tips he offers his patients, especially during this time of additional external stress.
1. First and foremost, listen to what your body is telling you. The body is in constant communication with us. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t speak our language and the only way to get a message into our minds is through symptoms. Just because you are uncomfortable doesn’t necessarily mean you have a disorder. Your body could be dehydrated, malnourished, unable to sleep or exercise, or just feeling terrible from being surrounded by many toxic people.
2. Sleep properly. Invest energy in adequate sleep quality. The human mind needs about 6 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Ideally, we should aim for 8 hours for optimal brain performance. When sleep goes, everything else goes too. Be sure to invest energy in sleep.
3. Eat properly. We are not what we eat – instead we are what we ate. Our body is made up of fat, protein, water and minerals. No diet is for everyone, but in general we need to make a more conscious effort to cut down on counterfeit processed foods (packed in a box) and eat more real foods that grow out of the earth.
4th Exercise properly. Move it or lose it. Our body should move and either we use it or we lose it. With tremendous advances in technology, we’ve adjusted to doing almost anything with a smartphone from the comfort of your home. Exercise for 30 minutes per workout at least three times a week to make your work life more productive and efficient.
5. Connect right. Maintain connections with loved ones and with yourself. With social distancing and the ongoing mask debates, more and more of us feel isolated. All people have a psychological need to connect with others. It is literally impossible to be successful in life without mastering the art of connection. If you are having trouble connecting with others due to the recent pandemic, take time at least daily to connect with yourself or with a higher power.
6th Properly stimulate the mind. The opposite of depression is fun. We are often too busy with our work life and forget the fact that the human mind needs new experiences. If you are making a lot of money from your business but you do not experience enough joy and laughter, you cannot honestly describe yourself as successful.
Wondering where to start? Dr. Yi says eating, sleeping, exercising, and connecting with others are the most important factors in making meaningful changes in his clients’ lives. “Either you’re all there or you’re not,” he says. “Doing three of the four is not going to create a sustainable system of healthy thinking. For example, a person can eat right, exercise, and connect with the right people. However, if she doesn’t sleep well, everything else goes down the drain. ”
The pandemic is taking a toll on all of us, no matter how well we adapt to this new – well, not so new – normality. Taking conscious steps every day to stay mentally in good shape is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your company, yourself, and loved ones.