As an entrepreneur in the food and beverage industry you know firsthand how demanding it can be. Taking care of your own mental health is often the last thing on your list, but it shouldn’t be.

Big corporations are quickly waking up to the fact that offering mental health benefits is incredibly beneficial to their workforce.  Just recently, Starbucks went ahead and offered free subscriptions to mediation app Headspace, as well as vowed to revamp their mental health program.

So as a maker, in an environment that encourages you to go, go and go, without the resources of Starbucks, what can you do?  First, it is more important than ever to stop, pause, reflect and take time for yourself. Here’s how to start.

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1. Schedule some “me” time

As Melina Lamer of Superior Switchel says, finding balance and setting aside time for yourself each day is important. Whether through exercise, solo meditation or spending time with friends and family, schedule time into your calendar to step away from the day-to-day of the business and focus on yourself. Read more from Melina in our exclusive interview.

2. Be mindful of physical health

Physical health is crucial to mental health. Make time to be active. Be mindful of the foods you’re eating.

3. Manage and delegate

When first starting out, you may feel like all the pressure of the business is on you. Manage your time and stick to a schedule, and as your business grows hire a team that is able to help in areas that show weakness. If looking to stay lean, consider outsourcing to an agency or contractor.

4. Recognize burnout

Burnout is a real issue. Unfortunately the symptoms are often ignored, which can lead to more worrisome issues down the line. Recognize and acknowledge when you are feeling uninspired or notice a lack of interest in your company. Take a step back, spend some time reflecting on where you are and come back refreshed.

5. Create a network and support system

Having a network of people who share common interests, actively listen to you and are able to provide advice is invaluable.

Additional resources for entrepreneurs: 

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