Entrepreneurialism isn’t known, as a pursuit, for its ample time off. In fact, entrepreneurs are often prided or complimented on excessive hard work, total commitment and unwavering focus. Work/life balance is rarely particularly high on the list of entrepreneurial skills people value.

But that’s not necessarily a healthy or sustainable way of going through life. Taking time to manage and improve your physical and mental health is critical to life satisfaction. Although it may seem counterintuitive to the demands of entrepreneurialism, it’s important to take certain steps to identify the quality of your health, and determine what you can do to improve it. According to a recent survey, 30 percent of entrepreneurs report a history of depression, and 27 percent reported anxiety. Here are some key tips to managing your health as an entrepreneur.

Identify signs of stress

According to the U.S. National Comorbidity survey, 18 percent of employees reported a symptom of mental illness that occurred in the past month. However, underreporting of mental illness symptoms can occur, particularly for people who are uninformed of what symptoms look like, or reluctant to acknowledge their own symptoms.

Signs of stress, which can induce mental illness, include having difficulty responding to bad news or constructive criticism, finding yourself particularly argumentative or sad, and changing your mind frequently about a particular topic (this can indicate anxiety, particularly if coupled with increased responsibilities).

Other less obvious signs of stress are low energy, stomach problems, frequent headaches, frequent nightmares, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.

Take steps to reduce a heavy workload

Figure out if there’s something in your workload that’s affecting your stress. Although there are some factors of your workload which you cannot control, you can attempt to handle or tackle it differently in order to reduce stress. This can include changing how deadlines are set, making it more predictable and steady, and your workplace environment.

If you find your environment unpleasant, see if you can identify any particular stressors in the workplace or about potentially arranging to work remotely. Remember, stress is one of the leading causes of prostate cancer. An occasional day of working from home may provide you with some relief and time to recuperate from a stressful environment without feeling unproductive. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, brainstorm about rearranging deadlines to be more consistent or flexible, based on your needs. Try to set a daily end time for when you stop working, regardless of what needs to be done. This can help you relax and get out of work mode in the evenings.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Competitiveness means entrepreneurs are often trying to compare their success, dedication and workload to others. However, despite your desire to rank yourself, different people have different psychological, emotional and physical needs. If you struggle to function on a six-hour sleeping schedule while some famous historical names boasted only three, four or five hours of sleep a night without impediment, realize that your body’s needs will vary from someone else’s.

If your workload is stressing you out, but you worry the same workload would be a breeze in someone else’s hands - stop. Although you can strive to improve your own performance, comparing yourself to others is at best a distraction and at worst, a guaranteed self-esteem killer, which will only decrease productivity and increase stress.

Value your mental health. Don’t let it fall to the wayside in favor of your entrepreneurial ambitions. Failing to take care of yourself will set both you and your business up for failure.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremiah is an internet entrepreneur and web developer from Seattle, Washington.