Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year and incase you’ve missed it…that day is today. However instead of letting it get the better of us, we at Enterprise SU have decided to share a little inspiration with you from of one of the UK’s top student entrepreneurs: Grace Beverley.
Grace launched her own business in 2017 in the midst of completing her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Oxford. Since then, Grace has launched a sustainable fitness wear brand, ‘WE ARE TALA’ and has been crowned Natwest’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Yet despite being extremely successful in both her academic and entrepreneurial endeavours, Grace has never shied away from shining a spotlight on mental health, especially as a student entrepreneur. In a recent feature by the BBC, Grace recounted that balancing her business with her studies often meant working long hours to ensure she not only got her degree, but also got her business off the ground. Speaking on her startup journey Grace commented:
I decided about a year and a half ago that I wanted to speak more about my mental health, whether it was on the internet or to friends and family…I realised that as much as I was a huge advocate for talking about mental health and removing the stigma, I actually just didn’t apply that to myself.”
“Grace Beverley: The 22-year-old taking on the gym wear world” – Annabel Rackham
Grace’s article highlighted that the reality of being a student entrepreneur often means long hours and long to-do lists, but above all – you should always prioritise your wellbeing.
At Enterprise SU, we understand the pressure of starting up your own business whilst simultaneously completing your degree so we’ve put together some top tips to help you ‘Boss it like Beverley’ whilst maintaining a positive state of mind:
Take time to take time
Blue Monday sounds very… blue. Instead, why not create ‘self-care Saturday?’ and take one day in the week to prioritise YOU. It’s important to schedule in time to do something you find relaxing. This could be shopping, going out with friends or simply binge-watching Netflix – whatever it is, do it guilt free.
Don’t conform to the trendy ‘hustle’ mindset on social media
‘Entrepreneurs’ on LinkedIn and Instagram have recently been creating content that glamorises the startup life. This sends out a harmful message that poor self care and sleep deprivation hold the key to success. However the best entrepreneurs understand the importance of balance!
Never forget that your business cannot run without YOU, so dedicate the best version of yourself to it everyday. This means being well rested, surrounding yourself with positive people and celebrating the little wins.
It can be very easy to feel overwhelmed when your to-do list is constantly growing – or even worse, non-existent…
So if you find it hard to switch off, try and write everything down on paper. You will immediately feel less overwhelmed and in control. You can then start your day by working through the tasks which require immediate attention. Not only that, but working through a list will help increase focus, decrease stress and add a little bit of satisfaction when you start to tick off completed tasks.
Just do it!
If you find yourself feeling stressed and anxious about all of the things you have to do, take a minute to relax and regroup. Try to focus your energy on working your way through your tasks rather than wasting energy worrying about them. Don’t forget to identify at which time of the day you are most productive and take advantage of it! Remember that starting is often the hardest part.
Ask for help
This is arguably the most important tip.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious – tell your friends and let them know how you’re feeling. Not only will talking about it bring immediate relief, but your friends may be able to help ease your workload.
Taking time out to get everything off your chest is always productive. Don’t put pressure on yourself to power on through everyday. Take time. Talk. Get a coffee and ultimately – come back to it when you feel ready.
Lastly, whilst we hope some of these tips are helpful we also recognise that every entrepreneurial journey is different and everyone has different coping strategies. However if we have touched on something that has resonated with you – please reach out to us or get in touch with our colleagues at Advice SU.
Remember that your business cannot function without you, so it makes sense to prioritise number one. When it comes to your mental and physical health, everything else can wait!