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Mind Over Matter Isn’t Always Best: Top 12 Health Concerns for Entrepreneurs

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Your biggest asset is your well-being - your creativity, ability to manage your time and staff, your mental health and capacity to handle all the changes and decisions required of you all stem from it. 

Physiological problems sit highest on the list. According to one study, entrepreneurs are twice as likely as the general population to experience Depression, three times as likely to suffer from addiction and six times as likely to struggle with ADHD.  


A study by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at UCSF concluded that 49% of entrepreneurs surveyed struggled with mental-health and reported depression as the number one condition. 

What to do: 
The first thing to do is talk to your healthcare provider and determine if medical intervention can help. 

If you’re looking for natural ways to help, there are a few things you can try: 

  • Setting small, specific goals, like tackling one chore instead of ‘cleaning the whole house’ will allow you to feel a sense of achievement.
  • Participate in something creative, like dance, music or painting. A 2019 review concluded that Dance Movement Therapy can be highly effective in reducing depression.
  • Connect with loved ones. While it may feel more comfortable to avoid everyone when you’re feeling down, it will remind you that you are loved and cared for - a powerful tool to make you feel more uplifted.


The same study by Freeman indicated that 27% of entrepreneurs suffered from anxiety. That’s more than the whole US population, which according to the American Association of Anxiety & Depression affects a total of 18.1% every year. 

What to do: 
The number one suggestion from most healthcare consultants is to spend time moving. Walking, lifting weights, swimming - anything that gets your body moving and those healthy endorphins released will have a positive impact on your anxiety levels


A new study has shed light on the addiction of entrepreneurship and how the tendency to obsessive thinking can lead to other behavioral addictions, like the abuse of food, alcohol or even drugs. 

What to do: 
The first step is talking about it. Find a professional who can help you talk through what is going on and why you’re relying on certain coping mechanisms. They can help put things in perspective and address problematic behavior. Companies like BetterHelp have affordable options and can pair you with exactly the right therapist.  

Heart Disease

It’s a well known fact that starting a business and keeping it running can come with high stress. There are so many balls in the air and making sure they all receive the attention needed can be a lot of pressure. It can lead you to thinking you need to spend more hours on your business and less on everything else. 

This may not be a great idea. Studies have shown that those who work 60 hours a week were 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease and those who work 70+ hours were 74 percent more likely. The Mayo Clinic has also shown the correlation between stress and high blood pressure. 

What to do: 
Exercise, diet, social life - all of these things can come into play for heart health. But if you want to focus solely on one thing, look at your sleep. Plan your day around your circadian rhythm and dedicate time to making sure you are getting 7+ hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep. It’s when your body does all of its maintenance, memory storage and cleaning and will have a profound effect on your overall health. 

Imposter Syndrome

There is a place for imposter syndrome. If you’ve never done something before, it makes sense that you may question your ability to do it. While not necessarily a health issue right off the bat, 84% of entrepreneurs experience imposter syndrome. This can lead to calling it quits too early, giving up, questioning abilities and feeling defeated. Left alone too long, this can easily lead to other health concerns, like anxiety and depression. 

What to do: 
Talk about your successes with friends, family and colleagues. Too often we don’t want to be seen as bragging so we hide our big wins. Keep a note on your desktop or phone of your achievements, big or small as a reminder of just what you’re capable of!

Sleep Disorders

Over 60% of Americans are sleep deprived. That’s a drastic number. We also know, thanks to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, that entrepreneurs who are well rested are better able to spot and act on a good idea. Sleep problems can result in diminished creativity, reduced innovation, increased exhaustion and impaired thinking. 

What to do: 
Lack of sleep is like entrepreneurial kryptonite. There are a few simple steps you can take that can help turn things around and set you up for a good, deep, healthy night’s sleep: 

  1. Increase natural light exposure - spend time outside, sunglasses off
  2. Evaluate your bedroom setup and make changes that feel peaceful and uncluttered
  3. Keep a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends
  4. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
  5. Limit caffeine to only before noon

Vision Related Illnesses

These days many of us spend a significant portion of our day staring at screens. For business alone, the average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer, and for an entrepreneur, that number is expected to be much higher. This doesn’t even include the time spent scrolling instagram or on screens for personal reasons. All this screen time often leads to Computer Vision Syndrome, (CVS). 

Computer Vision Syndrome can cause:

  • Dry eye
  • Itchy, red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Muscle fatigue

Research shows that between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least one of the above symptoms.

What to do: 
Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your screen every 20 minutes or so and look at something around 20 feet away for about 20 seconds, remembering to blink often. 


A survey of US adults show that about 12% of the population experience migraines, with women three times more likely to have the condition than men. Migraines can be completely debilitating, making it difficult to focus or even think. Not feeling like yourself will make it hard to accomplish anything, let alone work on your business.  

What to do: 
Diet can play a big role here. Don’t skip meals. If you do feel a migraine coming on, note down everything you ate or drank beforehand. Processed foods, sugars and caffeine may end up being triggers. 

Hormone Dysregulation

This is a really important one especially for women, as 80% of women will struggle with hormonal imbalance at some point in their lives. But more and more is an issue men deal with as well as testosterone levels drop. 

Time is such a limited resource, especially if you are trying to build a successful business, having to spend some of it completely out of commission because your hormones are making it hard to function doesn't have to be your reality.

What to do:
Take care of your gut health. Your gut contains more than 100 trillion friendly bacteria which regulate your body’s hormones and affect your immunity, sleep, skin, digestion and mental health. Adding in more fiber filled foods like whole grains, beans and fruit is an easy switch. Making sure to brush and floss your teeth can also make a big difference as a study from Cornell University has shown that bacteria from your mouth can travel to your stomach and cause problems.


There are so many highs that come with starting and running your own business. It can be incredibly rewarding. But it also comes with its challenges - stress, overwhelm, being the sole provider of answers, this can all lead to burnout if not caught early and changes made. Entrepreneurs suffering from burnout are also more susceptible to illness and heart disease. This makes it worthwhile to make a few lifestyle changes. 

To recognize if you’re just around the corner from burnout, Rachel Greenberg, from Entrepreneurs Handbook put together this list of things to watch for: 

  1. You suddenly can’t stand your customers
  2. You’ve reverted back to hating Mondays
  3. You resent your lack of freedom
  4. Your addicted to coping mechanisms, like food, smoking or alcohol

What to do: 
Schedule free time into your day as well as dedicated time where you can regularly unplug completely. Changing your environment is shown to improve symptoms of burnout whether that be heading to a local coffee shop to work for the morning or traveling out of your city for a workation. Lastly, find a mindfulness practice that works for you - whether that be breathing exercises, mediation or some kind of body movement. 


Starting and building a business can be very lonely. You don’t yet have the finances to hire help so it feels like you’re in this on your own. Not having an office full of people for the camaraderie and feedback can start to feel taxing. 

In 2021, 61% of young adults reported deep feelings of loneliness. 

Build co-working time into your work schedule. Sign up for in-person workshops and training events. Have a great handshake and use it often. Be a hugger.  Make touch and connection a part of your self-care plan — as well as your business model.

What to do: 
Here are a few tips that are easy to implement that can have you feeling less lonely and more plugged into your community:  

  • Eat well and together - it’s easy to just snack throughout the day to keep you going. Instead, plan a delicious meal and invite some friends or family to join. 
  • Find a fitness class you love - it will get you out of the house and you may meet some great new friends.
  • Find coworking space in your area
  • Attend in person or online events and join in the networking. It may be uncomfortable at first, but remember that everyone is in the same boat. 

Lack of Health Insurance

Often as an Entrepreneur, finances are tight. Having to choose between covering your bills or paying for health care often leads to choosing the former. 

A Gallup poll showed that compared to 10 percent of workers that don’t have any form of healthcare coverage, it was much higher for entrepreneurs and small business owners, with 25 percent not having any coverage. 

What to do: 
Block some time in your calendar to find the right provider for you and do a little research. There are plenty of options out there and a wide scale of affordability to make sure you’re covered. Make a note of deadlines in case there are options to lower your deductible or subsidies you qualify for. If you need some extra help, you can go to  Healthcare.gov/localhelp - some states offer a health care navigator to give you a hand in the process.  

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