Social Media, Mental Health & Your Business

It is quite common for entrepreneurs to struggle with burnout, anxiety and other related mental health issues. Actually, 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health issues compared to just 48% of non entrepreneurs.

“As a category – we are exponentially more likely to suffer from mental health problems, and yet, people don’t talk about that enough – it is fetishized and glamorized.”

-Dan Murray-Serter, Forbes

There is a lot of pressure running a business: “Can I pay my staff this month? What about MY bills?”. And then there’s the feeling that you have to be constantly available. It’s a known fact that entrepreneurs often have a difficult time taking a vacation or even just extended time away from their cellphones and computers.

When you layer on the pressure of social media, which can be unrelenting for anyone, let alone a business owner, you can start to see the reasons entrepreneurs are burnt out. Social media further fuels the concept of being ON all the time. You’re either creating content, posting or responding to comments and it can be a lot for one person to handle. There is a direct expectation that social media activity is acted upon and responded to in almost an immediate fashion. And don’t even get us started on how negative and cruel people can be online, which further compounds the issue!

Business owners spend an average of 20 hours per week on social media and marketing their business. That’s half of your work week, though let’s be real, no entrepreneur works a 40 hour week unless they’ve mastered the tips we’ll share below. And even then, it may still be unrealistic.

While being the one who carries most of the weight is part of what you signed up for when starting a business, it’s time to start creating a conversation and making mindset shifts that don’t place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, our teams and each other. You can’t change how societal mindsets work, but you can start to create change within your own life and organization which may just flow out into the community around you.

So we know a few things:

  • It’s hard to manage a business

  • It’s hard to take a break when the onus is all on you

  • Social media is necessary to build a brand

  • But it can be demanding and people can be cruel

  • Your mental health can suffer from too much social media use

  • And from the intense pressure that comes with running a business at times

  • And from not taking enough breaks

  • Everyone needs to take regular breaks from work and social media

This can only lead us to conclude that we need to put systems in place and develop strong boundaries with ourselves, our staff and our clients to ensure these crucial breaks are being taken.

Here are some things you should do:

  1. Get crystal clear on your goals and vision.

  2. Acknowledge that you can’t achieve them if you burn out.

  3. Accept you are not serving the greater good or honouring yourself and those around you if you don’t have boundaries.

  4. Take stock of the areas you allow yourself to overdo it and what causes you the most stress and anxiety.

  5. Create some ways to alleviate these and put systems in place that allow you to turn off daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

Some things that might help…

  1. Set the expectation with your team and clients that you will be unavailable during set times that don’t conflict with the peak needs of your business. These should be daily (such as no calls or emails are handled after 6pm), weekly (take Tuesday afternoons off), monthly (one weekend a month is off limits) and quarterly (communicate you will be unavailable for 1-3 days at a time). 

  2. Do the same with social media. Assign it to someone else during these times, or simply create the expectation that you won’t be available constantly.

  3. During the times you carve out for breaks, actually shut off your notifications, use Do Not Disturb apps, don’t check your email and PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!!!

  4. Automation is your BFF – use autoresponders for your email, on social media and even change your voicemail to indicate that you’re away, when you’ll be back and who to contact in your absence

  5. Have trusted people that can handle things for you while you are unavailable and LET GO!

  6. Communicate with your family and friends that you are trying to recover from being constantly available so they can hold you accountable.

  7. Realize that the more joy and life you experience outside of work and social media, the more passion and energy you have to bring back to your audience and your clients. 

  8. Acknowledge that you may have to say no, upset people and possibly lose clients or staff in order to set these boundaries. And that doing so will be worth it, even if you have short term pain (financial, emotional, etc).

  9. Know that you deserve a break and the people who count on you deserve the best version of you. None of this can happen if you don’t set boundaries!


In my experience, most entrepreneurs struggle with saying no. Either because they want everyone to be happy and get what they need, they are worried about their reputation or they are afraid to lose out on revenue. All of these are very valid and it’s understandable that you may have dishonoured yourself and your boundaries for these reasons in the past, but read #10 in the list above again. Going forward, there should be NO EXCUSES for not taking care of yourself!

You need to lead with purpose and you can only do that if you are not burnt out and struggling with mental health issues in your life.

If you want to be the best version of yourself, and offer the best service to your clients, you have to take a firm approach to reinventing how you approach your business. Radical change is very hard, but it’s worth it when you reach the other side!

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