There are more than ten million Online Entrepreneurs across the world. And the number is increasing exponentially, because of the lucrative nature and the convenience of online business.
But there are challenges that this type of occupation and source of income presents. Among them are challenges that can impact on the mental or psychological well-being of the Online Entrepreneur.
It is therefore imperative to offer awareness and advice that will help these very important service providers. Especially because they contribute immensely to the global economy by making essential goods and services available at the fingertips, to billions of buyers.
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Mental health challenges affect a huge proportion of traders at some point in their lives, and online traders are no exception. The prevalence and annual incidence of mental health challenges mirrors that of the general population.
By far, the commonest problems are Depression and Anxiety. There is also Panic Disorder.
But due to the largely confined nature of online work, entrepreneurs may also experience Claustrophobia (the irrational fear of confined spaces).
There is a recently described mental condition, Nomophobia, which results from excessive attachement to a phone. Unraveled, it is “no mobile phone phobia“.
These are the conditions to be dealt with in this article. But there are other conditions too, which we will not discuss in this article.
PRESERVING MENTAL HEALTH IN GENERAL
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. There are steps that can be taken to preserve good mental or psychological well-being. This would minimise the risk of significant mental derangement that can interfere with the optimal functioning of the online entrepreneur, or even warrant professional intervention.
But first, there is a need for awareness, awareness of
- the importance of good mental health,
- the factors that can disrupt it,
- the actions that can promote it, and
- what to do when things go wrong as they do sometimes.
Some people are born with an inherited propensity for mental illness, because of the presence of mental disease among their relatives. This type of mental illness can and does get transmitted genetically.
But having the inherited tendency for mental illness, does not mean a person is sure to suffer from mental illness in their lifetime. There has to be a combination of the genetics and environmental factors, to trigger disease.
This is very important, because it offers control. If the person with an inheritance that puts them at risk for mental illness does all in their power to live a healthy lifestyle, they can avert the onset of disease.
Remembering how to preserve mental health should be easy, if one uses the Bio / Psycho / Social model.
This means looking after the Physical health. Nutrition is very important.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet despite the time pressures of modern life, is paramount. And for good mental health, the B-Complex Vitamins are the most important.
E. g. #Ad Super B Complex Vitamins
Because multiple studies have detected various deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in supposedly healthy, nutrition conscious individuals, supplementation with an affordable, good quality multivitamin multimineral product may be advisable, for example:
Regular exercise has been scientifically proven beyond doubt to prevent (and even treat) mental diseases like depression. “Mens sano in corpore sano”, is the old adage, meaning “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
Exercise, done regularly,
- keeps the body physically healthy,
- improves blood circulation to the brain (which needs 20% of the total blood circulation!), and
increases the amount of endorphins or happy hormones.
But it has to be REGULAR exercise of adequate intensity. And it has to be done for at least 35 minutes a day, 4 days a week. By adequate intensity is meant exercise that is enough to produce a sweat, and to raise the heart rate.
Outdoor exercise is difficult in some parts of the world because of cold weather. But there is also the difficulty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to going to the gym, or even exercising outside one’s private space. Good quality home gym equipment is advised in such circumstances.
It is important to drink plenty of liquids, especially pure water, for good health. This is ever more important in this era of global warming.
In terms of mental health, an often overlooked or little known fact is that GEYSER WATER SHOULD NOT BE INGESTED. Geyser water contains a high quantity of heavy metals.
These heavy metals are known to form deposits in the brain, with the possibility of ultimately leading to Dementia of The Alzheimer’s Type. Unfortunately, the fast-paced modern life tempts many people to save time (and money) by using warm or hot geyser water e.g. to make hot beverages.
A good attitude to life is very important. They say, “your attitude determines your altitude”! Positive thinking often yields positive results, but definitely, a positive mood and happiness.
No matter the work load, adequate sleep is absolutely necessary. One should always sleep the recommended minimum of 7 hours per night. Scientific studies have shown that, for each hour of sleep owed, a person loses one point of I. Q. per year!
E. g. if you sleep for 5 hours nightly for 10 years,
you could lose (7 – 5) x 10 = 20 I. Q. points!! Not worth it, is it?
Meditation has been shown to also prevent and cure mental illness. Relaxation techniques such as deep-breathing exercises should be frequently practiced.
Music, especially soft therapeutic music, is invaluable for mental health.
Maintaining good relations with your surroundings, to the best of your ability, is very important. This means family, friends, colleagues, clients, etc.
Online Entrepreneurs need to be aware as they do their work (e. g. creating content) that there is a human client on the other side. And they should pretend they were serving the client face-to-face. This helps to create rapport and happiness for all.
Although online work offers the trader more time with their loved ones like spouse and children, there can be a downside of isolation from previous colleagues. And this hits harder those entrepreneurs with a weak support system. Lockdowns and armed conflicts that confine people for prolonged periods, do have detrimental effects on mental health.
Sometimes, if it is impossible to live in harmony with one’s environment, the environment must be changed. Alternatively, the affected person must leave the unhealthy environment. This decision should never be delayed until too much harm has been caused to your mental wellbeing.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
These are very common conditions. The complex life of the Twenty-first Century sometimes overwhelms a person’s coping resources, and pushes them into Major Depressive Disorder.
Uncertainties caused by the unstable global economy, emerging diseases, etc, cause clinically significant Anxiety.
More on these conditions, as they pertain to online entrepreneurs, can be found in this article on this very website.
There are several types of this type of debilitating condition. But they share the similarity of an affected individual experiencing sudden, overwhelming fear and physical symptoms like sweatiness and a fast heartbeat.
It is important to consult a qualified Health professional for symptoms like these. The professional will take a history, do a physical examination, and may order investigations in the form of blood tests and a scan and tracing of your heart.
Physical conditions like a hyperactive thyroid and disease of your heart valves have to be excluded. Then treatment of the Panic Disorder can be instituted in a holistic, stepwise fashion.
This resource is available to help you or your loved ones cope with Panic Disorder:
People can feel unwell if forced to be in a confined space, especially if the confinement is prolonged. This is normal.
But there are people who experience overwhelming symptoms whenever they are in a closed space. This excessive, irrational fear of closed spaces is called Claustrophobia.
The condition is debilitating and counterproductive. And obviously online entrepreneurs are some of the worst affected specialists. Whether one is working at home or in an internet cafe, claustrophobia can intervene.
The above resource can help even in this regard.
This word has been coined from “No Mobile Phone phobia”.
We modern people have become very attached to our mobile phones. But this is more so with the modern smartphones, which allow us to be always in touch with our family, friends, associates, and fake friends!
Such reliance on this type of technology can and does however become so much that it is pathological. Whenever a person is separated from their phone for whatever reason, they begin feeling very sad, empty and even agitated.
Those online entrepreneurs who work with smartphones, are at risk of having this condition. It is therefore important to know about it, know that it is a recognised clinical condition, and seek professional help instead of suffering in silence.
Mental health is vital for good functioning of individuals, societies, nations and the global community. Online entrepreneurs, being a subset thereof, also need to be at peak mental wellbeing.
There are many reasons and situations by which mental health can be compromised.
Many advances have been made in the understanding of these problems, and help IS AVAILABLE. Recognition of problems and seeking intervention earlier than later is very likely to result in excellent outcomes.
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