“If you haven’t produced anything out of these x months we’ve been in quarantine, you ain’t doing nothing with your time.” Sayings like this have been going around since March of 2020 and honestly it got old quick. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and it seems like everybody is telling us we need to pick up a side hustle or hobby or learn a new skill but that’s just not realistic for everybody. Honestly.
Think about yourself and where you are in your career. Do you even want to be an entrepreneur? Do you have any interest in learning something new? You may have the “time” for it but do you have the mental and emotional space available for it? Yes, mental and emotional space. A lot of us have been through a period of high stress during this time and making yourself dedicate a certain amount of time each day may not be feasible or healthy for everybody.
Stress & Mental Health
Stress has its pros and cons. Yes, there’s good stress such as seeing your crush, getting ready to perform in front of a crowd, or starting a new chapter in life like your first college experience. This type of stress is called eustress-- a little scary, but nothing you won’t get over in a few minutes. It helps you develop resilience and sometimes even get over those same fears. The type of stress I want to highlight today is distress. Chronic or long-term distress can take a toll on your physical health which in turn affects your brain. The immune system can be compromised. Anxiety starts settling in. Sleep becomes less and less. Then comes the bout of depression. Too much stress can put our body into overload, leading us into burnout. This can look like living life on autopilot, not being motivated to do anything. Now this doesn't sound like anything I want any part in!
This isn’t to scare you out of starting something new, just to educate. If you want to or already have started a new venture during this pandemic, take a step back and think about how it has affected your stress level. Have you been feeling overwhelmed? Burnt out? On autopilot? If so you may benefit from seeing a therapist. It doesn’t need to be long-term at all; even a few sessions of just talking out your stress can do you some good. If you have insurance, you have a good chance of finding someone in your area who accepts it. I went through my own burnout this summer, and I was able to find a therapist that accepted my insurance with no cost to me.
Remember--pressure don’t always make diamonds. Sometimes it crushes you.