Social Wellness Month: Mental Health for Small Business Owners
July 18, 2022
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entrepreneur
advice
Social Wellness Month: Mental Health for Small Business Owners

Any small business owner will tell you they’ve poured countless hours of time, dedication, and overall energy into their business and craft. That means there could be many sleepless nights, early mornings, fewer meals, and less time to socialize and interact with the world outside of growing your business.

While you’re in grind mode, you may forget that your mental wellness is essential—but it’s a massive part of the success of your business. Neglecting your mental health could lead to deeper issues beyond your small business, such as anxiety and depression—especially during times like the pandemic.

A survey by Elevate incubator—a development program for small, Black-owned businesses, showed that 48% of small business owners experienced burnout. One of three experienced depression, and many had experienced fatigue.

July is Social Wellness Month, a 31-day celebration to hold you accountable for making and taking the time to bond and create valuable relationships, with the impetus that you will develop new habits and learn new things about yourself.

Part of being mentally healthy, in order to be financially wealthy means having the energy and clarity to put yourself out there to connect with people or potential customers, your peers or other business owners, and your community. We talked to Marisol Sanchez, LICSW/LCSW, an #AllForSmall business owner, who is the founder of the Sanchez Center, a mental well-being small business offering a variety of therapy and mental health services. And we also interviewed Marica Lowe, owner of The Purple Kitty NY, a virtual community of Black entrepreneurs to hold space to meet, learn and engage with each other. Marica and Marisol created businesses dedicated to the mental well-being of others to have safe and inclusive communities of support and encouragement.

Take a deep breath. Take five to ten minutes and read up on Marisol and Marcia’s small businesses, how they impact their community, and their personal tips on having better agency over your mental and social wellness.

Marisol Sanchez

LICSW/LCSW

The Sanchez Center

 

What services does your small business provide to your community?

We provide mental health services in the form of individual therapy, and we also complete immigration evaluations to assist individuals undergoing legal immigration proceedings.

Our therapists are trained to treat various mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, trauma, cultural concerns, adjustment concerns, grief and loss, and stress resulting from chronic medical conditions. Our staff is multilingual; we provide services in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.

We also do workshops and presentations on mental wellness, coping during difficult times, and various topics around mental health.

 

How does your small business help/serve the community?

Mental health impacts all areas of our lives. It impacts how we function in work environments, school, social/romantic relationships, and community settings. With COVID and other current stressors, many individuals are experiencing worries around health, the economy, work-related stress, and family.

We are also aware of the health disparities in the mental health space and how BIPOC communities don’t access mental health services due to a lack of cultural attunement or representation. We are trying to change that.

 

What does community mean to you?

Community is unique and varies by every individual. For me, community means a space where people can come together and feel supported and uplifted—where someone can be their authentic self.

 

How do you personally manage your wellness daily?

I try to be very intentional about how I spend my time. I know that for me being around supportive friends/family helps me cope with stressful situations. Also, having a routine where I make time for rest and quietness helps me recharge. For me, it looks like this:

Spending time with my pets.

Taking care of my plants.

Lighting a candle before I go to sleep.

Going out for a run or cycling.

I try to check in with myself daily to see how I am feeling and if I am feeling grounded.

 

What advice would you give to another small business owner about serving their community?

There are many needs out there, and it’s crucial to find a reason for your work, especially when you hit roadblocks. It’s essential to remain focused and continue to remind yourself of your vision and what’s important to you.

 

 

 

Marica Lowe

The Purple Kitty NY LLC

 

What services does your small business provide to your community?

Wealth! Wealth starts with you being physically, mentally, financially, and relationally aware and well. A kitty is a sum of money for communal use, made up of contributions from a group. The name The Purple Kitty represents our royal birthright to take up space and pool our money and resources, creating a vibrant and knowledgeable community for ourselves and our loved ones. We send a message of encouragement through each of our offerings:

“The Doubt Eraser Podcast– YOU Can Do It Too” is launching in August 2022. It features short stories of a black woman (Marica Lowe) on all the journeys: building a business, becoming more self-aware, and healing herself and her family.

“The Work Room: YOU Are Not Alone, Nor Are You the Minority” is a virtual sanctuary that redefines the workday.

“The Kitty Korner – YOU Are Seen.” is an IG live series where we interview, share, and celebrate other Black women in business.

“Stimulate Your Mind, Stimulate Your Money – YOU Get To Be Financially Free” is a digital course for the community to learn how to have dominion over their finances instead of allowing their finances to rule over them.

“The Purple Kitty – YOU Are Accepted. Just BE” provides space and resources for Black and Brown folks through coworking and community events.

 

How does your small business help/serve the community?

In ALL of the ways, ok!!! The Purple Kitty is a coworking and community wellness space that takes a holistic approach to the health and well-being of Black and Brown women and kin. We currently have “The Work Room,” a virtual coworking for black and kin of color, entrepreneurs, side hustlers, and remote workers to experience a week full of ease, joy, accountability, and getting things done in the community! Remote work gets lonely sometimes. We are also opening our first sacred location in Albany, NY. It offers space for folks to host their events and attend curated workshops and classes that contribute to their physical, mental, financial, and relational well-being.

 

What does community mean to you?

My community is a mirror image of me. I am inspired by the talents and successes of those who look like me and am a depiction of my inspirations. Whenever I witness other black folks winning, I smile so hard my cheeks hurt and say yes!

Community means recognizing that there is enough space for all of us. Community means showing up to give support and being open to receiving it. Community is where we get to do the work together. Make mistakes, forgive, be forgiven, laugh, push, be pushed, and experience joy, all at the same time. Community is hard boundaries and soft spaces to land. Community is everything, everywhere, all at once. [If you haven’t seen that movie, you’re missing out]

 

How do you personally manage your wellness daily?

As a corporate accountant turned business owner, I realized that I would be responsible for how I spent my time. Previously, I had the structure of waking up with enough time to get dressed, catch the train, be to work by 9ish, take lunch around 12ish and check out around 6/7 pm. As a business owner, I am continuously unlearning that I do not have to work Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm. If I feel like taking a nap at 2 pm, that is what I will do. If I want to take a strategy meeting with my business partners on a Saturday at 4 pm because that not only works for our schedules, but it is when we are most rested and creative, we get to do that. With the support of The Work Room structure and my self-awareness journey, I conduct work and rest when I want to.

It is also imperative for me to participate in a rising ritual that consists of journaling, meditation, and reading some words of encouragement or new knowledge before getting out of bed. I do not answer or look at the phone before 9 am. I change my work environment often, working in cafes, the park, or on the top of a local mountain because I want to. I take ample time to listen to my body and to brainstorm, comprehend, and absorb information before taking action. Every minute I do not have to be “doing” sometimes, “being” is the best thing I can do for my business.

 

What advice would you give to another small business owner about serving their community?

 

  • When you’re walking in your purpose and not simply chasing the money, you will always win! The universe is funny like that.
  • Every minute does not have to be “doing” sometimes, “being” is the best thing you can do for my business.

 

Need help with your small business? You can find free resources for small businesses on our resources page, or learn more about how to apply for our free legal, finance and marketing services on our Small Business Support page.

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