As founders and makers, do you take care of your mental health?

David T. Kim
55 replies
I control every 1 hr of my day to maximize productivity. Wake up at 5:30, meditate, work, learn programming, work some more, write a novel, and run a family with 1 kid coming. You could say I'm hyper productive, but I know many of you have a lot more on your plate. As founders and makers, what do you do to make sure your sanity is kept in check?


Dragos Bulugean
I found out that having a 1-hour walk every day clears my head and helps me to be more productive.
Dan Greenwald
@dragos_bulugean I’ve also been practicing - incorporating #ActiveResting into my workday. Nature walks w binocs led to 3 weeks of increased productivity. Also lean heavy on my Weekly tracker.
Dhruv Bhatia
I focus on the long game. It's important to be super productive, but also very crucial to think about the big picture and focus on your mental health
Ken Savage
I’m not one for the spa or fancy treatments as I hear some entrepreneurs do. I get out for a couple of hours in the afternoon to go to the gym and sometimes meet up with friends for lunch. Socially distanced of course. We as entrepreneurs can get inside our head too much and we need to break that habit. Getting outside for a few hours daily does that for me.
Raunaq Vaisoha
Understanding what's real and what's just emotion. I use triple column entry journaling from CBT to correct any negative narratives that can build up occasionally. Working out is another major one, which has a compounding effect especially with weight lifting.
David T. Kim
@raunaqvaiso Nice. CBT alone seems interesting. Working out always helps too. It’s really more than a weight loss technique.
Ziad B. Tannous
Unfortunately not really. My mind keeps running in thousands of different directions and the lack of sleep is my daily bread. Not good for the health I know but it's out of my control I'm afraid. Been like this for years.
David T. Kim
@ziad_tannous Felt that too mu friend. But keep trying to get that sleep in different ways. I feel like it could bite back down the road.
Ziad B. Tannous
@david_t_kim thanks bud for the concerns and the word of advice. I think I suffer from chronic insomnia and it's very hard to cope with at times. But will do my best to organize my sleep to the best of my abilities. Cheers
Bryce McKernan
@david_t_kim Meditation and reading is great, however, I have found that physical exercise is necessary for mental health - getting out of the mind and into the body. It will reduce stress, improve sleep, improve discipline, and lead to overall better body and mind function.
David T. Kim
@david_t_kim @bryce_mckernan Yes, the lack of movement really impairs my cognitive performance too. So critical.
Eleonora Arieta
I love this! I wish I could be up as early as 5:30 am these days with my kiddo being remote learning, teaching classes in between and "mom I'm hungry" and yes, I work from home so that's so helpful! By the time I get to bed it's late and haven't finished what I set to accomplish that day. Yikes!
David T. Kim
@eleonora_arieta You’re awesome for doing all that. My kid isn’t even born yet and feeling that pressure already. What kind of Yoga do you teach? I’ve been trying Yoga Nidra in the mornings and seems to hit home.
Eleonora Arieta
@david_t_kim I love Yoga Nidra! I teach vinyasa, yin, meditation with breath work. I teach all levels.
Aleyna Çatak
I try to do so, but I can't say that I'm good at it. I always try to make myself feel better and be productive. However, it is really hard to study and work at the same time. Especially during the pandemic all of my lectures, work stuff and meetings go together in a single space, which is so exhausting.
David T. Kim
@aleynacatak What do you study? For me programming came by late into our startup, so learning and working all the time exhaust a lot of energy.
Aleyna Çatak
@david_t_kim I study archaeology & history of art, and media & visual arts (double major). I'm an undergraduate student besides being a VP Marketing at Sertifier! :) I also study and practice illustration, graphic design and UX/UI design personally.
David T. Kim
@david_t_kim @aleynacatak When do you have the time Aleyna! Share some wisdom, will you?
Hunter Carter
Mental health is the top priority for me. All else stems from it. Though I do meditations sometimes, the main thing is practicing the awareness of the presence of god/cosmic consciousness. I start my day by abiding in blank awareness until some kind of instruction comes ("from above") and then I take that as my marching orders for the day.
David T. Kim
@school_4_ants Sounds very in touch with your world! I'll try applying something like that in my routine. Awareness is always important.
Helene Auramo
This is a great topic. I think everything is about balance. I need to sleep well, eat well, meditate and exercise, have fun, play and kiss, and so on. For me doing creative things is also very important. I have found an excellent psychiatrist to meet whenever I want. He has been very helpful in many ways. Nowadays I visit him maybe twice a year. I meet him when I want to understand something or someone in my life, often when I need to understand something from someone else’s perspective. I find this very useful to talk with a professional. One of my challenges I have found with him is that I make decisions fast. As an entrepreneur, I think it is a good thing but in order to collaborate with people, this might be challenging for some. I can quickly think about different scenarios and based on that work make a decision. It doesn’t mean I do decisions without thinking about it a lot, the thinking just happens fast and often I have already experienced something like that in the past, so I can use a bit of my intuition. Many people might consider my behavior rude. This is something that I have found during these sessions with him that I wouldn’t have otherwise. In order to better collaborate (with my fast pace) with other people, I need to slow some things down and often make a “change communications plan” although my decision has already been done. This way I have become much better at collaborating with others. I’m happy that I have found this person to help me. I know that whatever challenges I might face, he is there for me. Oh, I need to also point out that I recommend not to take any pills unless it is a must. I try to live even without any painkillers. Also, business coaches help a lot. :)
David T. Kim
@helene_auramo Awesome post Helene. To summarize your take: 1. Have something that brings back balance to life. 2. Talk to someone you can trust that will listen without judgement. 3. Hear different perspectives to self-evaluate.
Jenil Thakker
Been thinking about making a GPT-3 powered self-help chatbot, thoughts?
Tasos Valtinos
I used to work like every day all day while building my startup. But that's not healthy. Now every day I put a stop at 7 pm. I don't work after that time. And I take 1hr walk afterwards or go for a run and that helps a lot clearing my head. Apart from that, I think what's key here is to spend time with people who have nothing to do with the startup world. It's not good to always discuss about startups, that's not healthy either. At the end of the day, if you want to do unique things, you have to live different kind of experiences.
Tommaso Cecchi
What do you think of 1hour/week with therapist? You can improve assertiveness, relationship with team etc...
John Smith
I meditate 5 times a day. Very beneficial
Ben Ryan
Be kind to yourself, always. Don't give yourself a hard time. That's someone else's job - and you're free to ignore them. If you're going to have an internal dialogue, it might as well be a nice one. There are tonnes of meditation apps but my fave is Waking Up on account of it's secular approach and supplementary philosophical content.
Ben Ryan
@bryandigitalio @david_t_kim You are absolutely right, David. It is not easy. Just as being overly self-critical must be unlearned, so too must self-affirmation be learned. Both require sustained conviction.
Daria Varha
Having a great hobby is something I turn to. Motorcycling is my go-to method to relax and keep sane.
Mihai Cepoi
I don't know about you David but for me the level of energy & happiness constantly fluctuate. Especially during the current crises. However, each time I feel like getting of a downhill road, I bring close to my other aspects of my life to keep me balanced... friends, family, relaxing activities (Netflix to travelling). I can hardly imagine bringing a kid to my current lifestyle as I'm sure raising her or him would be on top of my list. Big ups for all the parent founders & makers! My 2 cents, make sure you always have positivity within or close to you, it can be maddening as founder and we should talk more about this.
David T. Kim
@mihai_cepoi I'm actually going on a full health diet and exercise mode right now to prepare for my son's arrival. Constantly thinking of how I can bring that positivity closer before D-Day!
Basit Naas
Yes , I pray 5 times every day