One Thing Women Entrepreneurs Must Do? Hint: It’s Not Business-Related

Women entrepreneurs are accustomed to juggling so many things on their agenda-- meetings, projects, vendors, clients, family, and so much more, all together. So why does their own health not fit in their to-do list?

Tanya Savkoor
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Image from Instagram @itikhinchi

Women entrepreneurs are accustomed to juggling so many things on their agenda-- meetings, projects, vendors, clients, family, and so much more, all together. So why does their own health not fit in their to-do list? As the backbone of their own company, women must take some time to prioritise their physical and mental health, which would in turn be beneficial to their venture.


Engrossed in the nourishment of their business, women entrepreneurs forget to nourish their own body by skipping meals or not eating enough, resorting to fast food, or not eating at a routine time. Even their circadian rhythm is disturbed. 

Moreover, caught up in the madness of balancing work and their personal lives, women entrepreneurs do not make time for their own health or self-care and ignore underlying symptoms and health issues in the process of pushing through their hectic schedules.

But as entrepreneurs, women are expected to be at the top of their game, spontaneous and adaptable to rapid or unforeseen changes, be it an advanced deadline or an order cancellation; but they forget that there is no successful business without a healthy business owner.

So How Can Women Entrepreneurs Be Healthy?

A healthy body and mind are the most powerful assets that women entrepreneurs can possess. While it sounds like a big detour from the usual rigmarole of managing work, women entrepreneurs should set a routine where health and self-care are included as non-negotiables.

Taking the time to eat mindfully, sleep for prescribed amount of hours, exercise, and engage in hobbies can do transformative wonders to the everyday health of women entrepreneurs. Further, and more importantly, undergoing preventative health checkups and consulting doctors on a regular basis should also be a top priority.


Hear It From An Expert

In a conversation at SheThePeople's Digital Women Awards this year, the joint managing director of Apollo Hospitals, Sangita Reddy, touched on the importance of health among women entrepreneurs.

Reddy made a lasting impression on the audience, ending the interview with these words-- "[I want to] leave you with a small request and that is, please take care of yourselves Your health is important."

Reddy, who was invited for a fireside chat with Shaili Chopra, founder of SheThePeople and Gytree, further made important suggestions for all the women entrepreneurs to be ahead of their health.

"If you're over 35 and you haven't had your first mammogram please do so. If you feel tired consistently, please check your haemoglobin and figure out whether it's your D3 [deficiency] or anaemia. You're not supposed to be tired. Give yourself the time and energy to live up to your full potential. Have a complete checkup," she urged.

Further, Reddy revealed that taking care of their own health can be "very transformational or supportive in your journey."


Check On Mental Health

Just as much as physical health, women entrepreneurs should also give utmost importance to mental health. Dealing with trepidations over their hard work, negative criticism, as well as disturbed physical health can take a toll on the mind. Research states that 72% of men and women entrepreneurs deal with mental health issues. 

Dianne Wingert, a US-based psychotherapist-turned-life coach wrote in a LinkedIn post about the support systems that need to back women entrepreneurs to have a smooth journey.

She added that recognising the impact of mental health of women entrepreneurs "would not only lead to more female entrepreneurs achieving success with their ventures but should result in the development of sufficient support networks and resources to aid women in managing the mental demands of their business ventures, so that their success is sustainable over time."

Similar to what Wingert said about support systems, Sangita Reddy of Apollo Hospitals also threw light on this matter in her Digital Women Awards interview. She urged women entrepreneurs to not shy away from asking help when needed, as well as set expectations and roles from peers in order to share the load of work at the workplace as well as at home.

Talking about dealing with excessive commitments, Reddy said, "It's not a crisis, it is an expected escalation. Because if it's a crisis, then you feel guilty [to ask for help]. If it's an expected escalation, then you plan for it... this one is for your mental health."


Women Entrepreneurs Who Have Been There, Done That

In a conversation with SheThePeople, the 29-year-old co-founder of Hoovu Fresh, Yeshoda Karuturi, shared how she has managed to prioritise her health and self-care.

"I personally like working out, I think any sort of workout helps to kind of destress and centre myself... I just ran a half-marathon and tend to go on hikes and stuff like that. So that allows me to not be extra obsessed about work... Having something outside of it that allows me to push myself and [has] given me that downtime, so I'm able to come back and be more productive at work."

Another entrepreneur-cum-actor, Aashka Goradia Goble of RENÉE Cosmetics, wrote in a SheThePeople article about her own experience navigating through entrepreneurship while being pregnant.

"Taking care of yourself and the life growing inside you is crucial. Maintaining your business throughout pregnancy is closely tied to your well-being.... Neglecting self-care during this period can take a significant toll on your health. Prioritize self-care, encompassing adequate rest, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. A healthy and relaxed mindset is essential for making sound business decisions and preserving your business."

While women are being lauded for their exceptional contributions to India's entrepreneurial landscape, it is also time we support them in prioritising their health and well-being. 

Views expressed by the author are their own

Suggested Reading: Pooja Dhingra, Janice Sequeira, Kirti Kulhari On Slaying It With Self-Worth

mental health women entrepreneurship Women's health health priorities