It’s important that business owners and employers look after their own mental health, as well as that of their employees. With significantly more responsibility on their shoulders, it’s important they find ways to protect their mental wellbeing, and set a good example to the rest of their team.
A common problem impacting the mental wellbeing of business owners and entrepreneurs is isolation and loneliness. Whether it’s because they are working solo, or have no one suitable in the business to offload concerns or worries to, it’s important to address. The impact can be detrimental to mental health and personal relationships in both short and long term.
Mental wellbeing advice for business owners
With lots of experience of working with business owners, we have these top tips to share:
1. Be proactive about your mental health
Be conscious and prioritise your health and wellbeing before things become bigger problems to deal with. Find out what things work for you and your lifestyle. It will be more beneficial (and probably a wiser investment) in the future. The tips below will help you prioritise in the right areas
Find someone you can confide in, if simply just to offload what’s in your head. This could be someone who knows you and your business well, or you may prefer to find someone who is more distant to the detail.
Talking is essential to lowering the level of stigma around mental health. Sadly, we’re still in the time where mental health can be seen as a taboo subject, and can potentially lead to exclusion or discrimination.
By being more open about what you are dealing with you’ll likely help others within your business. Stamping out stigma and discrimination with your own workplace will help others to grow positive and inclusive cultures within their own.
Closely linked with talking, if most of your time is spent in your own company, find ways and make time to socialise and meet others. These doesn’t have to be limited to professional networking clubs. Find places linked to your interests and hobbies.
4. Time management
Just as you would do for important meetings, build time into your diary for your own wellbeing. Whether it’s for exercise, time away from the desk, enjoying time with family – book it in and protect it.
If you feel that others in your business could benefit, why not involve them. Arrange a lunchtime walk with your team for example.
5. Mindfulness and sleep
A common consequence of all the technology we use to keep us connected means we rarely feel ‘switched’ off. It’s quite likely you have work emails and related apps on your phone or home computer, so it’s easy to see work updates or notifications that may then play on your mind interrupting your sleep.
Stress can prevent you from falling sleep and staying asleep. A disrupted night’s sleep can then impact the following day – you may be more irritable, less patient and find it harder to manage unexpected problems. A repetitive cycle of poor sleep and difficult days can then put you in a low mood, potentially leading to things like depression and anxiety.
Take practical steps to improve your sleep quality – you could try:
Switching off from ‘screen time’ at least an hour before bed
Practicing meditation techniques such as mindfulness
Eating a healthy diet, avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings.
6. Seek support
There are many organisations, charities and support groups which exist to help people to manage their mental health. Many will be able to offer advice specific to your wellbeing challenges.
A good place to start to find these organisations is with your GP or on the NHS website. The charity Mind provides advice and support ‘to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem’ and there’s a link to their peer support directory here.
If you’re keen to create a positive working environment within your business, one that supports your employees to look after their mental health and wellbeing, talk to our team about how we can help you to make that happen - call us on 01722 325833.
Join our FREE seminars "Managing Wellbeing and Mental Health at Work" in October
In October we're helping employers get a clearer picture of the issues and are running a free half-day seminar in Salisbury and Southampton.
To book your place please use the following links:
For more information visit the detail on our website.