This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, so we thought we’d explore how running a small business can affect mental health and wellbeing.
Running a small business is not all plain sailing, it is full of ups and downs. During successes and periods of growth it can be overwhelming. During periods of uncertainty where losses can prevail, it can be depressing, anxiety inducing and isolating. In a nut shell, owning and running a business will affect your mental health and wellbeing, it’s unavoidable. Below we discuss a few ways small business owners can look after and improve their mental health:-
The First Rule About Mental Health is to Talk About Mental Health
One of the most effective forms of therapy for mental health sufferers, is counselling. A platform which enables the patient to talk in a non-judgemental environment and discuss and unload negative feelings. In a more simplistic view, if you feel down talk about it! Let people know how you’re feeling and don’t bottle it up. Talking will provide perspective, clear the mind and help you to deal with worries in a more positive light. When you’re done talking, get a hug from a friend, loved one or colleague. Let’s all embrace the Man Hug, hugging isn’t just for females you know.
Ask yourself if your work/life balance, is indeed balanced. Or is it weighing heavily towards your business? Most small business owners work long hours and days without a break. This can be a necessity when you are building a business from scratch and sometimes in order to keep your company afloat. It’s easy to get into the mind-set that being ‘at work’ will always produce results and is therefore a must for a business owner. More time at work = better results. But it’s not always the case, having decent respite can rejuvenate the body and mind and may result in you being far more productive on your return to work. So book in that half day next week, schedule a holiday and start coming home a little earlier each night, you may well see an overall improvement.
Assess Your Workload
If you find that you are overworked, perhaps it’s time to reassess your role, your responsibilities and that of your staff. If you hold the majority of the responsibilities in your business, is it possible to delegate some of those tasks to your staff, whilst empowering and motivating them at the same time? If you’re a Sole Trader and don’t have the luxury of having staff, perhaps you could outsource part of your responsibilities? Outsourcing is often more affordable then employing staff and can free up time to spend on other more profitable activities.
Exercise, in any form, produces endorphins in the brain which will improve your mood, making you feel happier and able to cope with life’s struggles. It is widely recommended that regular, daily exercise is an effective way to help improve your mood on a long term basis. The age old saying, ‘a healthy body, a healthy mind’ rings true, why not put it to the test? A walk to work or jog at the end of the day, try and introduce some regular exercise into your working week.
You are What You Eat (and drink, and inhale…)
Is your office so full of the aromas of coffee, it’s turning into Central Perk? Has a sweet treat every Friday become a treat each day? Everything we consume, from our daily caffeine kicks to the evening bevvies to help unwind after a long day, affects our bodies and therefore our mental health. As a lover of chocolate I am in no position to preach, however, if you’re feeling low or suffering from stress, assessing what you are consuming each day could help. Swapping a chocolate brownie for a banana or bringing a handful of nuts to work with you, could improve your mood and help you cope better with the challenges of the day ahead.
Seek Help, Why Not?
There is much more help available to those suffering from mental health issues today. Book an appointment to see your local GP and let them know how your feeling. Or explore alternative therapies. There is a wide range of alternative therapies that are proven to help reduce stress, aid depression and anxiety, and improve overall wellbeing. Chose from Acupuncture, Reiki, Reflexology, Massage, Aromatherapy and even Laughing Therapy. Bristol is a city which caters for everyone and hosts numerous holistic and alternative therapy clinics and therapists, take your pick.
Remember, mental health is not a taboo subject, it’s a fact of life. Don’t suffer alone, don’t bottle feelings up and do talk to others. In this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we are sending positive vibes to all small business owners across the country.
If you’re thinking about outsourcing some of your work load, RH Small Business Support would be happy to meet you for a cuppa and a free consultation. To find out how we could support your business, please get in contact with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 914 9826.