As a small business owner it can be tempting to focus all your time and attention on the business, but the most important resource that your business has is actually you. The healthier and more resilient you are, the healthier the business has the chance to be.
What is mental health?
Mental health, or being mentally healthy, is about you as a ‘whole person’ - how you feel, how you think, and how you interact with others. It is a positive concept related to your social and emotional wellbeing.
Being mentally healthy is about:
Mental health is sometimes misunderstood and is used to refer to mental illness or mental health problems – but they are not the same. Mental health is about 'wellness rather than illness'; just like being physically fit and healthy is not the same as having an injury or an illness.
Mental health is also so much more than just the absence of mental illness. The fact that you are not experiencing a mental health problem doesn't necessarily mean you are mentally healthy. Likewise, it is possible to be diagnosed with a mental illness and still have a good sense of wellbeing in many aspects of life.
Research shows that a place of work can give you a sense of purpose and meaning, helping to improve your mental health. Factors like stress, burnout, long working hours and multiple responsibilities can increase your risk of developing a mental illness or cause an existing condition to worsen.
As a business owner, your health and mental health is critical. Recent research has shown that over 50% of small business owners rate their own mental health as only fair or poor. In addition, the research found some unique stressors that can impact on the wellbeing of small business owners. These include:
It doesn’t matter whether it is the stressors of work or the stressors of life that are impacting on your mental health – there are things you can do to enhance your wellbeing and improve your performance as a business owner.
We all know that to keep a car going, we have to fill it with petrol, check the oil and water regularly and give the tires some air. But how often do you take the time to reflect on whether you are giving yourself what you need to flourish at work? Below are some tips to get you started.