If you’re a business owner, you already know about the world of pressure and stress. Could it be impacting your mental health? On any given day, you’re juggling a wide variety of responsibilities to keep it all running smoothly. Let’s face it, 2020 hasn’t exactly been kind to business; this year has challenged business owners in new ways that we never saw coming. If you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread, you’re definitely not alone.
Businesses big and small are facing tough financial decisions right now. But even without a pandemic, businesses big and small are often facing tough decisions. Even in the best of times, paying attention to your mental health needs is important not only for your business but also for your own sanity and happiness. Let’s take a closer look at a few reasons why taking care of your mental health matters as a business owner.
Mental health is just as important as physical health
You might be tempted to burn the candle at both ends to make it all work – usually at the expense of your overall well-being. ‘Powering through’ can feel like the right thing to do. While no one would disagree that a business owner has to put in the work, it’s essential to take steps to protect both your mental health and physical health. Why? Because you need both to maintain productivity and grow the business.
Business owners face a double-whammy when it comes to job pressure and stress. The responsibility of paying your employees and yourself, and the urge to push onward despite all other personal needs can take its toll on, well, just about everything. Without a much-needed break, productivity (and perspective) will inevitably hit. The trick is to know when taking that break is actually better for your business.
Work/life balance is tricky for many business owners, and there’s a perception that the more you dedicate to your business, the more successful it’s going to be. The truth is, however, that your body will force you to slow down if you don’t give it the chance – and then the success of your business will be impacted if you don’t plan ahead. Neglecting your mental health can lead to burn-out, and that can have devastating effects on your business.
Business owners are affected by workplace stress, too.
It’s not just employees that experience workplace stress; business owners are still human and are just as susceptible. Even though you are your own boss, you’re not immune to workplace stress.
The American Institute of Stress explains that stress is a highly personalized phenomenon and can vary widely, even in identical situations, for different reasons. The severity of job stress depends on the magnitude of the responsibility and the individual’s sense of control he or she has in dealing with those responsibilities.
Simply put, workplace stress can be a major factor of life for any business owner due to the high level of risk and responsibility. It becomes necessary to carry your toolbox of stress relief and self-care with you. Easier said than done! But as a business owner, you need it.
Burnout negatively impacts you and your business
High levels of daily stress can lead to burnout. When you’re burnt out, problems seem insurmountable and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care. If it happens enough, your business will suffer. While you might feel like you’re powering through, you could be undermining yourself by not allowing yourself sufficient time to relax and repair. If you’ve ever gone through your workday physically present but mentally or emotionally distracted, you’re familiar with a term called “presenteeism.” You might be putting in the hours (taking time away from work/life balance), but those hours will not be as valuable if you’re not focused on your tasks at hand.
Addressing your mental health needs can protect your productivity and your job satisfaction, which will help you get more enjoyment out of what you do. A few ideas to consider: setting boundaries to avoid overextending yourself, making more time to do things that you love, or experimenting with meditation and exercise. Just like sick days, taking an occasional “mental health day” can do the trick to avoid future sickness and burnout.
Mental health awareness for you – and your team
As a business owner, taking care of your mental health matters. It can also have a positive impact on members of your entire team, thanks to new research showing the importance of workplace mental health. Reducing the stigma of caring for mental health goes a long way in group settings, team meetings, workplace productivity, and more.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that one in five American adults experience a mental illness, and nearly 10 million adults in America live with a serious mental illness. 6.9 % (16 million) of American adults live with major depression, and 18.1 (42 million) live with anxiety disorders. With those numbers in mind, if you have a team with more than five people, it is likely that one or more of those team members may be experiencing a mental health issue right now. No matter who is on your team, placing value on taking care of mental health is essential.
The bottom line on mental health for business owners
It’s true that you cannot pour from an empty cup. At least, not for any real length of time and without a cascade of negative effects for your mental health and overall wellbeing. Rather than run the risk of burn-out, set aside time to take care of your physical and mental health. You’ll have a bigger well to draw from when it’s time to react to the many responsibilities of being a business owner in the first place. Plus, you’ll be better prepared to go the distance and have a healthier business and personal life.
To continue the conversation on workplace mental health, contact Watch Media Group to discuss developing mental health initiatives and educational material for your business and your team. Click here to learn more about how working with Watch Media Group will have a direct impact on improving mental health awareness in Southern Nevada.
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