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We’ve all faced our share of difficult personal, financial and physical challenges over the last couple of years. For many business owners, the impact of the pandemic has been compounded by concerns about the business and its employees.
Mental health problems can be particularly acute for owners when a business is struggling with company debt.
Research from Mental Health UK has revealed that four in five small business owners have experienced poor mental health.
Most of the business owners surveyed reported feeling symptoms of poor mental health at least a few times a year, but less than half of those surveyed said they had never accessed mental health support.
The survey also found that mental health had worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, with more people reporting panic attacks and experiencing symptoms of depressions more frequently since the pandemic began.
Worrying about cash flow was a serious mental health issue for many SME owners during the pandemic, with more than 78% of owners reporting concern about it.
Some common symptoms of poor mental health include:
- Inability to focus
- Disrupted sleep
- Panic attacks
- Symptoms of depression
How business owners can protect their mental health
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing can help you feel happier and healthier. It can also help you feel more equipped to tackle business challenges.
If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment. The NHS has a webpage signposting some places you can get urgent mental health support.
General tips to look after your mental wellbeing
Mental health charity Mind has a number of tips to look after your everyday mental wellbeing.
- Find ways to relax and reduce stress – Try making time to do something you enjoy doing, practice mindfulness or just to take some time away from technology.
- Find ways to learn and be creative – Learning and being creative can be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. It can also help you meet new people.
- Spend time outdoors and in nature – Spending time in nature outdoors can help improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anger.
- Connect with others – Connecting with people you trust and new people can help give us a greater sense of belonging and reduce feelings of loneliness.
- Look after your physical health – Drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy diet, cutting out cigarettes, alcohol and junk food and taking some exercise can help you feel better physically and mentally.
- Try to get enough sleep – Sleep is very important for self-care and affects almost every aspect of your life. Doing things like setting a bedtime routine and cutting down on screen time can help improve sleep.
Getting support as a business owner
Running a business can sometimes feel lonely, but you are never alone. There are all sorts of places you can seek support – both from people that know you and people that know what you’re going through.
Reaching out to friends, family, business contacts, mentors, former colleagues and professional advisors and others can help you understand what you’re going through and improve your mental wellbeing.
If your business is struggling with financial pressures, speaking to a professional business debt advisor can help ease your mind about the future. For more information, speak to a member of our team. Call: 0800 611 8888.