How are you? Taking care of your mental health is now more important than ever

The day-to-day pressures of running a business can be stressful at the best of times but business owners around Australia now have to cope with the additional pressures bought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Too much stress can lead to ill health physically, emotionally and mentally. Maintaining good mental health is something that all business owners need to prioritise now not only their own well-being but to also allow them to be equipped to support their employees.

An ever changing landscape

More than a year on, many of us are still coming to terms with what COVID-19 means for the future of business in a landscape that is changing day-to-day. One thing for certain is that COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work for now. Our experiences differ for many reasons including where we live and the type of work we do. For some it’s meant closing the business doors due to lockdowns, struggling with decreased cash flow, learning new ways to stay safe in the workplace, or learning to work remotely. For others, it is having to juggle restrictions with work and care responsibilities. Top that off with business owners also having a duty under WHS laws to manage risks to workers’ health arising from their work. It’s not easy….. and for some, it’s very stressful. Regardless of our situation, most of us will be concerned about the constantly changing situation and yearning for things to get back to normal.
No matter what your circumstances are, it’s vital that you look after your mental health and know what support is available.

Symptoms of mental health issues

How do you know if you or one of your team is experiencing mental health issues or suffering from work-related stress? The symptoms may not always be clear but it is important to have an idea of what to look out for and ensure you have measures in place the same as you would for physical risks.

Some of the symptoms may include:

Physical symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscular tension
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea or constipation
  • Dermatological disorders.

Psychological symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Discouragement
  • Irritability
  • Pessimism
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions

Behavioral symptoms:

  • An increase in sick days or absenteeism
  • Aggression
  • Diminished creativity and initiative
  • A drop in work performance
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Lower tolerance of frustration and impatience
  • Disinterest
  • Isolation

Coping with mental health issues

What can you do if you’ve determined you or one of your team is experiencing mental health issues?  What measures can you take to effectively cope?

  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance, make time for family and friends and activities you enjoy
  • Exercise regularly to help boost your energy levels and improve stamina
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthily and getting enough sleep
  • Allow yourself to say ‘no’ so you don’t over commit yourself
  • Plan events ahead of time, so you know what’s coming up
  • Find ways to relax and unwind, such as meditation, listening to music or incorporating breathing techniques into your daily routine
  • Get support when you need it – talk to someone and ask for help

Resources for mental health wellness

There are also many resources available where you can find more information.  Following are a couple you may find helpful.

Mental health and wellbeing support for business

Beyond Blue

Click this link to download a mental health and well-being handout for your employees.

If we can be of any support to you and your business to assist through these uncertain times, please don’t hesitate to contact us

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