Mental Health

Saying that many business leaders are feeling stressed out right now, would be most probable the understatement of the century. We are all dealing with a particularly overwhelming time. Research studies indicate that though anxiety is felt by people of all ages, 18- to 39-year-olds report the highest rates of anxiety and depression across the western world.

I am no psychologist, psychiatrist or psychotherapist but I know very well that in times likes these safeguarding our mental health and those around us is of even greater importance. In a nutshell, mental health is not an issue to be taken lightly. Thus, I strongly feel the huge importance that employers understand the root causes of stress under their roofs and provide mental health assistance.

As a business leader below please find some tips to safeguard your mental health, tips that emerge from all leading professional research on the subject:

1) Take care of yourself: As you are likely to be working more remotely , it is even more critical for you to take time for yourself every day. It is important to set boundaries and take focused time to recharge. Walk your dog, enjoy a workout, or pick up a book for some leisurely reading. Sometimes this might mean stepping away from your work, and that’s okay. (You need breaks!) Exercising is also a great way to clear your head, and can even improve your quality of sleep. Prioritise personal time the same way you would prioritise an important meeting.

2) Disconnect, even if for a little while: Today’s “always on” culture can leave us with the impression that we have to be striving and thinking about what we’re going to do next at all times. It can be difficult to stay in the present moment when you’re constantly bombarded with reminders, concerns, expectations and distractions that fuel anxious thoughts. In these moments, it can be helpful to turn off notifications, step away from computers and put phones aside. Remember to stop and smell the roses (or coffee).

3) Fight the stigma: Global research concludes that a sizeable chunk of employees who took time off of work because of stress or anxiety said they hadn’t disclosed the real reason to their managers, as talking about mental health at work is still stigmatised. Much of the onus falls on leaders to create an inclusive and caring culture within their teams, to allow employees to have open and honest conversations with their manager about workloads, stress levels and other mental health concerns.

I unfortunately still meet business owners and leaders, who snuff off any conversation about the importance of safeguarding mental health at the workplace. This is short sighted, inhuman and you are of being no service to your business by doing so.

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