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With the government advising against all but essential contact, now more than ever it’s important we check in with our mental health. As a small business owner, there’s lots to think about, and the uncertainty can have an impact on your wellbeing. Whether you’re self-employed or in charge of a team, you’re not expected to be an expert in mental health.
Here’s some guidance on what you can do to look after your mental health, and who you can contact for help.
Facts Minimise Fears
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of news. Take breaks if it’s affecting you, including from social media platforms. Remember to be mindful of the information that you share. Get factual information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and local authorities.
If you’re self-isolating, working from home or changing business practices, it can be challenging to adapt to a new routine. Try and stay connected through social media, video calls or virtual coffee mornings. Sharing positive experiences can help your mental wellbeing.
Take Time Out
Make time for hobbies you enjoy – it can help you to relax and take your mind off things. Learning a new skill, like cooking or drawing, can build confidence. Try to keep a regular routine as much as possible.
Don’t Forget Physical Health
Taking care of our physical health can help how we feel. Stay well rested, eat balanced meals and keep active as much as possible. If you feel able to, activities like stretching, yoga or meditating can help relieve stress.
Stay connected with your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours, and let them know you’re there. Even a simple text can go a long way, especially if they are self-isolating. Many small businesses are like families, so building these support networks can make a big difference for your staff.
Talk to Children
If you’re a parent, or know someone who is, it’s important to look out for children’s mental health and wellbeing too. Talk to them and answer their questions without alarming them. You can help children to express their feelings in positive ways, like being creative.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s important to talk to someone you trust, like a partner, friend, relative or colleague. You can also talk to a professional if you feel you need help. The organisations below can offer help, advice and support if you need it.
- World Heath Organisation: Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak
- NHS England: 5 steps to mental wellbeing
- Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- FSB: It's okay to talk about mental health campaign
- Time to change: Supporting someone with a mental health problem
- Heads Together: Get support