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Mental Health Awareness Week – Small Business Owners

By Simon Batty

Fresh off the back of a mental health awareness session provided for a Management team in a medium sized organisation, mental health awareness week kicks in. I reflect on the session, the responses of those attending and a recent conversation with my new accountant.

My accountant talks excitedly about having ultimate responsibility for her success, the autonomy to make her own decisions, quickly. No governance boards to send decisions to, no layers of management to work the decision up and back down again, only to discover, they don’t think your great idea is as great as you thought it was. The flexibility to choose when you work and when you do your personal stuff (within reason)!.

She also talks about being without those support mechanisms and expertise you get in large corporate organisations. Marketing, Finance, Comms, HR, ……

I’ve run my own Private Counselling Practice. I can relate to all this, but in my 4 years of training, I have learned to be mindful of my own mental health. If I don’t look after my own, how can I be strong enough to support a client to address their own difficulties. I have regular supervision, I have my own counsellor. I have developed my self-awareness far beyond what I had when I started the course, so I’m aware when things begin to become difficult for me and do something about it early.

So what about other small business owners? It’s very exciting; challenging; rewarding. But the buck stops with you. With that comes pressure, stress, maybe anxiety. In the awareness session, we discuss the stigma, is it a weakness to admit you’re struggling? You want your business to succeed, maybe want to prove people wrong.

Are you mindful of your own mental health? Or are you too busy being all those corporate roles in your own business to notice?

To be successful, you need your mental health to be well maintained. If you feel good, you’re likely to perform well. If not, well I think you get the gist.

The first thing to do is to notice, being too busy is not an option:-

·      Are you beginning to make uncharacteristic mistakes?

·      Do you find yourself feeling different? On edge, short fuse, upset, worried, withdrawn?

·      Have your sleep patterns changed, do you feel lethargic?

So what should you do?

·      Think about YOU. Make time to do the things that you know help you to relax.

·      Use your support networks; those who you take strength from; maybe someone can take some of the weight and help you practically; spend time with those you connect really well with.

·      Get outdoors, soak up the sun, get some fresh air.

What if that isn’t enough? Maybe a counsellor could help you ensure it doesn’t become too much so that it adversely affects your dream, your passion, your livelihood. If you wanted to look into that option more, please feel free to have a look at what I do at the link below, or contact me

Simon Batty – Dip. Couns., MBACP

Hear to Help Counselling Service

Tel No.: 07526 270076