It might seem weird for a business coach to talk about making mental health a priority. But read on, and you’ll see why! As it does every year, 10th October marks World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme is ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority‘. Here at Tabono, we are all about supporting the entrepreneur as well as their business, and so we want to add our voice to such an important campaign. We may not be able to influence things at global level, but we support all of our clients in making their mental health a priority.
We all have mental health
Simple, but true. We all have physical health, and we all have mental health. Both are inter-linked, and both are equally vital (and deserving of support when we need it). But yet mental health remains something that isn’t much discussed – unless you, or someone you know, is struggling. It’s all too easy to think that someone is fine, but often we don’t know what’s going on under the surface. We never know what others are dealing with, unless they choose to tell us.
Here at Tabono, we believe that the entrepreneur and their business are not mutually exclusive. And that means the entrepreneur making sure they’re ok first and foremost. Because when the entrepreneur looks after themselves, they automatically equip themselves to look after their business more successfully. In short, we must learn to take care of ourselves as business owners – and this means making mental health a priority.
How to make your mental health a priority
There are a lot of resources out there which provide advice on how to prioritise your mental health. And also on how to find support if you need it. Organisations like Mind and Samaritans are invaluable. Recently, we have also come across Shout who provide a fantastic service for those who aren’t quite ready to have a (voice) conversation. The key is not being afraid to pick up the phone or use these resources.
In addition, there are also a range of things that we can do to look after our mental health on a day to day basis. We shouldn’t wait until we are facing a crisis to take action. Here are just a few ideas on how you can make your mental health a priority:
1. Take time for yourself
Many of us find that we rush through life, hurtling from one thing to the next. But you know what? It’s so important to take time for yourself. To stop. To take care of you, rather than focusing on everything, and everyone else.
2. Say no
How many of us feel that we have to say ‘Yes’ to everything? Yes you certainly can customise that order just a little bit more. Absolutely you’re happy to extend the scope of the service you’re providing. Yes you can fit in that meeting that just can’t wait… We all have it – that instinct to say ‘Yes’. But hear this – when we say no, we set boundaries. We manage other people’s expectations of us. We prevent ourselves from feeling overwhelmed. Sound good?
3. Get organised
If you’re reading this and you don’t consider yourself an organised person, don’t worry. Nobody is saying that you need to, all of a sudden, becoming a planning maestro. But when we are disorganised, everything gets mixed up, we end up not knowing what to do next, and it all gets too much. Instead, take small steps. Diarise when you’re going to do major tasks. Try and get into a routine with regular ones. Over time, the little steps add up, and you will feel much calmer.
4. Don’t be alone
Obviously we all need our alone time. We all need peace and quiet. But it’s when we get too much quiet – when we spend too much time alone – that it starts to have a negative effect on our mental health. Humans are, by definition, social beings. So make sure you know where your ‘people’ are. And make sure you spend time with them – the benefits of that are huge.
5. Change your scene
In the same way that we all need people, we all need a change of scene. The benefits of getting out in nature are very well documented, as are the benefits of exercise. But a change of scene can also be hugely beneficial in a work context, particularly if you work on your own. This is exactly why we created our coworking events – to alleviate the loneliness often felt by solopreneurs.
Time to prioritise
So this World Mental Health Day, we encourage you to make mental health a priority. Check in with yourself, and what you’re doing in this area. But check in with others too. Take care of each other. And let’s bring our voices together to talk about mental health.
Mental health problems don’t define who you are. They are something you experience. You walk in the rain and you feel the rain, but you are not the rain.Matt Haig