Doing what you love and loving what you do should not come at a cost. Business owners are high performance individuals that are used to managing everything. Such individuals are precisely the type of people to conscientiously manage their mental health. Because positive emotions lead to further positive emotions and are linked to heightened creativity, solution-focused capabilities, and enhanced lateral thinking, focusing on wellness is key to successfully managing a business.
We will explore why nutrition, sleep and play is an essential part of running a business.
Stress and Burnout: A Modern Phenomenon
Occupational stress is on the rise. The risk of burnout as a result of the pandemic, modern working conditions, and isolation is certainly increasing. While business owners have faced all of those things, they are also adept at managing and maintaining mental wellbeing. We look at some of the things business owners can embrace to manage their mental health in turbulent times.
Business owners, like all business owners, are at a greater risk of burnout. Burnout, or acute occupational stress, is a risk factor for all high-performance entrepreneurs simply due to the nature of the job. The weight of the business rests on the shoulders of its owners, who often feel guilty for taking even the smallest of downtime. While burnout is a risk factor for all ambitious and motivated individuals, these people are also precisely the types of people that are conscientious enough to prioritise their mental health. So, if this is the case, what can they do?
We look at some of the positive psychology techniques that can be used to help promote mental wellness and resilience at work.
Presenteeism, Burnout, and the High Achieving Personality
Let’s face it, those that own businesses are often high-performance personalities that like to get things done. For this reason, they often show up, even when they are exhausted or too sick to do anything.
Because presenteeism ultimately lowers productivity, it costs the organisation in loss of income. This may be difficult to see on the surface, but studies have shown that high levels of presenteeist behaviours reduce work performance significantly. Presenteeism is also a major risk factor in burnout.
Burnout is characterised by cynicism, loss of enthusiasm, a high degree of freneticism, and a general feeling of malaise that goes beyond everyday tiredness. It is the feeling of being exhausted, coupled with low morale. It’s also known as the 21st Century problem.
What Are Some of the Self-Care Strategies That Business Owners Can Adopt?
If you are a business owner that seems to be on the never-ending grind, it may be time to step off the wheel and take a break. Regular short breaks will help reduce fatigue and avoid greater levels of stress-induced exhaustion. Time off can help with creativity, with lateral thinking linked to solution-focussed behaviour.
Business owners can manage their mental health by avoiding showing up simply out of fear that they have to manage it all. Taking time to rest and doing things that they enjoy outside of work, will help them from slipping into presenteeist behaviours that can lead to negative health outcomes. Because positive emotions lead to more positive emotions, including enhanced creativity, problem solving, and performance, focusing on things that they love outside of work is imperative. The more they do what they love, the more they will love what they do.
Business owners are adept at management. Managing their mental health should come naturally to them. Doing things that they love outside of work is the first priority. They can then use a behavioural activation model commonly used in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help schedule activities outside of work. These can include chores, but should also include enjoyable activities as well. Journaling is a good way to get emotions out and build more self-awareness! Knowing yourself is a good way to understanding what works for you.
Nutrition plays a pivotal role in mental health. Food and mood are inextricably linked, so eating a well-balanced diet, focusing on both macro and micro nutrients are important- fruit and vegetables, as well as staying hydrated go a long way! Caffeine should be consumed in moderation as it can cause anxiety and breed the presenteeism cycle that franchise owners should step off.
Remember to channel that productivity for good. Sign up to an art class, a run, or do something that helps maintain that sense of achievement outside of work.