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Small Business Advice & Solutions, Mental Health

3 tips to support the mental health of business owners

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Research has revealed that small-business owners are struggling with coronavirus-induced stress and anxiety, with two-thirds reporting COVID-19 has impacted their mental well-being.

Managing cash flow issues, work/life balance and wondering how and if they’ll keep their business open, makes it no wonder that anxiety around COVID-19 is heightened for the business community.

Many business owners are focusing on managing cash flow and staying afloat right now, but it’s important to balance that with looking after your well-being.

We spoke to a small business mental health expert and founder of Fortitude at work, Leanne Faulkner, to share tips on how business owners can manage stress and improve their mental health during these times.

 

Mental health matters

 

Leanne recommends the following:

  • Know your red flags

One way to manage moments of distress is to identify key thoughts or physical sensations (also called red flags) that tend to contribute to your cycle of distress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Look out for the red flags: These can be your thoughts (“Why can’t I concentrate?”), feelings (frustration, worry, and sadness), physical sensations (tension) and actions (such as compulsively checking the latest COVID statistics).

Once you have identified these red flags, take time to figure out the reasons why they’re causing stress. Is it cash flow or financial stress? Or something else?

     Take note of these triggers, and the causes of stress.

 

  • Talk with experts for assistance and support

  You’re not alone. Most small businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. Remember, there is a lot of support available and there are many people who can help you when you need it. Sharing the load is a good way to ease stress levels.

Check in with your accountant or bookkeeper and seek a mental health expert or advisor. Share these notes with them and they will help you address your problems.

 

  • Access the resources and support services available

The following tools and resources are also available to support your well-being right now:

- ASBFEO My Business health : The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has a dedicated ‘My Business Health’ website that assists small business owners both with their wellbeing and business skills. In particular, there is a dedicated COVID-19 support area.

- Heads up – part of Beyond Blue’s service. Beyond Blue has a great online counselling service you can connect with any time.

- Aheadforbusiness.org.auResources for small businesses impacted by adverse events and a free mental health ‘check-up’ .

 

Put Yourself first

“Business owners usually sacrifice themselves for the sake of others; they worry about their employees, suppliers and business. They should do the reverse and focus on themselves first. Having good mental health is good for the health of the business,” Leanne shared this key message.

 

Better cash flow can help a healthier mentality

A MYOB survey has reported cash flow as one of the main sources of stress for Australian business owners. Debts and negative numbers against a business can have a very strong impact on well-being.

Whatever your history with finances, learning new skills to manage cash flow is always beneficial. Here are some tips that can give you some ideas around the changes you can make to get back in control of your finances and ease cash flow pressures.

Also, remember that we’re here to help. We help business owners solve their cash flow challenges through our working capital finance solutions. If cash flow is a reason for your stress, consider booking a FREE consultation with us to see how we can help improve your cash flow and ease the pressure.