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Wellbeing / Mental health

The importance of small business mental health

When you work for yourself and by yourself, it stands to reason you’re in charge of your wellbeing. Let’s look at tips to maintain a positive state of mind.

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Since becoming more involved in the subject of small business mental health, I’ve been alarmed by the number of soloist and small business owners who simply do not give their wellbeing sufficient priority.

If you are stressed about things, you won’t sleep well. If you don’t sleep well, you won’t operate well and if you don’t operate well, you’ll get more stressed.

But you know this stuff, right?

Diet and exercise will impact how you work and how you feel. A big night out will likely impede the start of a new day. A long stodgy lunch won’t add much to your afternoon energy.

Small business mental health demands we be good to ourselves.

Exercise will not only boost your energy and improve your health; it’ll open up the pathways in your mind that lead to innovation and new ideas.

Over the past few years I’ve spoken with numerous groups of soloists and in one particular presentation ask them when do they have their best ideas? No one ever responded by saying they have their best ideas when they’re in their small business staring at their monitor.

If we want innovation and ideas, we need to move away from our desk. Getting out and getting active is one of the best ways to do this.

"Quite amazingly, a person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking. 60 percent!"

Small Business Mental HealthResearchers from Stanford examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. Quite amazingly, a person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking. 60 percent!

But wait, there’s more. (And this is encouraging, even for those who don’t like walking). A study from the University of Notre Dame found that the mere action of stepping through a doorway can reset the brain and it’s been suggested this is why we can forget what we are looking for when we enter a new room.

So getting up and moving away from your desk is a great way to get your brain to ‘start fresh’ to ‘reset’ in effect and come at something from a different direction.

Let’s not forget too that energy is greatly influenced not just by how we think and feel, but by those around.

Our small business mental health demands we spend time with positive people.

Choose carefully those with whom you commune. Positive people will help you, negative types will undermine you and hinder your performance.

For more resources on the subject of small business mental health and to learn how many leading bodies and organisations are rallying to add their weight to this important topic, visit our information page on small business mental health.

 

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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