Improving Mental Health in your Small Business - 4/4/2017

| Tuesday April 4

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: 4 April 2017

Its different from a J.O.B. being a business owner. We don’t work 9-5 we work all ours. We live, we eat we breathe our small business. For many it is our everything, our identity, our baby… and with its ups and downs come a rollercoaster of of positive and negative emtions and all that turmoil can be mentally and emotionally exhausting.

But what affect is this all consuming entity having on the mental health of those which breathed life into it? And how important is your mental health as the business owner to ensure the life of your business well into the future?

Warning! This is one of those self-care topics because as business owners we need to look after ourselves first before helping others. Kind of like popping on the oxygen mask on a place before helping those around you.

On this week’s show we turn to you, small business owners who are the experts - not only in your field but also as experienced business owners, to share your best tips for ensuring & maintaining mental health whilst keeping your business going. So here are their suggestions…

Aruna Ellis from Pregnancy & Parenting TV has some great, specific suggestions around Mindfulness: Be mindful, you can practice this in many ways, at work, make drinking water a ritual. not a habit a ritual, put an alarm on every time you reach for your bottle, consciously breath, make subtle body changes, put your feet down, straighten your back, consciously roll your shoulders back, close your eyes while drinking your water and just saver the taste and feel of that water in your mouth and going down your throat. THIS WILL WORK IN MANY WAYS 1. break the pattern of stress in your body and mind. 2 give time for the water to absorb rather than run through you . 3 that mindful correct posture will fill you with oxygen you need to keep a clear head.

Ange Sinclair the Digestive Detective takes the perspective for your mind and body: Make sure you take a lunch break away from your desk. Not only good for your mental health but also excellent for your digestion. Go to a green space if you can find one (for) at least 30 mins. Good to take 3 really deep breaths before you start eating to switch your brain from fight or flight (which most of us live in at work) to rest and digest.

Ursula Hogben from Legalvision showed her real research & resourcefulness; drawing on Beyond Blue’s support services:  My top 3 are reflection/remembering our purpose, at least 15 mins exercise a day, and spending time with great people - sometimes business owners who get the challenges, other times loved ones for their care and support :) Beyond Blue has a special program for business owners called business in mind.

And Tatjana Domazet at Power of Coaching agrees stating a walking group or meditation for 20 - 30 minutes is beneficial. You might want to consider this as a team building exercise.

Jennifer Taylor from vividity photography has two top tips: OK, because in a previous iteration of my career I was a yoga teacher, I'm going to second the advice above about meditation and exercise and healthy eating habits.....but my top tip at the moment is to allow a little time for silliness. I like to put on some 80s music and dance like a no one is watching, because they're not. I work on my own!!

And my second tip is phone a friend. That could be someone in the same industry as you, or someone you've known since you were 4. The key thing is that it's a person who makes you feel good just to be around.

Maureen Thompson agrees but adds the importance of a furry friend to keep you company!

Tania Teperson, Personal Stylist at modaboutstyle suggests the importance of taking breaks; Being able to get away occasionally, even if it’s once every few months, it kind of gets the juices flowing and refreshed again! Engaging in activities that you enjoy releases "feel good"endorphins.

And Debra Pittam from Person Centred Leadership draws on practical advice to help alleviate the stress: Last thing before you stop working or first thing before you start make a to do list or go a brain dump to get everything out of your head to free up your brain space (for focus and clear thinking). Prioritise and do the hardest thing on your list in the day 1st thing.

Here are some more great resources for businesses when it comes to mental health awareness:

The information on this website and in the podcast is provided as a service to the public and offers general information only. It is not intended to be and should not be relied on as a substitute for specific medical or health advice.

You may wish to seek support from the following organisations when listening to this program:

National 24/7 Crisis Services • Lifeline 13 11 14  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800  • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78  

(photo courtesy of )