I Don’t Have Time To Worry About My Mental Health… I Have A Business To Run!

My first reaction when I was asked to write a mental health blog was oooooooohh. Should I be writing what people want to hear or should I be writing the truth?

I am going with the truth.

Having your own business is amazing. You’re in charge of your own destiny. I love what I do. I love meeting new people, embarking on challenging and/or new projects and kicking goals for clients. I wouldn’t have it any other way…

So where am I going with this? Sounds pretty good, right?

Only a business owner knows what it’s like to put on a brave face and continue to lead whilst you’re dealing with a difficult team member who is negatively impacting the culture of your organisation and upsetting your clients or wondering when that client you had a feeling about is ever going to pay their invoice so that you can pay yourself or ……. (you can fill in the blanks here).

The thing with being in business is that you never stop working. If you do take your eye off the ball, things can start veering in the wrong direction. Trust me… I know. That’s a whole other blog.

I haven’t even mentioned dealing with day to day life such as illness, death or a separation. Well I have now. We can’t just march up to HR, tell them that we need to take a few weeks off, recover and head back to work when we are up to it.

So how do I keep it together? My advice:

  1. Listen to your body. It gives you some pretty big clues. Stop putting off that doctor’s appointment. It might be nothing or it might be something. Putting it off isn’t helping your stress levels. (As I am typing this I am aware that I haven’t been listening to my body lately and I’m about to book a doctor’s appointment).
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. 13 years ago nearly to the day, I suffered from postnatal depression. In the space of a couple of weeks, one of my twins was admitted to hospital with suspected brain damage, my partner nearly burnt our house down (it was just the kitchen thank god) and then he was made redundant. Everyone around me was marvelling at how amazing I was juggling 2 newborn babies, going back to work.. blah, blah, blah. I was a complete mess and it was important that they didn’t try comparing themselves to me.
  3. Become part of an association or group of likeminded business people. I’m part of Qld Leaders, BNI and BSB to name a few. We all experience similar problems at different times. A problem shared is a problem halved.
  4. Drink plenty of water! You can only live 3 days without water. I always carry a bottle of water with me. I can’t count the amount of times I have sat in a meeting which has dragggggged on for several hours and no one has thought to offer anyone a glass of water. People!! No one is listening. They are thirsty.
  5. Sleep! If you are struggling to switch off.. go back to my first point. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It can distort everything. Trust me.. I have 3 kids. I wish I had known about mediation way back then.

So, what are you waiting for? Make time for your mental health or you won’t have a business to run.

Kerri Eckart, CEO

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