This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme for 2023 is anxiety
Anxiety is a part of our body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ response that helps us react quickly to potential threats. But it can become problematic if it persists over a long period of time, is overwhelming, or stops us from doing things we want or need to do.
As a business owner, there is no doubt that you have a lot on your plate. You are responsible for everything from marketing and sales to accounting and customer service. It’s no wonder that so many business owners feel anxious.
There are lots of things we can do to help manage feelings of anxiety, and what works for each of us will be different. In this blog post, we look at four ways that you can cope with stress and anxiety to help maintain your productivity and, most importantly, your mental wellbeing.
#1 – Identify What’s Really Causing Your Anxiety
It’s important that we don’t try to ignore our worries. Taking the time to keep a record of what’s happening in your life and how it’s affecting you can help you understand what is triggering your feelings of anxiety. Knowing this can help you better prepare for and manage situations that may cause anxiety.
Sometimes it helps to give yourself a certain time of day to be your ‘worry time’. It could be half an hour first thing in the morning to sit with your worries and write them down in a diary. When that’s out of the way, you can move on with the rest of your day. This can help you take control and stop anxiety from getting in the way of what you want to do.
- It could be that you’re always busy and there never seem to be enough hours in the day – do you struggle to prioritise or delegate?
- Do you not have enough money, or perhaps you just feel lost when it comes to managing your finances?
- Are you worried about what could go wrong, or is it that you’re taking on too much and need to learn to say ‘no’?
Whatever the answer, identifying the trigger of your stress or anxiety is the first step to managing it.
#2 – Find a Healthy Outlet
Once you know what’s causing your stress or anxiety, it’s time to find a healthy outlet for it. Just as you need to exercise your body to stay healthy, you also need to exercise your mind. This can be done in a number of ways, but some of the most popular outlets with proven mental health benefits include:
- Spending time in nature
Choose an activity that you enjoy and that makes you feel good, then make time for it every day. It doesn’t have to be a long time – even five or ten minutes can make a difference. Remember that you need to blow off steam every now and then, just like everybody else does!
#3 – Find a Mentor
One of the best ways to cope with stress and anxiety is to find a mentor.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who has been through what you’re going through because they can offer advice, support, and understanding. Furthermore, having a mentor show you the way can help you avoid making the same mistakes that they did, saving you time, money, and stress.
A mentor can be anyone, from a family member or business buddy to an accountant or financial advisor. The important thing is that you feel comfortable talking to them about your worries and that they are willing and able to offer helpful advice.
#4 – Turn to Your Team
Anxiety can sometimes feel very lonely. Connecting with other people can help a lot. Many small business owners feel the same way as you do, so turn to your team for support. You might be surprised at how understanding and helpful they can be.
Your team is there to help you, so delegate tasks, ask for advice, and lean on them when you need to. If you’re able to talk to people about how you feel, it can help reduce your anxiety. Sometimes saying what’s worrying you out loud can take away its power over you.
Coping with Anxiety
Remember, you are not alone in this – many people struggle with anxiety. There are things that we can all do to protect our mental health and manage anxiety. We have given some tips in this blog. What works for each of us will be different, so try different approaches until you find what works for you.
If you need financial support for your business, please reach out to us. We would be happy to have an initial chat to see if we can help. We love to help business owners fully understand their financial situation to help make smart decisions based on reliable information.
Sometimes, people come to us because they’re worried about the state of their accounts and want to get them sorted. Maybe a previous accountant let them down, or perhaps they tried to manage it themselves and got overwhelmed. Either way, we don’t judge; we just want people to feel in control and take that weight off their minds. If your accounts are in a bit of a state and need some urgent attention, get in touch now and we’ll see what we can do.
If you feel affected by the content you have read, please see the Get Help page from the Mental Health Foundation for support.