Is your business health affecting your mental health?

By Daniel Smith, Daniel Smith
Business Advisory Director
3 February 2021

We saw Mental Health Week being marked around the world in October with particular emphasis on World Mental Health Day on 10 October. But going beyond the day or the month, what does looking after your wellbeing and mental health mean for business owners?

Running your own business can be hugely rewarding, but for many small business owners having sole responsibility for the company's success or failure can take its toll.

For many, 2020 was the toughest year to be in business as COVID-19 forced many businesses to close their doors for unknown periods, and left them fighting to survive.

While it can be tempting to focus all of your time and attention on your business, it's also essential that you take care of yourself. As a business owner, you can face a range of unique challenges that can affect your mental health and the mental health of your staff.

Depending on your business, your industry & your role within it, these challenges may include:
  • Regularly putting in long hours
  • Undertaking business related activities after hours and blurring the boundaries between work and home
  • Feeling isolated and not always having someone to share business worries with
  • Managing ongoing cash flow and financial issues, and feeling concerned about the future of your business
  • Having multiple roles as well as managing the additional demands of administrative and government regulations – on top of everything else
  • Feeling responsible for yourself, to family and employees who are being reliant on the success of your business.

A recent study commissioned by the Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources (DISER) found that nearly one in three small to medium enterprise (SME) owners experienced mental health issues over the past 12-months.

The study found that these business owners experienced either stress, depression or anxiety, with the main contributor related to financial issues, associated with their business performance, and cashflow.

When you are busy with your business, you may not notice the signs or changes in your behaviour, thoughts or feelings that may indicate that you are struggling with your mental health. Sometimes the first person to notice that you are not yourself may be a family member, friend or business partner.

It’s important to be aware of some of the common signs and symptoms that can let you know that you may be struggling with your mental health. 

Some of the early warning signs are:
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate on tasks
  • Feeling tired and fatigued
  • Being unusually tearful or emotional
  • Getting angry easily or frustrated with tasks or people
  • Drinking alcohol to cope
  • Finding it hard to make decisions
  • Avoiding social situations.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, PKF has played a frontline role in helping individuals and businesses manage the economic fallout.

Every day, we are seeing the huge impost that has taken place on their clients and our support can make a huge difference quickly

Good business health supports good mental health. But it can be hard for you to know where to start and what to focus on in improving your business health

It’s ok to not be ok. Get in touch with a PKF adviser today for help.