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How to manage your wellbeing as a small business owner

Running a small business is no easy feat. Research indicates that issues of mental health are more likely to occur among small business owners than other members of the workforce.

When you’re juggling long working hours, trying to maintain personal relationships, managing your cash flow and dealing with isolation if you’re working on your own – the reality is, it’s a lot to deal with! Throw in a global pandemic and the associated business restrictions and disruptions, and it’s enough to challenge the most stalwart personality.

R U OK? Day (10 September 2020) is the perfect prompt and reminder that you, and your employees, are the most valuable asset to your business. Creating the best business you can starts with making sure you take care of yourself, as well as those around you.

To help you do this, we’ve put together this list of wellbeing resources designed with small business owners in mind.

My Business Health

My Business Health is resource created especially to give small and family business owners access to tools, templates and tips to manage stress and proactively engage with running their business. Created by the Australian Small Business and Family Ombudsman (ASBFEO) and supported by Beyond Blue, the website includes specific information on COVID-19 and cash flow, both of which can be sources of stress for business owners.

Ahead for Business

The Ahead for Business website has a range of free tools to help you take action when it comes to managing your health and wellbeing. It includes tools to help you assess your situation and create a wellbeing program for your business.

Beyond Blue small business support guide

Beyond Blue’s guide on supporting small business owners to improve their mental health and wellbeing at work offers business advisers such as accountants, bookkeepers, tax agents, industry associations or family and friends, with practical tips on providing support without the need to be a trained counsellor or clinician. The guide was designed for this support network because they are often the first to notice when small business owners experience mental health challenges. The renowned mental health body has also launched a website focused on support for coronavirus mental health, for anyone affected or concerned by the pandemic.

Tips from business coaches

Hear from leading small business coaches as they offer advice on managing wellbeing for business success. In a series of five videos, coaches offer tips on different topics, including: family businesses, managing stress and common pressure points.

What else can I do?

There are some easy steps you can take to avoid exhaustion and burn out:

  • Regularly switch off and disconnect from devices.
  • Prioritise spending time with family and friends.
  • Schedule in holidays or short breaks.
  • Develop guidelines to help you separate business from personal time.

When it comes to your employees, it’s OK to ask people about the stress they are experiencing, and ask them why they think they are feeling that way. Sometimes just letting someone know that you are there to listen without being judgmental is a good way to help them cope.

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