You won’t have a business if you don’t look after yourself

Updated: May 29, 2019

It's #MentalHealthAawarenessWeek so here's the content my article recently published in the Institute of Directors Northern Ireland @IODNI magazine #directorni

If you are taking time off over the summer how are you going to spend it? Recovering from work (although technically still working), or actually connecting with yourself/those you love?

Wellbeing, particularly mental health, has always been important to me personally as my younger sister has complex mental health conditions.

Over the years I’ve met and worked with too many business owners and leaders who are neglecting theirs and this has a real impact not only on their own health and personal life but on the business and their employees too.

I know how easy it is to be so busy that you never quite get round to looking after yourself as I have my own business and I grew up in my dad’s financial services firm.

I’d like to share some practical advice gathered through my endless yearn to learn and over 20 years in business (plus a childhood!), with the most recent 13 of those in the area of people and HR. These can improve your own self-care and help to look after your business and employees.

Lead by example – Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to have a life outside of work, look after your energy levels. This helps you to keep things in perspective and build resilience for those difficult times.

Remember your “why” – remember why you’re doing what it is you are doing. Yes, I know that may be easier said than done but the sun will still rise and it will still set no matter what you do.

Hiring people should be a deliberate and considered business decision. I cover this in more detail in my podcast series ‘Recruit in Haste, Regret at Leisure’.

Trust your people – empower them because you can’t do it all yourself and nor should you try as that’s a sure way to achieve burnout if nothing else! I talk about this in more detail in my video on company culture.

“It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it” - respond, don’t react (stop and take a breath, “words are like weapons, they wound sometimes”). I’m often helping clients to have honest conversations with their employees in a way that builds and enhances the relationship, that includes the dreaded “difficult conversations”.

Download an app – apps like Calm or Headspace have free trials. Try 10 minutes before you head home.

Action! Remember, the sun will still rise and it will still set no matter what you do, so stop, take a breath then choose your response. You should be enjoying the journey not needing to escape from your business. So, what are you doing?

Check out my podcasts, videos and blogs for more advice and do get in touch if you would like help to navigate the people landscape in your business

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