Today is world mental health day. The main objective of this date is to raise awareness of mental health around the world, but the focus of this year’s is workplace wellbeing; a day to consider the importance of mental health in the working world.
Mental health is still pretty taboo, especially in the workplace. If you’ve got a broken arm, your ailment is clear for all to see, but sometimes it’s the ones that aren’t visible that wound the most. Over 25% of the UK’s population is suffering with some sort of depression or anxiety at this very moment. To put that into context, that’s one in four people you walk past on the street every day! But do you notice it?
If you’re a small business owner, the likelihood is that you suffer with some sort of anxiety day to day. A recent study estimated a staggering 72% of entrepreneurs struggle with their mental health. Whilst living your own ‘good life’ is incredible, the reality is that the pressures on your shoulders are ten times greater than those of an employed person. If you’re an employer, those statistics just keep rising. The sleepless nights, financial stress and worries of being a small business owner are enormous, and at the end of each day, you’ve got a family and life to manage. I write a lot about work/life balance, but that’s because it seems to be a myth for so many; it’s hard to find balance, let alone when you feel low.
Mental health doesn’t come with a guide book, nor does it abide by any rules or schedules. It’s broad and complicated, and it varies person to person. It rears its ugly head without warning, often pushing the sufferer into isolation, because being really, truly and openly honest about how we feel is bloody terrifying.
So today, and every day, know it’s ok not to be ok. Know that it’s ok to be honest about your thoughts and feelings. Know, we/I are all by your virtual side.
Maybe together, we can help each other through the darker days; shine as lighthouses to our dearest who might need us most.