Mental Health Week: Be Kind to Yourself

“Being kind means responding to the needs of others—and people can be kind, no matter how old or young we are.” -Fred Rogers

2024’s mental health week, recognized from May 6-12, is centered on the “healing power of compassion.” It is imperative to remember to be kind toward others, but it is equally important to practice kindness toward yourself. Learn more about some ways to prioritize your mental health this week and for weeks to come. 

“SMB owners are concerned about mental health, and 46 percent feel stress and mental health are affecting the success of their business. Although 70 percent of respondents report not minding working long hours, they do feel their mental health is impacting the people they care about.”

Forbes 

Set healthy boundaries 

Entrepreneurs are constantly connected, which can be challenging to separate work life from personal life. While emergencies happen and your hours of work may need to be extended in some cases, it is key to designate allocated work times. If someone emails you at 9pm, that doesn’t mean you are obligated to respond.    

Disconnect from technology 

When your work is complete for the day, power off your technology and literally unplug from your devices. We all need time to recharge our batteries to be better leaders, co-workers, family members, and friends. Start small and work your way to longer stretches of time without being plugged in.    

“Even short breaks from social media can positively impact a person’s overall well-being, life satisfaction and emotions.”

CNET 

Don’t isolate yourself 

Mental health suffers when people feel alone and isolated. As a business owner, you may feel like you exist on an island by yourself. Connecting with other business owners and like-minded professionals provides an immense amount of support and resources that can help you succeed as a business owner. As mentioned above, disconnecting from your phone can help you develop stronger and more meaningful relationships with people outside of the digital world.  

When you develop relationships with other entrepreneurs, you create a safe and encouraging network where you can exchange ideas and ask for advice when needed. 

Prioritize yourself 

Your time is precious, but most of us have 15 or 20 minutes to carve out for time for yourself. Finding small bits of your day dedicated to something you enjoy can make a significant impact not only to you, but to your business, and those in your life as well. To give your best to others, you need to show love and kindness to yourself first.  

Speaking about your feelings with trusted friends, family, or colleagues is important. If you are struggling, and need further support, there are resources available. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of, rather it is a sign of your strength and perseverance. 

Being kind to yourself is foundational to the success of your mental health. Be sure to check in on the people in your network and remind them that you are there when they need a listening ear, or a shoulder to lean on.  

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