October is Mental Health Awareness month and an excellent time to refresh on the subject of mental health and general wellness. As an experienced Business Coach and Life Coach, I see day in, day out, people in various levels of stress and distress. We’re dealing with shortages (people and products), loss, COVID, political dramas, wars around the globe, a looming recession and even climatic situations. It’s no wonder that 1 in 5 people in Australia will experience a mental health problem at some time during the year! 21.4% to be exact, according to a national survey completed in 2021. Now (and really, always) is the time to be checking in with friends, family, associates, staff, clients and ourselves to ensure we are ok!
At present I’m seeing:
- Clients pushing themselves hard, because there is a sense of panic; they are worried about an impending recession and feeling like they have to work ‘like a dog’ to make every cent possible just in case things go sour. May I say, if this is you, it’s wise to also focus on the business and ensure things are operating well in the business. A strong and resilient business will have a better chance of surviving and potentially doing well – if things are running smoothly and well. Check out my eBook on this subject “50+ Ways to Recession Proof a Business”.
- Burnout and complete tiredness from the challenges around COVID and then more recently the lack of people to do work that needs to be done. Now more than ever, it’s getting hard to find good people and many industries (like medical) are in serious distress. Staff and business owners alike are overworked. Yes, some employees are using the people shortage as an excuse to demand high wages or be lazy employees. My thought to you – karma will come back at some time and bite you in the rear; it won’t always be like this and employers have good memories. Other staff however are doing their absolute best and covering the gaps and shortfalls; to them, you are amazing and wonderful; you also will be remembered.
- Frustrations around the lack of products have affected most industries; not only making it hard to finish a job, but also affecting the price of products. Everything has gone up, from the price of a loaf of bread to the price of a motor vehicle and fuel. Ever since the Federal election earlier this year, not a week goes by that I don’t see prices rising in the supermarket.
However, whilst all this is happening and generally things can look somewhat grim, there are some things to remember:
- In history, there have always been ups and downs; this too will pass. Sometimes tough times simply have to be ridden out. Not to say we sit back and just roll over and accept it. Perhaps it’s a case of not accepting ‘our lot in life’ but forging forth and up to still achieve our goals and desires, despite any challenges put in front of us.
- If we band together and care about each other, the challenges won’t feel so bad when we know we are not alone in facing them. On that note, when was the last time you checked in with a friend, family member or neighbour and asked how they truly are? Are you ok?
- When was the last time you did something thoughtful or kind for another person? In our busy and hectic world, we are rush, rush, rush (I know this, more than anyone) …. But taking a moment to do a kind deed not only makes someone else feel good, but helps us feel good. It might be as simple as picking up some bread and milk for a sick friend, or dropping in some flowers or sending a card to a friend thanking them for your friendship. I have such a card sitting on my side table from a friend several months ago. Every time I see it, it lifts my spirits. Wouldn’t it be great to do that for someone else?
- Don’t forget yourself. Do you check in regularly with yourself? Are you kind to yourself? One person I know is unwell and beating herself up that she’s needing to sleep in a little later in the mornings due to lack of energy. Beating up yourself won’t help; quite the opposite. If you’re not 100% well health-wise, then listen to your body, take care of it and give yourself guilt-free rest.
- Daily self-care will go a long way. Even if it’s not a massage or pamper session, taking time out each day to do something pleasant; whether that’s meditation; walking the dog, hitting the gym, sitting outside in the sun, tending a garden, painting, craft or music … do something each and every day which gives you pleasure. In fact, build up a good routine (especially in the morning) which re-charges you, invigorates and energizes you. Eat well, drink water and get exercise.
- Take time out to connect with people. I feel in an era of technology and living life via social media, we need to have some human-to-human time out. When family or friends visit, do you put the phone down? I went to breakfast a few weeks ago with 4 friends. I sat down and then when I looked up, saw that each and every one of them was on their phone! I started a conversation and eventually the phones were put down. Have a green day once a week where you disconnect from technology and connect to nature or people. Talk to your family, other than via SMS/Text, which is more than some emoji or abbreviated words. I want to say ‘hug a human’ but COVID put a real dampener on hugging … but hey, maybe you can slip in one. If not, then hug a dog!
- Compliment someone. When you see someone, try finding one nice thing to say to them. It might be complimenting their shoes (that won’t be possible if you’re on a Zoom call), or perhaps their hair looks nice, or that colour looks good on them. It might be saying thank you for them doing something. Perhaps a client paid you promptly – say thanks. Perhaps someone gave you a lead, opportunity, idea, referral or help. Say thanks! Even better, send them a handwritten thank you card. If a business did a great service or helped you in some way or one of their team went above and beyond, then search out that business online and give them a 5 star review. Reviews really help a business and instead of being the person who only does reviews when you’re cranky or dissatisfied; be the person who seeks to give great reviews regularly.
- If someone is in trouble, then listen. Ask how you can help them. If it’s mental health, then encourage them to see their GP or visit one of the many helplines which are available. I’ve a list of places you can get help (paid and unpaid) here. If you’re worried about someone, then reach out to them. Don’t be so busy in your own life you can’t take a moment to care about another person.
Mental Health is a real thing. Anyone (any gender, any age) can experience it and it should not be ignored or brushed under the table. Talking, sharing and caring are just the first steps to ensuring we R all Ok.
If I can help with business coaching or life coaching or simply you need a connection to someone – then just reach out and connect with me. My passion is your potential!