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Looking after your physical and mental health as a small business owner 

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For SME owners, neglecting personal wellbeing is sadly a common problem, as many find themselves prioritising the needs of the business or others. With the added strain of the coronavirus pandemic, how can business owners take care of both their physical and mental wellbeing? 

Create a working schedule and stick to it 

Being an owner of an SME can be overwhelming, with endless lists of tasks to complete – so many that you may feel as though your business is running you. Taking time out is vital to ensure that you switch off and don’t burn out. Set yourself working hours and ‘down time’ hours, especially if working from home, allowing yourself specific times to switch off and rest your mind. 

Tips to maintain a good schedule and work-life balance include: 

  • Set an alarm to remind yourself to take breaks during the day – whether that be for lunch, for a walk or to simply take five minutes to do something different. 
  • Set a time each day when you switch off your work emails or work mobile phone. Due to technology, it’s easy to blur the boundaries between work and down-time and make you feel like you’re always accessible.  

Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet 

Eating well and scheduling time to exercise is a key component in maintaining good mental and physical health. With the winter months and dark evenings drawing in, exercising can become more challenging, so it’s important to find time to get yourself out – even for a short walk. Make sure you make time to eat healthy and substantial meals too. When you’re busy, it’s very easy to pay less attention to what you’re eating, or even skip meals altogether, but, particularly during challenging periods such as now, it’s vital that you try and maintain a balanced diet. 

Seek support if you need it  

It’s important that you speak out if you are feeling overwhelmed and that you ask for help if you need it, whether from a friend, family member, colleague or professional. There are plenty of resources and support available online too, from Gov.uk and The Federation of Small Businesses for example. The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK’s largest grassroots business campaigning group, which ensures the voice of small businesses is heard at the highest level across the UK, as well as providing business services and products to its members. Being an SME owner can feel lonely at times, so it’s vital that you keep communicating with those around you, utilise online communities and even try to speak to those who may be in a similar position to you. 

Take time off 

As a business owner, it can be difficult and daunting to take time away from your business. A study by Funding Circle showed that 49% of SME owners planned to take less than three days off over the whole Christmas to New Year period. When holiday is taken, it can then be tempting to “check-in” with the business whilst away. However, time off away from work is absolutely necessary in order to rest and recharge. 

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Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551