Business relationships and support

Resilience and wellbeing

Running a business is hugely rewarding – but it can be tough, too. Keeping your mind healthy and well can help you weather the challenges and enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

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Healthy mind and healthy business

With so many demands on your time and energy, how do you make sure your business’ most important resource – you – stays well? In this guide, we share five tips for how business owners can manage stress, plus some useful resources.

Resilient boss, resilient business

There are many types of stress for business owners. Hear from one of our customers Rob Beard, Founder of Beard Brothers, and Dr Angela Lim, CEO and co-founder of Clearhead, as they discuss resilience, looking after mental health in business, and where to get help and support.

Ask for help

Rule number one: don’t do it alone. Owning a business is a unique kind of stress, so make sure you’ve built a support network that involves not just family and friends, but people who can offer you expert advice and help you navigate the challenges and uncertainties.

If you’re having issues paying your bills, resist the urge to bury your head in the sand. Bite the bullet and let your suppliers and the bank know early. Your suppliers will be keen to work with you to resolve things so they can keep your business and their relationship with you. The sooner you reach out to your bank, the sooner they can work with you on a game plan.

Small business owners can be eligible for fully funded support from a trained mental health professional through Clearhead. They have unique expertise to help small business owners and understand the challenges you face.

Learn to say no

As a business owner, you’re going to be pulled in many different directions. Your suppliers, partners, staff, customers, clients, and prospects are all going to want something from you, and sometimes their needs are going to conflict with yours – and each other’s.

Learning to say no is a useful skill which will prevent you from overcommitting and leaving yourself in stressful situations. The more you practise saying no, the more you’ll see the world doesn’t stop turning – and that you can trust in your vision.

Pay attention to stress signals

Some common stress signals can be difficulty sleeping or an increased heart rate. Take at least five minutes once a week to assess your physical, mental, and social wellbeing and ask yourself some quick questions:

  • Do I feel well rested? 
  • How much exercise did I get this week?
  • Am I eating well, or have I been turning to ‘quick fixes’ (such as coffee or sugary food) to feel better?
  • When was the last time I connected with family, friends, or my support network?
  • Do I feel good?

We all have different needs, so what a healthy answer looks like is different for every person. The process of checking in with yourself can help you take a step back and see if things are as they should be.

Of course, when you’re a business owner, a certain amount of stress comes with the territory. But if you’re regularly feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to consider bringing someone on board who can share the load. Our article about hiring the right team can help you decide.

Practise mindfulness

When things get stressful, it’s easy to start missing the forest for the trees. Mindfulness keeps us rooted in the present and stops our thoughts from spinning out of control. 

There are many mindfulness techniques out there, but it can be as simple as pausing before rushing to your mobile when it rings. Take a breath and walk away for 20 minutes. Sometimes a bit of distance can give you a lot of perspective.

Proactively work on your wellbeing regularly

Find ways that work for you to de-stress, switch off from work, and be kind to your mind. You’re in this for the long haul, so the longevity of your business depends on you showing up and being your best self. 

Structure your day

Give yourself space to think. For example, do you need to check emails first thing in the morning or could they wait until 10am? 

Perhaps you could spend the first hours of the morning on focused work before diving into your inbox.


Book out time in your calendar for exercise and protect this time – strictly no meetings. You might pop out to the gym, go for a dip at the local pool or beach, or take a brisk walk around the neighbourhood. 

It might seem like you’re losing an hour of work, but you’re likely to gain it back in productivity when you’re back feeling refreshed.

Talk about it with others

Don’t underestimate the value of talking, whether it’s to a wellbeing professional, a trusted friend, or a business adviser.

Getting another perspective on the things that keep you up at night can help you see them more clearly. 

Resources that can help

A range of organisations and online resouces can support you through the ups and downs of running a business. Here are some that might help.


Small business owners can access free wellbeing resources and support with Clearhead.

Information and resources to help support your wellbeing and keep others in your business healthy and well, including:

  • Four-step plan to support staff going through tough times
  • How to spot the signs of burnout in yourself
  • Brave in business e-learning on topics like performing under pressure and making the most of your time.

Mental Health Foundation

The foundation provides guides which are particularly helpful for advice on staying mentally well.

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