You might wonder why The Builder’s Wife would be talking about mental health, in actual fact our industry has one of the highest rates of suicide. As a small business owner I have had some very challenging times in which my mental health has suffered. Working in an industry in which you are a very small minority is also challenging at the best of times, so I have had to develop some strategies to help me get through the best I can. Perhaps some of these tips will also help you?
5 Tips To Better Mental Health
Find A Mentor
Working as a women in the construction industry is rather isolating, it is not often I come across other women doing the same. This means it was difficult in the beginning to find someone that I could relate to. Not having someone to talk to, that can understand what you are going through creates a situation in which you mental health can rapidly decline. It can be a very lonely time. This is why I suggest you reach out and find a mentor, someone you can touch base with on a regular basis and share you struggles with. Generally this person will be able to help you talk through an issues you might be having and hopefully offer a fresh perspective or at least a shoulder to cry on. If you can’t find someone in particulate why not join a Facebook group relevant to your industry. There are many groups dedicated to women working in the construction industry and you will no doubt find a great deal of support there. You can join mine here.
Develop A Support Network
I have found I cannot do everything I think I can, and I have over time created my own support network to help me when I need it. I have spoken before about the support I receive from my crew, including our gardener, our cleaner, our work team and our kids. We don’t have much in the way of extended family so have had to work towards having this team in place and while there are times we can’t afford their support, I do know that I can work towards it. The simply theory here is that there are not enough hours in the day to do it all yourself, create a team of support to help you get those jobs done, and release a bit of the pressure on yourself.
Schedule ‘Worry Time’
This is a big one for me, I am a worrier. I worry about everything, and that is terrible for my mental health, so then I worry about that. I found that worrying became a distraction to getting real work done. It was suggested to me to begin a list of things I was worried about as they popped into my head. At the end of the day, schedule some ‘worry time’ to do my worrying in, rather than spending all day worrying and therefor not being productive. This has had 2 benefits for me, I find I am less stressed during the day, as the worries now pop into my head and once written down I know I can let them go for the minute and also when only worrying in worry time, I found a great deal of these worries were not as big as I first thought. It prevents things from escalating in my head.
Keep A Note Book And Pen With You
Running a small business is a never ending list of jobs to be done, carrying a note book and pen has meant that I can write down thoughts as they come up and not be stressed about not remembering what needed to be done. This would obviously also work as a list on your phone. This works especially well in the middle of the night when something I have to do just happens to wake me up (which they frequently do) I can write them down and forget about them, ready to go back to sleep.
Do One Thing For Yourself Each Day
As the owner of 2 small businesses, and a mother and step mother to 5 kids my days are full, really full, but I do make sure I take the time to do one thing for myself each day. Sometimes it may be something as little as sitting in the sunshine enjoying a cup of tea, other days it might be treating myself to a facial, or reading a chapter in a book, but every day I find a way to reward myself with a bit of time, after all I deserve it and you do to.
Taking care of our mental health needs to be a priority for all of us. These few practices help me perhaps they could be of benefit to you too?
What are you doing for your mental health today? What is your favourite treat?