Being a business owner means being in demand almost all of the time, especially when you first start out. Decisions will need your approval, team members need support, and your vision for the company will be central to everyday life in the business. Whilst this can be exciting, especially when you’re working on a project you’re passionate about, it also means your role can become incredibly demanding. You may feel responsible for your employees’ well-being, as well as nervous about the future of your business. 

With everything going on, it can be easy to neglect your health, especially your mental health. The idea of taking a day off just means losing valuable business time, and difficulty for others who rely on you to move things forward. Unfortunately, if you don’t make time for your mental health, it will catch up with you. Here, we explain why mental health days are just as important for business owners as they are for employees.

Improve the efficiency of your business

When you’re the key decision maker, you need to be present, in control of your thoughts on the topic at hand, and ready to listen to others – something that’s hard to do if you’re struggling with your mental health. Taking a mental health day can mean that you actually come back stronger, rather than struggling through and not being able to give your best to your team. 

Inability to focus on your work fully can also increase the number of mistakes you make, and reduce productivity. Not only could this be problematic for the business, but it could also increase your stress levels, making the problem worse.

Setting the example

As the business owner, you set the tone. Your employees will look to you to set the ethos for the rest of the team, so if you don’t take time for your own health, you may find you struggle to get your employees to rest too. 

Over time, this can inadvertently create a culture where people aren’t willing to take days off when they really need them. Not only can this be harmful from a well-being perspective, but it can also create an unwelcoming place to work, which can impact your employee attraction and retention. 

Improve work-life balance 

Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of being a business owner is setting boundaries between your work and personal life. You may feel that your work is your passion, so you allow it a greater amount of time than if you worked for a company you didn’t feel personally invested in. Plus, you may just feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done, leaving you frantically answering emails or instant messages as you eat or brush your teeth.

All of this means that you don’t properly switch off from work and rest your brain, which can lead to burnout. Taking time to acknowledge your mental health and rest when you need it can help improve your work-life balance and give yourself a chance to reset.