With all the craziness and uncertainty going on in the society today, it’s easy for individuals to experience a decline in mental health. Seeing as no one is exempt from experiencing issues with mental health, it is important that everyone takes that extra precaution to ensure a healthy mental state.
This week, we spoke with life coach and mental health practitioner, Mr. Toluse Francis about mental health and issues surrounding it.
Mr. Toluse Francis is the Lead Consult at Reuel Consulting which is a firm with a keen interest in employing mental health care and wellbeing. He is also a board Director at World Federation for Mental Health. Mr. Francis is an author who runs a blog, a podcast, named The Rising Heroes, and a YouTube channel. He has been featured on various media channels like Channels TV, Television Continental, RaveTV, Wazobia FM, Lagos Talks and Nigeria Info.
What is Mental Health?
“Mental health refers to the emotional, mental and psychological state of health of a person”, he said, “It is an all encompassing state of wellness for all things that has to do with the mind of a person. Apply the same way public health is used to mental health.”
What’s the Importance of Mental Health care?
According to him, since the mind controls the body, if anything happens to our minds it hinders everything about us.
If the body is fine and the mind is ill, it is as good as not well.
As an entrepreneur, your mental state, as well as that of your employees, can either drive or mar productivity, which will in turn affect your company’s turnover. Caring for your mental health as an individual is highly important to live life and do business effectively.
Types and Symptoms of Mental Health Issues
The mental health issues you face as an entrepreneur does not differ from those other people face, including your employees. The loss of business, absence of sales and presence of stress can lead to frustration, which may lead to anger, which may lead to low self esteem which may ultimately lead to suicide.
It is our human nature that brings mental health issues to bare.
Generally, there is no one way symptoms of mental health issues come because there are varying illnesses e.g depression can come with low moods, desire for staying alone, aloofness etc while schizophrenia may come in a different way.
One thing is clear though, “there always will be a deviation in behaviour.”
Any deviation in normal behaviour is a red flag.
How can Symptoms of Mental Health Issues be Treated?
1. Show Empathy
When you notice a change in behaviour in anyone, you need to show empathy and ask questions in a way that doesn’t make it seem like you have concluded anything about the person’s mental state.
People need to know that they are loved.
People need to know that the questions asked are from concerned minds and not because we want to gather information.
2. Talk to a Professional
There are people that have been trained to handle mental health issues, when you begin to notice a change in yourself, it is important to talk to a professional about it. They won’t judge you and will keep everything you say to them confidential while providing the help that you need.
3. Ask Yourself Questions
When you begin to notice a change in your behaviour and in the way you feel, you need to sit with yourself and ask yourself, “why do I feel this way?” Just try to understand yourself.
4. Practice meditation
Meditation is a simple practice anyone can do. It reduces stress, increases calmness and clarity and promotes happiness.
“There is no health without mental health.” – World Federation for Mental Health.
Ways to Take Care of your Mental Health to Prevent a Decline
1. Understand your Stressors. You owe it to yourself to know what stresses you so you can avoid them or learn how to manage them.
2. Accept the things you cannot handle and accept what you can handle
3. Remember that your life is more important than your business. If you fail to exist, nothing can be done but if the business crumbles, you can pick it up again.
4. Share the burden. You don’t have to do everything alone. If you cannot afford a full time staff, get a virtual assistant/staff.
5. Speak up. Never ever let anything eat you up. Always speak up.
At times like this, when we are compelled to stay indoors and everyone is struggling to hold themselves together since this is not the life we’re used to, you should add this one tip to the ones listed above:
6. Be careful what you listen to and the gist you partake in. Always ask yourself how what you are listening to or talking about is helping you.
Keep yourself in a place of hope. Hope strengthens.
How can I, as an Entrepreneur, deal with Post COVID-19 Realities?
It is not a hidden fact that due to this COVID-19 pandemic many entrepreneurs have had little to no sales for the past few weeks and sales are likely to be slow afterwards. How then can we take care of our mental health in light of this?
1. Improvise. At this juncture, truth be told, we all need to start improvising and looking for ways to make do with what is available.
2. Note that you are not alone. We are all in this together so don’t beat yourself up over what has happened or might happen.
3. Diversify. Begin to market what people need at this period. Think about what you can sell now even if it’s a deviation from what you know.
4. Remember that people will keep buying. Monetize your knowledge. You can create a course around what you know and sell.
5. Engage in communities that are helpful. Join communities online and offline that will help you learn something new or gain useful knowledge.
Don’t play with your mental health. Always remember that being healthy mentally is as important as being healthy physically.