The mental health impact of the pandemic on small business owners

How has the pandemic impacted the mental and physical health of small business owners?

  • Increased stress levels as owners are required to pivot and work out how to stay in business
  • Possible increases in anxiety as owners are concerned over the future of their business and the worry of the need to make staff redundant. This will be heightened as we approach the end of the Furlough scheme
  • Risks of burnout as owner are pushing themselves to save their business resulting in compromises to wellbeing and focus on the things required to stay well (sleep; exercise; hobbies; connections)
  • Diminished financial wellbeing as owners may have had to reduce income and are experiencing a level of stress around their financial future
  • An increase in musculoskeletal challenges as owners who are working remotely are moving less and who might be in a home office environment that is not set up for safe and comfortable working
  • The direct challenges of Covid itself and the impact of Long Covid (fatigue, headaches, ability to concentrate and many more)

What practical steps can small business owners take to improve their physical and mental health?

  1. Choose to prioritise physical and mental wellbeing in order to build resilience capacity.
  2. Focus on the pillar of wellbeing (Sleep; exercise; social connections; nutrition; stress management; sense of purpose; helping others; financial wellbeing) and identify where gains can be made.
  3. Start with some micro steps and make some small gains in relations to wellbeing.
  4. Don’t be afraid to speak out if you are struggling with your mental health right now. We all have mental health and we will all know what it is like to struggle as a result of the pandemic.
  5. Seek professional help from a doctor or trained mental health professional if you think you might be experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health challenge. It is not weak to seek help, it is a sign of strength.
  6. Bring a structure into the working day where you schedule gaps between meetings; some time to take lunch and a buffer between home and work time to replicate the commute
  7. Take holidays when you can. Even if they are short.
  8. If you are worrying about your business and have difficulty sleeping, write down your worries prior to bedtime and give yourself permission to pick them up again in the morning.
  9. Make sure you spend some time outside each day.
  10. Remember to have fun.

Are there any useful tools all small business owners can use to track their physical and mental health?

What are the warning signs small business owners should be aware of that their physical and mental health is deteriorating?

  • Increased irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decision making more challenging
  • Tasks feel more difficult
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Depleted energy levels
  • Lack of motivation and feeling low
  • Detachment in work and personal relationships
  • Reduced productivity and performance
  • An increased feeling of negativity or pessimism
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A greater susceptibility to illness
  • Lack of creativity

Has mass remote working had an impact (positive or negative) on the physical and mental health of small business employees?

What does the future of mental and physical health look like in a post-COVID-19 business environment?



Be more human.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store