How can CEOs can improve their mental health at work

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Improve mental health at work by communicating with colleagues: a female CEO is smiling while talking to two female employees while holding an iPad.

What CEOs can do to improve their mental health at work

The mental health and well-being of CEOs is, I think, a bigger risk now than it’s ever been

Marina Go, former head of Hearst Australia

Irrespective of the size of a business, being a CEO and running a business comes with its fair share of stresses, not least the emotional and mental strain of responding to the pandemic, the great resignation, and rising interest rates. 

Responding to these stresses is one reason business owners and CEOs can suffer from burnout after a short period of time. Whether a small business owner or a CEO of a large company, you need to look for ways to ease the stress and strain of running a modern company, which isn't easy given the stigma surrounding mental health.

There is no escaping the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness. All too commonly, acknowledging the importance of mental health or that you, as a leader, may need help is still perceived by some people as a sign of weakness. 

However, the best business owners and CEOs recognize that improving their mental health at work and maximizing their mental sharpness is essential to the success of their companies.

When running a business, you have a lot to consider, but ignoring your personal well-being is one of the modern CEOs' biggest mistakes. A healthy mind is essential for success in business and being the healthiest and most well-rounded version of yourself. These are some of the key ideas business owners, and CEOs can use to look after their mental health in 2022 and beyond.

Four things CEOs can do to improve their mental health at work

Separating work from home life will improve mental health at work

Research has shown that if people cannot disconnect from work and recuperate, it leads to burnout, higher turnover, more deviant behavior, lower productivity, and other undesirable outcomes.

Lehigh University

One of the biggest problems modern business owners and CEOs face is the ability to switch off the stress of work when they leave the office. This leads to too many instances of business owners and CEOs taking their work home with them and spending their entire lives working. 

If you want to ease the burden on your mental well-being, it is essential that you take steps to separate work and home life as much as you can. This is a long process that might take time to gradually iron out, but it is a crucial part of your professional well-being. 

We know that improving mental health at work by segregating it from your home and personal life is easier said than done. We know you can't simply shove those thoughts out of your mind, but you can adopt several deliberate strategies to make it easier.

 These include:

  • Removing the expectation of dealing with emails outside of work hours. Set the standard by not sending or responding to employees' emails outside of work hours.
  • Set clear, visible, hard deadlines for when your workday ends. We know that there will be times you need to work long hours, but this should be the exception, not the norm.
  • If you are not working from home, take advantage of your commute home to clear the mental clutter of the day and destress.
  • Before you leave work, write down tomorrow’s to-do list. This is a proven method of reducing the anticipatory stress of pending work.
  • This one is obvious. Do not take work home with you (and if you do, it is the exception, not the norm).
  • Unless it is an emergency, or planned call to account for time zone differences, do not answer work phone calls at home.

Sharing the work load to improve mental health at work

Business owners and CEOs looking to ease the burden and stress on themselves should be looking to share the load where possible. Now, there are a number of avenues open to you if this is something you would like to explore, and outsourcing is one of the most effective. 

For instance, hiring a marketing agency to take charge of all your company's marketing strategies is one of the best ways to keep your business at the top without draining all of your time and energy. Something else you might consider is taking on a business partner; of course, this will depend upon the nature of your business, but it is a highly effective strategy for easing mental stress and strain. 

If you want to improve mental health at work talk about your issues

There has long been a stigma about discussing your issues and problems in the work environment. However, this is one of the most effective ways of being able to improve your mental health in the workplace. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must talk about personal issues at work, although the option is there should you wish to, and managers can do a lot to help employee mental health. Sometimes it is the case that talking about work-related stress, strains, and gripes can greatly improve your overall health, happiness, and productivity in the workplace.

The benefits of asking for help and asking your employees if you can help them help create human connections that enable a safe space for difficult conversations. Having that difficult or awkward conversation can be especially favorable for dealing with and responding to crises in the workplace, recovering from loss, and helping employees and yourself bounce back from mistakes.

Building this safe space as a CEO and becoming comfortable with sharing can develop workplace loyalty and help you form deeper connections with your team. With this, you create a safe space where people - and you - feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work.

Practicing healthy habits at home

After completing a Christian drug rehab program, the best way to maintain sobriety is to practice healthy habits at home. Being diligent about attending support groups and other aftercare programs can be beneficial in helping to stay sober long-term. Additionally, setting goals and rewarding yourself for meeting them can help you stay motivated and on track with your recovery journey. Developing a regular exercise routine, eating nutritious meals, and finding engaging hobbies or activities that don’t involve drug use are also important components of maintaining sobriety after drug rehabilitation. Finally, it’s essential to develop healthy relationships with family members, friends, and community members who can offer support along the way. With these strategies in place, former drug users have an increased chance of attaining and sustaining long-term sobriety after drug rehab.

Getting a better grip on your business and improving mental health at work can be so rewarding. There are plenty of opportunities you can use to help you achieve this, and making sure you focus on improving mental health is key.

Article by
Jessica White

Jessica White, author of "How can business owners improve their mental health at work," has an MBA in Human Resource Management. For a long time she wrote a successful personal mental health blog on Blogger, as well as establishing and managing a successful e-commerce store for over ten years.


If you want to improve mental health at work you need be able talk about your stresses with your colleagues and employees. | ©Drazen / Adobe Stock