66 SELF-CARE SUPPORT With so much uncertainty abounding the world, it’s likely our mental health will suffer. Here, the FSB gives its top tips on how to alleviate your worries With 24-hour news feeds and social media talking about the coronavirus and the steps we need to take to protect ourselves and others, it can be easy to forget that your mental health is just as important as your physical. We have seven tips to help you check in with yourself. With the government advising against all but essential contact, it’s now more important than ever to check in with our mental health. As a small business owner, there’s lots to think about, and the uncertainty can have an impact on your wellbeing. Whether you’re self-employed or in charge of a team, you’re not expected to be an expert in mental health. Here’s some guidance on what you can do to look after your mind, and who you can contact for help. Facts minimise fears It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of news. Take breaks if it’s affecting you, including from social media platforms. Remember to be mindful of the information that you share. Get factual information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and local authorities. Stay connected If you’re self-isolating, working from home or changing business practices, it can be challenging to adapt to a new routine. Try and stay connected through social media, video calls or virtual coffee mornings. Sharing positive experiences can help your mental wellbeing. Take time out Make time for hobbies you enjoy – it can help you to relax and take your mind off things. Learning a new skill, like cooking or drawing, can build confidence. Try to keep a regular routine as much as possible. Don’t forget physical health Taking care of our physical health can help how we feel. Stay well rested, eat balanced meals and keep active as much as possible. If you feel able to, activities like stretching, yoga or meditating can help relieve stress. Support others Stay connected with your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours, and let them know you’re there. Even a simple text can go a long way, especially if they are self-isolating. Many small businesses are like families, so building these support networks can make a big difference for your staff. Talk to children If you’re a parent, or know someone who is, it’s important to look out for children’s mental health and wellbeing too. Talk to them and answer their questions without alarming them. You can help children to express their feelings in positive ways, like being creative. Reach out If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s important to talk to someone you trust, like a partner, friend, relative or colleague. You can also talk to a professional if you feel you need help. The organisations below can offer help, advice and support if you need it. ABOUT FSB As the UK’s business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed. FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. Yo u can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.