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The importance of Mental Health for Childcare Owners

How Childcare Owners can recognize signs of mental health issues in themselves

For many Childcare Owners, 2020 was likely the year stress and anxiety played a significant role in performance.

Some signs of mental health issues include feelings of fatigue, irritability, worry, isolation or rumination (continuously thinking about the same negative thoughts). Sudden changes in mood, sleep problems, substance abuse, changes in weight or appetite or withdrawing from normal life activities are also signs that should call your attention. If you experience any of the above consistently beyond two weeks, it may be time to proactively seek support.

Key components of a healthy routine for mental well-being

Self-care habits are absolutely vital for the CHILDCARE OWNER’s mental health and overall well-being. Take any of the following practices for a fresh daily wellness routine.

1. Exercise

This does not necessarily mean a gym membership — feel good about doing a simple thirty-minute run or walk each day.

2. Mindfulness

Staying focused on the present moment is the first step of a mindfulness practice. Become aware of your reactions to stressful situations, and don’t fall prey to rumination and daydreaming. Mind wandering? Take three to five deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.

3. Visualization

During the morning run/walk, visualize the plan for your day; see and feel the outcomes you want.

4. Meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool to start the day. All you need is 10 minutes in a quiet, uninterrupted environment. Use guided meditation apps such as breethe and calm to get started.

5. Nutrition

Inventory your eating habits. A cup of coffee for breakfast, a burrito for lunch, and then a 16-ounce ribeye for dinner does not form a nutritious diet. Consume three balanced and timely meals a day, balancing carbs, sugar and proteins.

6. Replenish

Replace those numerous cups of coffee with water. After all, as humans, we are 90% water. Replenishment is necessary to keep optimum energy levels.

7. Gratitude

Studies have shown expressing gratitude for those you love and admire is a powerful activity to trigger positive neurotransmitters.

8. Self-Compassion

Don’t be so hard on yourself; you’re doing the best you can. Do something for yourself daily.

9. Relationships

Don’t suffer fools. Spend time with those who stimulate, challenge and inspire you. And tell your partner you love them.

10. Journal

Writing down your thoughts and emotions can help you process difficult events, release yourself from thinking traps, and increase your self-awareness. By simply putting your thoughts onto paper, you are externalizing emotions — that alone may help you to feel lighter. I’d suggest utilizing a tool such as the 5 -Second Journal as it incorporates both mental well-being and daily leadership business routines.

My favorite practices include gratitude, exercise and meditation. Discover which of the above you will enjoy most.

It is a truism that the mental wellness of the organization is a reflection of the mental wellness of the CHILDCARE OWNER. Take the time to nurture a mentally stronger you, and see the positive effects of that effort trickle out to your leadership team and your employees.

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