Why self care is key in business - The Mind Map
By Ellis Toner

Why self care is key in business

Evidence shows that self-care should be a strategic and integral part of modern businesses.

Published 28/07/2021
Self-care is not just a fad or for the privileged few – it’s essential for your mental and physical health.

And it’s not just your personal life that a lack of self care can affect. It could make or break the success of your business.

Some fail to realise that self-care can be an intelligent and central part of modern businesses.

Research suggests that adding self-care and wellness programs for your employees, to your company operations, can improve productivity, teamwork, and innovation.

Business leaders and owners can include self-care principles in their business plans and strategies for both themselves and their employees – and is worth the effort.

Here’s why:

If you’re going to build a healthy thriving culture, it must to start at the top. Those who can, must shape the direction and structure of their companies to encourage wellness of both body and mind.

Business leaders across the world are now beginning to recognise the benefits of three major self-care rituals;




A report from McKinsey & Company relates the art and science of these self-care techniques on the body and brain in our plugged-in, fast-paced work culture.

If you implement these three things regularly into your life. And find you’re still struggling to feel your best, or cannot seem to find a healthy balance, it might help to get some support.

You can browse our accredited counsellors here.

For free help and support you can browse our journal here.

And our services finder here. 

To run or be a part of a company you must eat healthily, exercise, relax, and get plenty of sleep.

Numerous research studies show that sleep deprivation ravages cognitive abilities and emotional resilience.

In addition, a study from the University of California, demonstrates a close relationship between happiness and workplace success. For workplace success self care is key. They are all inextricably interlinked.

If you are a company looking to raise awareness of the importance of mental health in your workplace you can find our training courses here. 

Mounting evidence shows that mindful meditation practice decreases emotional stress and enables professionals to focus better on challenging tasks.

There are many other fact-based benefits to mindfulness including

– a boost to working memory

– mental flexibility

– relationship satisfaction

– morality

– self-awareness.

During a busy week, it’s easy to lose sight of self care as a priority.

However, it is important to stand back and examine your needs or your teams needs with emotional intelligence.

Considering improving group morale by inspiring stressed workers, mentoring, or encouraging them through feedback.

For yourself, consider meditation or meditation classes, gentle exercise, and connecting with others.

We are all busy but it is so important to include self – care in your routine if you want to succeed in business.

It’s no wonder that self-care is so closely linked to business success.

Your behaviour directly affects the people you work and communicate with every day.

It’s hard to communicate well if you’re not feeling well!

Self-care can improve your confidence, presentation skills, cognitive skills, and organisational skills.

As a result your business success can only increase.

When people sense you’re confident, healthy, and put together, you hold way more influence.

Highly educated employees – who are very capable of performing and learning – need to be engaged, happy, and healthy to live up to their full potential at work.

The 2017 Psychological Association’s Centre for Organisational Excellence survey found that

61% of workers experience chronic work-related stress.

The world’s leading companies are beginning to implement wellness programs that benefit both executives and workers – because they can clearly see the business benefits of this.

How can a company promote regular self-care strategies in the workplace?

Work/life balance:

Part of positive wellness is building a company with good work/life balance policies.

A positive work/life balance is a major component in social wellness

It increases positive social interactions both at work and home.

To encourage mental and physical wellness, companies can allow adequate time schedules for self-care practices like yoga, meditation classes, and gym memberships.

MHFA training can form part of a very successful holistic wellness agenda in a workplace.

MHFA training is evidence based and allows employees to be able to spot the signs of mental ill health in a colleague before a crisis happens.

View our courses here

Wellness programs only work when you create a culture that allows and encourages self-care as a priority.

Harvard Business Review notes that workplaces that prioritise the work/life balance in conjunction with wellness programs have seen profound results.

Professional research advises that frequent breaks from work, relaxation activities, and proper boundaries between work and home can reduce stress and increase employee engagement.

Many businesses could not only afford to, but would benefit from, offering flexible hours, work from home days, and in-house mentoring, this can include MHFA training, counselling, and peer support.

Company culture is one the biggest factors that promotes a healthy and happy work environment for employees.

The open office, for instance, can be a part of your business strategy.

Company cultures with open work spaces offer opportunities for more collaboration, recognition and support.

Employees report a 13% higher well-being score than those without collaborative and social company cultures.

Leaders should seek to engage teams through team-building practices and structured projects without hierachies.

These could then foster positive bonds between managers and their coworkers.

Parental/Sick Leave:

Allowing employees the necessary time to rest, or spend time with families is essential to both physical and mental health.

In-fact, paid sick leave increases job security by 25%.

In addition, paid parental leave can significantly boost worker morale and loyalty.

A Deloitte University survey shows that employers can attract up to 77% better talent by offering such policies.

Workplace Wellness Programs:

Many wellness programs offer gym memberships, but there are many other ways to promote wellness in the workplace.

Healthy meal or vending machine options gives employees the chance to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Implementing exercise and healthier food strategies can help boost workers’ productivity as-well..

In fact, according to The O.C. Tanner Institute 2015 Health and Well-Being Study:

Workers with poor well-being report that they’re only operating at 64% of their maximum output, making a strong case for office wellness programs.

These wellness programs promote self-care practices

They also build social, mental, and physical benefits.

These come through camaraderie amongst co-workers and loyalty to their company.

In a recent study, Yasin Rofcanin and Mireia Las Heras looked at how leadership behaviours can positively impact subordinates.

Their findings emphasised greatly the need for self-care

They found that employees who engaged in self-care responded better to leadership and performed better overall at work.

They also discussed some ways that organisations can create a working environment that encourages self-care.

This idea is especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic. People’s reserves are low and certain ‘self-care’ behaviours aren’t always possible now.

Self-care is not just about the things you do however.

It’s about loving who you are.

It’s about taking all aspects of your well-being seriously.

It’s about taking proactive steps to lead a happier life in all areas.

In research published in Journal of Business Research,

The role of “self-care” as a key factor in personal wellness was examined.

It was concluded that self-care is what employees need to thrive better both at work and at home.

How can different organisations emphasise the role of self-care?

Help their staff to include exercise and care of their physical well-being into the daily work routine.

This seems especially relevant in times of COVID-19. Many of us are not moving regularly. Access to normal physical outlets has been restricted.

Group exercise sessions could be supported or even initiated by companies.

Another bit of advice for managers and organisations is to invest in family activities and incentives

Scheduling and location flexibilities can also be taken on board as effective tools of managing elements of self – care.

Room for proactivity in work and leisure domains.

Employees will feel empowered and trusted if they can take control of how they do their work (as well as having time for leisure and family).

Offering HR incentives and tools to provide space for this will motivate and allow resources accumulated in the family domain (such as positivity, gratefulness and energy) to be transferred back to the workplace!

Burnout is a huge annual expense on businesses worldwide—a big reason to incorporate self-care into your  life and to encourage self-care among employees.

Self-care will not diminish productivity. In-fact, the opposite, self-care and productivity are complementary.

Some simple examples of self – care”

Taking a walk after work every day

Eating healthily

A good sleep routine

Good connections

Hobbies and interest


Turning off work notifications after work hours

Uninterrupted time with family and friends

Personal care allows you to respond to stress appropriately and build healthier relationships as-well.

This will positively affect many aspects your business.

Self care culture encourages higher levels of productivity and higher employee engagement.

What does self-care in work look like?

Encouraging your team to use their holiday time (and enjoy it)

Creating a culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance

A work culture of  healthy and open communication

Mental health benefits – without the stigma

When self-care suffers, how should I get back on track?

Acknowledge that it’s probably going to happen. That alone will make it less of a big deal.

For example, you may experience a stressful event–it might even be a positive one –and find your self-care lacking.

Here are some ideas for how to get it back:

Prioritise sleep; feeling well-rested improves coping skills

Identify  the most important things in your life and make time for them

Learn to say no; it’s easier to say no with tact and confidence when you are clear on your boundaries

Focus on one project at a time

Practice gratitude; the benefits are well known. It works.

Look for the good, find the humour in things. Laughter is a priceless tool to boost mood.

How do I prevent employees from using self-care as an excuse to lower productivity?

It’s important to remember that you hired your employees for a reason and most likely, they are responsible and honest.

Unless they give you a reason not to, why not trust them to use their time appropriately?

By trusting your employees you’ll avoid micromanagement.

You’ll gain the benefits of having employees who can be trusted, they will in turn be assets to the company

How will I know if our self-care initiatives and support systems are successful?

Self care will not solve your problems overnight, but over time you’ll see important benefits throughout the workplace:

Reduced absences

Employees taking initiative more

Better problem-solving and self-management

Company goals met – or exceeded!

Effective teamwork across all areas

Incorporating self-care into your company. 

If you have struggles with absences, employee apathy, or poor productivity, some of your solution may be found by implementing self-care strategies into your business.

Some critics argue that acts of self-care are “acts of privilege.”

However numerous industry professionals and researchers have highlighted the contrary opinion.

Mental health charity Mind asserts that “self-care techniques can effectively manage symptoms of many mental health problems”.

“Self-care is an essential, especially if you want to perform at your best in business

It’s an awareness of knowing when to take a break so you can keep business momentum, rather than breaking  down and burning out because you’ve pushed yourself too hard.

As a leader you need to be able to take care of your own mental health.

This is so you demonstrate to others the importance of it to all employees – but also maintain your own personal effectiveness.

Why self-care matters

Research published by Accenture in 2019 found that nine in 10 people are now affected by mental health issues

And, mental health is even more important and pressing in times of Covid-19.

The WHO acknowledged in March 2020 that the crisis is “generating greater levels of stress and anxiety”.

Mind’s head of information Stephen Buckley says:

“Coronavirus is causing stress and worry for many and had a devastating impact. If you already have a mental health problem, the worries of COVID may be worsening how you’re coping.”

According to Terry Streather, director of Oakwood Training, who has been helping bosses protect the mental health of their staff during Covid-19: “Understanding how to practise self-care and putting this into action has never been so important.”

Multidimensional self-care is important to incorporate as an essential leadership practice.

It facilitates a culture of resilience and well-being.

When leaders and managers are role modelling holistic self-care, they’re facilitating healthy workplaces – where people can thrive and flourish.

Leadership starts with how you lead your own life.

Self-care is integral to how you lead. It helps you function most effectively.

Here are six reasons self-care is integral to better leadership:

1. Self-care can help you think more clearly.

Enormous stress and pressure comes in the workplace.

Over time, if not managed, it can negatively impact perspective and decision-making. Self-care builds and facilitates healthy ways of coping with the effects of stress.

2. Multidimensional self-care can help you reflect and identify what’s most important to you.

It will help you identify where to set healthy boundaries and manage expectations.

3. Self-care can help you reach more goals as a leader.

You can accentuate your leadership skills, improve your emotional intelligence, your effectiveness and your overall productivity

You can consistently achieve top performance when you regularly refresh yourself through acts of self-care.

4. Self-care can help you be more confident.

Part of self-care practice is how you value and how you treat yourself.

Being self-compassionate when you’re having a bad time, when you’ve made a mistake or when expectations weren’t met.

5. Self-care in the form of practicing gratitude helps you to be happier, because you gain perspective.

It leads to you being more accepting of yourself and others.

With a better mindset, you’ll also be more resilient when faced with hardship or difficulty or even a work life or business crisis.

6. By demonstrating self care for others in your organisation, you’re helping them see that they have permission to take care of themselves, too. This could be life changing for many!

Overall, self-care is an even more difficult concept to practice for women, people of colour and those who are LGBT+

This is because of pre-existing social constructs.

For example, how these groups are traditionally judged in the workplace – against their heterosexual white male counterparts.

An unspoken understanding exists that traditionally marginalised individuals must outwork — meaning they must work twice as hard or more to be viewed as good enough or as equal.

Although multidimensional self-care is essential for everyone to practice, it’s especially important for those who’ve been traditionally marginalised.

This is because it also embodies self-respect, self-responsibility and a commitment to self-preservation. A desire to be healthy and well, but also to ensure a firm and consistent sense of well-being.

It’s time to change the belief of overwork as being a badge of honour.

Self-care facilitates the capacity for top performance.

The new badge of honour is in caring for ourselves. In this way we can better care for others.

Show others that it’s okay to put yourself first.

It’s a leader’s job to care and look out for others and develop them to be their best.

It’s time to take that seriously.

Self- care inspires and improves people personally and professionally.

For any modern business implementing self – care into the strategy and into the lives of the workforce is undoubtedly a key factor in business success.

This is demonstrated by the biggest companies in the world who place self care high up their priority list and boast high productivity, high staff satisfaction, low staff turnover, and massive profits.

Ultimately, when self-care is involved, everybody benefits.