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In discussions surrounding mental health in the workplace, the spotlight often falls on employees, with a call for managers, leaders, and business owners to vigilantly address signs of distress and prioritise their teams’ well-being. However, a critical aspect that deserves equal attention is the mental health of leaders themselves. As they navigate the complexities of the business world, it becomes imperative for leaders to ensure their mental well-being remains steadfast and clear, enabling them to tackle challenges without succumbing to fatigue, anxiety, or depression.  

Just as leaders champion their teams, it is equally vital for them to champion their own mental wellness on this demanding journey. Let’s explore the signs to look out for and what you can do about it. 

Recognising the Signs 

Leadership comes with its exhilarating highs and daunting lows, but sometimes the lows can take a toll that’s hard to notice amidst the whirlwind. Here are some telltale signs from Mindful Leader that your mental well-being might be waving a distress signal: 

  • Behavioural Signs:  Amidst the complexities of leadership, it’s essential to stay attuned to your well-being. Sudden shifts in behaviour or mood, neglecting personal hygiene, resorting to substances like alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms, and disruptions in sleep and eating patterns are all vital indicators that your mental health might be sounding an alarm. Recognising these signals and taking proactive steps to address them can be crucial in maintaining your equilibrium as a leader. 
  • Emotional Signs: Maintaining mental well-being as a leader requires vigilance. Pay heed to persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, unwarranted worry, fear, or guilt, sudden mood swings or unexplained anger, and a sense of disconnection from reality. These emotional cues can offer valuable insights into your mental state, guiding you towards necessary actions for a balanced and effective leadership journey. 

  • Physical Signs: Keep an eye out for signs, such as chronic fatigue or persistent low energy levels, puzzling physical discomforts like headaches or digestive issues, noticeable fluctuations in weight, and disruptions in sleep patterns – whether sleeping excessively or struggling with insomnia. These physical indicators can often be reflections of your mental well-being, urging you to prioritise self-care and maintain a harmonious balance in your leadership journey. 
  • Cognitive Signs: Such as difficulties in concentrating or recalling information, perplexing thought patterns, struggles with managing daily stressors, and any instances of delusions or hallucinations.  

These signs can assist you in addressing underlying issues, allowing you to tackle them and gain a deeper understanding for the future. 

How to Maintain Your Mental Well-being? 

Leadership is not a sprint but rather a marathon, where enduring success hinges on maintaining your mental stamina. Just as any endurance race requires consistent effort, preserving your mental well-being mandates unwavering self-care. While prioritising your team’s well-being is commendable, it’s equally vital to place yourself at the top of the list – both your physical and mental health deserve attention. 

This isn’t about neglecting your staff; quite the contrary. By fortifying your mental and physical well-being, you enhance your capacity to lead and manage your team effectively. This isn’t a one-sided demand – it resonates with employers and employees alike, as a thriving leader fosters a thriving workforce. 

Here’s some tips on how you can maintain your mental well-being: 

  • Practice Emotional Awareness and Openness 

Acknowledge the undeniable truth that your emotions, as a leader, possess an amplified impact on those around you, whether you’re aware of it or not. Happier Method suggests that you should initiate emotional awareness: Start by checking in with yourself, posing questions such as “How am I feeling? What is my energy like?” This introspective practice lays the foundation for understanding your emotional state, allowing you to navigate your leadership role with heightened insight and authenticity. 

  • Make Healthy Choices 

To keep your mental health in good shape, you also need to make healthy choices when you are choosing what to eat and drink. As well as making a positive contribution to your physical fitness – and therefore boosting your mental health – eating healthily means your body is getting more of the right nutrients.  

  • Celebrate the Small Wins 

Don’t overlook the small victories you achieve. While the big goal at the top matters, these smaller successes are vital steps in your journey toward that pinnacle. Embrace them as they reflect progress, fuel motivation, and pave the way for your ultimate goal.  

  • Practise Compassion 

Leaders often hold themselves to high standards, but it’s crucial to remember that kindness should begin with you. If a plan doesn’t unfold as expected, it’s not the apocalypse. Self-criticism only fuels unnecessary worry, so be gentle with yourself, embrace imperfections, and allow room for growth. 

  • Take A Break 

Walk the talk – just as you emphasise breaks to your team, embrace them yourself. Pause, recharge, and return with renewed vigour. Prioritising your well-being as a leader fuels your effectiveness and leadership prowess. 

In this journey of sustaining mental well-being, leaders do more than merely lead; they set an example. This resonates not only within their immediate realm but also ripples through their workforce and organisations at large. A harmonious blend of compassionate leadership, self-care, and unwavering resilience paints the portrait of a leader whose prowess is as much a reflection of their mental well-being as it is a testament to their skills. 



  1. Happier Method. 10 Practical Science-Backed Ways Leaders Can Support Their Employees’ Mental Health During Challenges 
  1. Recruiter E4S (2022). How Managers Can Manage Their Own Mental Health 



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Neo Webb

Dip Media Practices Content Writer | Regenesys Business School

Author Neo Webb

Dip Media Practices Content Writer | Regenesys Business School

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