How to look after your mental health in construction

The record is poor with mental health in construction. Tragically, an average of two workers in the sector take their lives every single day in the UK. Data from the Office for National Statistics covering England and Wales shows that workers in construction are now nearly four times more likely to take their own lives than in other sectors.

The building industry needs to look after its builders, it’s as simple as that. There are several factors which might play a contributing role to the decline in someone’s mental health: working away from home, heavy workloads, long working hours, late payments, and job insecurity – these are just some of them. Poor management practices and a lack of understanding can also contribute to the problem. We must recognise that the triggers for mental illness are always unique to the individual person.

With that being said, here are seven key areas to focus on which could benefit business owners and employees’ mental health in construction:


TOP TIP ONE: Look after your wellbeing

There are several things you can do to aid your own overall wellbeing. Start by thinking of ‘self care’: This can be anything that you find relaxing… It might be catching-up with a mate, perfecting your golf swing, or a session at the gym. Any activity that helps you to relax can be considered as self-care. By taking care of yourself, you can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental wellbeing.


TOP TIP TWO: Eat and drink healthily

It’s also important to have good nutrition. This includes having a healthy diet, avoiding excess, and making sure you’re eating enough healthy food. Drinks such as alcohol, caffeine and those which are high in sugar can sometimes lead to undesired effects – particularly when consumed in excessive amounts.


TOP TIP THREE: Exercise regularly

Exercise is another key part of looking after your wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be anything too strenuous either; ‘little and often’ is usually the best way. Whether you favour playing sports, jogging, the gym or any other activity, they are all worth doing at least two times per week, if possible. And if nothing else, why not go for a walk, which is often easy to combine with chatting to a friend or family at the same time!


TOP TIP FOUR: Rest properly

As well as keeping yourself active, it’s also recommended to rest properly, too. Resting and recharging – especially if you’ve had a hard day on site – is proven to keep mental exhaustion at bay. Resting your mind will also help you be more innovative and organised with the running of your business as well, as you’ll have the head-space to gain perspective and think clearly.


TOP TIP FIVE: Set and keep to boundaries

You can avoid overworking yourself by setting boundaries for working hours, breaks, and taking work home with you. By doing any of these you will maintain a healthy work-life balance and reduce stress and anxiety. Positive mental health of business owners requires the setting of – and sticking to – boundaries to ensure a good work-life balance. By their very nature, business owners are regularly tempted to put work first, even if it means working unreasonable long hours. However, the setting of boundaries should help prevent the feeling of your business starting to dominate your life.


TOP TIP SIX: Seek support if needed and communicate

Unfortunately, anxiety and business ownership often go hand-in-hand. Any anxieties often get compounded if small business owners try to run their businesses completely by themselves, shutting themselves off from others and rejecting any assistance. But remember, you are not alone! Try to seek support from friends, family, or other business owners whenever it’s needed.


TOP TIP SEVEN: Speak to a professional

There are many mental health professionals who specialise in working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Consider working with a mental health professional whenever it is needed. The guidance and support they can provide might be invaluable to helping with anything which is on your mind – no matter how big or small. They can offer support which is tailored to help you tackle the specific challenges of running a business. Also, you can understand valuable coping mechanisms that you can pass on to your team.


One way of easing the stresses of your business…

Look, what we’re NOT saying is our estimating service is a silver bullet for your mental health – it’s clearly not as simple as that! But what HBXL’s estimating service can help you with is the completion of an important task, which you would no longer need to find extra hours in the day to do yourself! Our estimators provide in-depth building industry knowledge and expertise, completed with an exceptionally high level of detail and accuracy.

The most important part, however, is that you get some time back to yourself. Whether you choose to use that time looking after your wellbeing in some way, having a chat with a friend or professional about your mental health, or even just having a bit of down time, one thing’s for sure… carrying out estimating in the evenings or weekends isn’t much fun!

We’ve helped so many customers with their estimating needs over the years. Customers like Phil Angus, who was pleased to say, “They’ve hit my project deadline every time and have given plenty of support with my estimate once delivered.” Our estimating service has an outstanding track record with customer satisfaction, with 97% strongly recommending us. That’s proof that we offer our customers a service which is worth investing in, regardless of the reasons why it helps you. Just like Phil and so many other satisfied customers, give HBXL’s Estimating Service a chance to make your life that little bit easier. There’s no commitment to go ahead when you call, so speak to one of our team today on 0117 916 7894. Or if you’re ready, you can upload your full set of plans to our plans uploader on the website. We’re looking forward to helping you as much as possible.