The Importance of Mental Well-Being
Oscar-award winning actors Leonardo DiCaprio and the late Robin Williams. Two of the most decorated Olympians of all time, Simone Biles and Michael Phelps. Tennis sensation Naomi Osaka. What do all the people on this list have in common? Each was forced to retreat from their everyday lives to deal with an issue that’s often too taboo to discuss in most circles, especially when you’re performing at the highest level of any profession: mental well-being.
Biles, for example, has more Olympic medals than any gymnast in history, but during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, she was struck by a case of the “twisties,” a dangerous phenomenon where gymnasts lose awareness of where they are mid-air. It was so serious, in fact, that Biles voluntarily pulled herself from the team finals, and at times during her recovery couldn’t complete a simple backflip without triggering a full-on panic attack. Imagine that for a second. One of the most accomplished athletes of our time at the height of her profession, and she was terrified of attempting a flip.
I applaud their bravery for addressing an issue that has been swept under the rug for far too long, and it didn’t surprise me a bit when people across the globe characterized these individuals as weak and lacking the “it” factor to surpass those barriers without having to go public.
But how many of us drive to work every day with a knot in our stomachs, fearful of what stresses or triggers the day might bring? There are many who are shy to discuss their own struggles, even though it’s affecting their businesses, marriages, family relationships, and physical health.
Recently, as more individuals are willing to shine a light on the devastating toll stress can take on all of us, the decades of misinformation around it are starting to crumble. And this is no greater illustrated than in the collision repair industry. We are at a time where workloads have been the highest in recent memory, and the balance between maintaining your shop and ensuring a normal life balance are more blurred than ever. It’s the topic of this month’s feature story (pg. 38), and it’s an eye-opening read about our industry and how much pressure shop owners and their employees put on themselves, even to the detriment of their overall well-being.
After reading the article, I highly recommend taking a close look in the mirror and being honest with yourself about whether you’re managing your stress correctly, or if you’re headed down a more treacherous path. And what about your employees? Are you helping or hindering them in maintaining that all-important work/life balance? Too many people continue to ignore their own mental well-being because it can be easily hidden from others. But like any other health issue, the sooner you address it the better the chance you have of not letting it control you.