Business

Friday Fix: The State of Entrepreneurs’ Mental Health

mental health

Friday Fix is a weekly feature of all the things you should know before heading into the weekend.

Business

A look at the Mental Health and Well-Being of Entrepreneurs

A newly released report by BDC found that almost 40 percent of business owners feel depressed at least once a week.

The Canadian Entrepreneur Mental Health and Well-Being Report, aims to get a better understanding of how Canadian business owners are feeling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year, BDC made a commitment to raise awareness about the mental health and well-being of entrepreneurs, in addition to the health of their business,” said Annie Marsolais, Chief Marketing Officer and Mental Health Advocate at BDC via press release. “By examining this topic and collaborating with experts and partners we can help break the stigma associated with mental health issues, ensure business owners feel more at ease discussing it, and know where to turn for help.”

While 64 percent of respondents felt positive about how they are coping during the pandemic, 29 percent said it varies from day to day, and seven percent said they felt overwhelmed the majority of the time. Within the findings, sub-groups, including entrepreneurs who are women, immigrants, visible minorities and between the ages of 45 to 55, consistently reported more mental health challenges.

According to the report, financial reasons, such as a potential economic recession and cash flow, were the most likely sources of stress for entrepreneurs. And just over half of the respondents said that maintaining a better work/life balance would help improve their mental health.

BDC acknowledged that information found had some mixed messaging: Although 64 percent of business owners felt positive, the same amount of respondents (64 percent) said they felt tired, low or had little energy at least once a week. The latter prompted worry from a panel of experts consulted for the report.

“The fact that 64% of respondents feel tired, low or have little energy is worrisome and should be addressed”, said Dr. Joaquin Poundja, Psychologist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute within the report. “It is important to keep in mind that being more anxious at times or having mild ups and downs is a normal reaction during a pandemic, but it can be problematic when we become self-critical or judgmental. Working on better accepting these reactions and on increasing kindness towards oneself is important to better cope with normal emotional reactions in the current pandemic.”

In the hopes of helping entrepreneurs improve their mental health, the report offers tips to help struggling business owners prevent burnout:

  1. Take advantage of your innate resilience
  2. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help
  3. Manage your expectation
  4. Try to delegate
  5. Watch for these five warning signs
    1. Changes in normal sleeping patterns
    2. Increased alcohol or drug consumption
    3. Withdrawal from relationships and reduced sociability
    4. Difficulties in daily functioning
    5. Rumination about how things could go wrong that start to impact your work

Five hundred business owners responded to the Canadian Entrepreneur Mental Health and Well-Being Report survey commissioned by BDC between Aug. 20, 2020 to Sept. 1, 2020. Read the full report here

Fashion

The Canada Goose store located in Yorkdale Shopping Centre just got a major upgrade.

Just in time for winter, the newly expanded store allows you to test outerwear in a Cold Room (featuring real snow!) that drops to temperatures as low as -25°C. In addition, you can find a brand new 15-foot Story Tree, by Inuk Artist, Qavavau Manumie and Toronto artist, Alex Fisher, in the middle of the store.

The sculptural artwork represents a meeting place where North and South come together to tell the story of harmonizations between nature, humans, animals and plant life. The showcase piece features audio sounds that transports guests outdoors with sounds from all four seasons.

In addition to the physical upgrades, starting on Nov. 16, 2020, the Yorkdale Shopping Centre Canada Goose location will be the first store to offer product personalization. There are seven design options that can be applied to almost 60 items, including a monogram, coordinates and “Made in Canada.” Once available, you can book an appointment for in-store personalization online.

RELATED: 6 Canadian brands to keep you warm this winter

Food

Celebrate National Pickle Day (November 14) by pickling your own vegetables!

In anticipation of the day, Matt Larochelle and Steve McVicker, co-founders of Matt and Steve’s, shared their tips and tricks on how to best pickle.

  1. You can’t make a good pickle from a bad vegetable, Start with quality.
  2. Vinegar does matter, you will need a min 5% Acetic Acid.
  3. Safety first. Wear gloves and eye protection. You’re working with boiling liquid at around 212 F and a pH of 2-3, be careful.
  4. Most people think salt is for taste, which is true, but it also acts as a natural preservative and firming agent. If you want crunch don’t forget about the salt!
  5. Have some fun with the flavour, turn up the taste with fresh herbs and spices.
  6. The Long and Short of It: Time and Temperature are important parts of pickling, if you don’t leave your jars in the boiling water long enough you might not kill all the bacteria decreasing your shelf life, however if you leave it in too long you could over cook and soften your pickling. Every Vegetable is a little different but if you are going to error, error on the side for too long with more heat. We’d rather have a softer pickle than a rotten one. 

Larochelle and McVicker were searching for the perfect garnish for a Caesar, when they dabbled into pickling vegetables. Matt and Steve’s now have a cult following for their delicious garnishes, and also recently released their own ready-to-drink Caesar

As a pickling master himself, McVicker, says that pickling helps turn something ordinary into extraordinary.

“Pickling vegetables is a fun and delicious activity. When pickling fresh vegetables, you’re taking something plain and turning it into a new snack to be enjoyed on its own, as a garnish or in a simple appetizer recipe,” said McVicker. “Throw in some extra spices and turn up the taste!”

Get your taste buds tingling this weekend in honour of the occasion.

Need to Know

How Canadians are Spending During 2020

A new survey commissioned by Scotiabank looks into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way Canadians think about and handle their personal finances.

Of the 1500 respondents, since the pandemic began, more than half (53 percent) have made saving for an emergency a priority and 79 percent reported being cautious with their spending habits. 

While the pandemic has caused havoc amongst businesses, big and small, the lockdown measures that vary throughout the country have resulted in 25 percent of Canadians saving money due to reduced spending habits in areas like dining out, entertainment and commuting.

“The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their personal finances and short-term priorities, shifting how they manage their money and planning for whatever uncertainties lay ahead,” said D’Arcy McDonald, SVP, Deposits, Investments, & Payments at Scotiabank via press release. “Not only are Canadians making savings a priority, but with different spending patterns created by the pandemic, many are seeing their savings grow even faster.”

Given the upcoming holiday season—a time when spending habits tend to rise—money is on many Canadians minds. The vast majority of respondent (88 percent) believe the holidays will be different this year, although the response on whether speeding habits will change is mixed: 56 percent of Canadians plan on pulling back on spending due to new financial priorities brought on by the pandemic, while 30 percent of respondents plan to spend more than usual thanks to saving extra money throughout quarantine.

As financials seem to be a topic on every Canadian’s mind, Scotiabank is holding a virtual panel to answer frequently asked questions they received throughout the pandemic. The event takes place on Nov. 24, 2020. Register to attend here. Read more about the findings of the survey here.