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A personal trainer for your mind - Ed’s letter

As I write this, news of a new variant has seen shares in travel companies fall down to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic and across the hospitality sector, the need for mental health support has never been more pressing.

At HOSPA, we were lucky enough to have psychotherapist, founder at How to Be and best-selling author Daniel Fryer speaking on How To Handle Executive Stress at HOSPACE. It's not, he said “that executive stress is extra special, or that you've earned it, it just recognises that they relate to your management level”.

He told delegates: “We all have weaknesses, we have problems. In business we bring them out into open and strategise them. If you're into fitness you go to a personal trainer. I'm just a personal trainer for your mind. Effective resilience and mental techniques are needed to deal with what has been a challenging two years.”

Key to addressing the issues was, he said, not to try and ignore them but to look not only at the issues, but at your response, adding: “Even in the face of the negative, you can regain control by looking at what it is you're telling yourself. Nothing can drive you to doughnuts, it's your interpretation.”

While we were all sitting and thinking of doughnuts, Fryer raised a point which took this hack by surprise and should cause everyone with an interest in the cost of their team - which is everyone reading this - to take him seriously. Presenteeism - where people drag themselves into work when they shouldn’t - is 1.5 times more costly to businesses than absenteeism is.

The working world has seen mental health as something on the sidelines, something which is not a central concern, for too long. If one doesn’t see the benefit of having happy, healthy staff - particularly in a customer-facing sector - everyone can see the benefit to their bottom line.


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