Letter to my younger self: you’ll cry with pride

Stuart Macdonald, founder of ManíLife peanut butter, got through a bout of depression to fulfil a dream

Dear Stu,

I’m writing to you from one of the many cafes that will become your office 10 years from now. That bubbling discomfort you’re feeling at 15 still persists.

Related: Letter to my younger self: you never want to become the bully

It’s time to stop pretending to be an accountant. You make a rubbish accountant.

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How to be resilient: ‘self-awareness is fundamental’

Practise mindfulness, join support groups and take time away from technology were some of the tips from the experts in our live chat

Entrepreneurs must be able to bounce back from disappointment. It’s a career choice rife with rejection: failure to secure a bank loan, missing out on investment and poor sales are just some of the potential hurdles you can face.

But, for many, resilience is a learning process. So how can you develop this trait? In our live Q&A on how to build resilience, our expert panel discussed strategies for managing stress, building a support network and improving work-life balance.

Related: Ask the experts: how to build your resilience – as it happened

Related: Reeling from a failure? Perhaps an attitude change could help

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Ask the experts: how to build your resilience

Join us from 1.00pm to 2.00pm on Wednesday 31 May BST to talk to our panel about how to adapt and recover from adversity as an entrepreneur

How to join in the discussion
Make sure you are a registered user of the Guardian (if not, it’s quick to register) and join us in the comments section below on 31 May.

Do you easily adapt to stressful situations? Are you quick to recover from failure? The more confidently, and honestly, you can answer yes to these questions, the more likely you are to be resilient.

It’s a trait valuable to business owners, whose careers can be rife with knock backs. Indeed, four in 10 businesses cease trading in their first five years, according to an analysis of Office for National Statistics data by Ormsby Street.

Submit a question
You can post questions in the comments section below during the chat. Or you can send questions in advance, or during the discussion, by emailing smallbusinessnetwork@theguardian.com or by tweeting us at @GdnSmallBiz with your question. You can also post questions in the comments section at any time before the chat and the panel will take a look when it begins.

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‘Late payments took me to a frightening place’

Late payments are estimated to cost the UK economy £2.5bn a year and a new study reveals the impact they have on the health of entrepreneurs

Holly Jade O’Leary was working as a consultant for a startup when the stress of not being paid for more than four months culminated in what she describes as a “complete mental health breakdown”.

“It took me to a frightening place. I was hallucinating, hearing voices and unable to sleep or concentrate,” she says, adding that she didn’t feel like she could tell anyone. “When you’re a small business, you’re passionate about your work and what you’re creating … you don’t want to make it publicly known that you’re struggling, or that you’ve made a mistake choosing someone to work with who wasn’t trustworthy.”

I’d been working for years to save up enough to buy a house and had to put that in to cover cashflow

Related: Late payment dispute is ruining my health and crucifying cash flow

Related: Small business minister: late payments are an outrage

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How to manage stress and prevent burnout

Entrepreneur Victoria Walford overcame PTSD and now helps other professionals avoid burnout. She shares her stress-busting tips

A cycling accident 11 years ago left me with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I suffered flashbacks to my accident at work and at home. With the help of psychological treatment, I learned how to manage my condition and went on to launch my own bakery business.

We can start learning how to deal with stress by understanding the situations that act as emotional triggers for us. Emotional triggers affect us all. Yours could be a comment directed at you or a situation you find yourself in that wouldn’t particularly bother another person, but that has the potential to upset you for the rest of the day.

Related: Battling end-of-year burnout? Bring some hygge to work

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Virgin Money chief: ‘I have battled with mental health all my life’

Jayne-Anne Gadhia meant to tell just the Virgin Money story in her autobiography and not reveal her struggles with depression, but now proceeds of her book are going to the charity Heads Together

When Jayne-Anne Gadhia was once turned down for a promotion, her boss provided two reasons for his decision: she lacked a thick skin and the ability to bullshit. Twenty five years on – and after making it to the top of the banking sector to become chief executive of Virgin Money – Gadhia reckons she still doesn’t possess either of those characteristics.

Rather than growing a thick skin, Gadhia sticks her fingers in her ears to illustrate her own “la la la” approach to put-downs. And she insists her motto of “ebo” (wanting to make everyone better off) is not nonsense.

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On mental health, the royal family is doing more than our government | William Davies

There is no greater indictment of British society than soaring rates of mental distress in children. No wonder politicians cling to a simplistic ‘illness’ model

The public profile of mental health experienced another boost this week, thanks to some moving comments made by Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge about the impact of their mother’s death, nearly 20 years ago. The two royals are working for the Heads Together campaign, which seeks to combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and to encourage people to speak more openly about their difficulties.

Harry’s admission that he had ignored his own emotional distress for several years before eventually having counselling was a valuable contribution, from a figure more commonly associated with laddish machismo. William’s focus on male suicide statistics was also a good use of his celebrity.

There is no more damning indictment on British society in 2017 than the prevalence of mental distress among children

Related: The stiff upper lip: why the royal health warning matters

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Entrepreneurs have to push themselves but anxiety crept up on me

Tania Diggory was running a successful events company when she battled to overcome uncertainty and anxiety. Now she helps other entrepreneurs cope

As an entrepreneur, you take big risks to make your dreams a reality. The incredible opportunities that have come my way simply wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to explore my potential.

At times though, this has come at a cost. Three years ago, during the second year of running my events business, I started to experience anxiety attacks.

We shouldn’t feel ashamed of the struggles we go through to achieve our goals. It takes courage to live this lifestyle

Related: ‘Mental health is not only about darkness and depression’

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Male construction workers at greatest risk of suicide, study finds

Figures for deaths in England suggest highest risk among women is for those employed in culture, media and sport

Men working in the construction industry and women employed in culture, media and sport, healthcare and primary school teaching are at the highest risk of suicide, official figures for England suggest.

 

Related: Strong link between disadvantage and suicide, says Samaritans

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City-dwellers are prone to depression – are high-rises to blame?

Residents of high-rise blocks tend to suffer from more stress, mental health difficulties and neurosis

Prof Colin Ellard was walking past the rows of new-build towers that dominate the west of central Toronto when he had a sudden realisation. “I was struck by how dark, sombre and sad these new urban canyons made me feel,” he says.

Ellard, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo in Canada who studies the impact of places on the brain and body, wanted to know why he felt like that – and if others felt the same.

Related: Can prefab homes solve UK’s housing crisis?

Related: London’s changing skyline: planned tall buildings ‘almost double in two years’

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M&S launches mental health drop-ins as part of Ruby Wax project

Retailer to host fortnightly ‘Frazzled Cafes’ in 11 stores at which people can share their stories
Marks & Spencer is to host mental health drop-ins in its store cafes as part of an initiative designed to soothe stressed shoppers.

The Frazzled Cafe project is fronted by the comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax. The fortnightly sessions, which will be hosted by trained volunteers in restaurants that have closed for the day, will initially be held in 11 stores with more locations to be added in the coming months. The branches taking part include three in London as well as outlets in Nottingham, Leeds and Newcastle.

Related: M&S enjoys cracking Christmas as clothing sales rise

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