A man reviews company documents. An investor should manage their expectations and not let short-term fluctuations in the market affect their mental well-being. PHOTO COURTESY


Building wealth with a healthy mind

What you need to know:

  • Diversifying your investment can help you feel more secure and reduce the stress of relying heavily on a single investment.

Investing can be emotionally draining during downturns especially when you have sunk in large sums of money.  
Financial management involves a step-by-step process for achieving your goals through effectively managing your money. A financial plan serves as a road map to where you would like to get.

As an entrepreneur managing and investing in crypto, stocks, unit trusts or quick money schemes, and long-term goals among others, it is crucial to manage your investments and protect yourself against stress. 

World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health is an indispensable part of health, and a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
May was a mental health month. Prosper magazine dives into how you can manage investments and protect against mental health.

May was a mental health month. Prosper magazine dives into how you can manage investments and protect against mental health.

Dr Andabati Gonzanga, the executive director, Bethany Women & Family Hospital, says mental health issues are on the rise ranging from the milder ones to the more severe ones; all of which are rising in terms of prevalence in our population. 
He indicates that one of the triggers of mental health is stress.  Back in the day, he says managing stress was done in groups. 

“We used to have access to friends and relatives, who will support us and help us have another look but now society has fragmented, become isolated and so we no longer get that support,” Gonzanga says.

Currently, most people manage stress alone, but mismanaging stress can have serious consequences on your mental and physical well-being.
He, however, encourages people with mental stress to use the two approaches to overcome mental stress. 
First, reduce things that cause mental stress. “Evaluate yourself understand what you must do and how to manage it. 

Secondly, try to make social networks. Opt for physical social networks rather than virtual ones.
Hillary Olupot, Crown Beverages Limited (CBL), plant manager Nakawa says the compaby’s culture encourages the use of CAPOCI which stands for Inclusive leadership. Be Compliant, Accountable, do things professionally and have a goal.

“If you’re in finance, you are a salesperson too and have to apply CAPOCI (Compliant Accountable Professional Objective Commitment and Inclusive leadership) as long as you work with CBL,” Olupot says. 

 He, therefore, appreciates the CBL HR team that brought in a counselor to guide employees in  dealing with mental health issues.  The company has several meetings where staff express themselves. Every quarter, chief executive officers engage with employees where they freely ask about anything. 
Signs of mental health
Jackline Kisakye Nsanze, mental Health Advocate and the founder of The Strategy, says before diving into stress management strategies, it is essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of workplace stress.

 These may include persistent fatigue and lack of energy, frequent headaches or migraines, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, increased irritability or mood swings, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and physical ailments such as stomachaches or muscle tension.

 By recognising these signs, individuals can address stress early.
 “When it comes to financial investments, the focus is often on maximising returns and minimising risks,” Kisakye says.
Investors must balance  mental health and financial success. 

“The volatility and uncertainty associated with investments can create stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil. By adapting strategies that prioritise mental well-being, individuals can protect themselves from the negative effects of financial investments,” she explains.
Kisakye notes that approximately 80 percent of individuals with serious mental health needs in Uganda cannot access care. 

“With fewer than 100 psychiatrists for a population of more than 45 million, most of whom are based in urban areas, nonexistent integration of mental healthcare at the primary healthcare level, caring for people with mental illness is typically left to family members,” she says. 

Below are some key approaches to managing your investments with proper self care.

Set realistic expectations
Kisakye says that one of the fundamental steps in protecting your mental health while investing is to set realistic expectations. 
“Investments involve risks, and market fluctuations are inevitable. Avoid falling prey to sensationalised news that can create unrealistic expectations or amplify anxiety. Instead, focus on long-term goals, and embrace a balanced perspective,” Kisakye explains. 

Diversify your portfolio
Diversification is a vital strategy to mitigate risks and minimise the impact of market volatility on your mental well-being. 

Diversifying your investments across various asset classes, sectors, and geographical regions reduces the reliance on any single investment. Diversification creates a more stable portfolio and offers a sense of security during turbulent times.
Practice mindful investing
Mindfulness can be applied to various aspects of life, including investing. 
“Be fully present and aware of your emotions, thoughts, and reactions to market fluctuations.  Make more rational and deliberate investment decisions, avoid impulsive actions driven by fear or greed. Mindful investing helps you maintain a balanced perspective and prevents excessive emotional strain,” Kisakye says. 

Implement risk management strategies
Managing risk is crucial for protecting your mental health in financial investments. 
She elaborates that it is crucial to establish a risk management plan that aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance. 
This may include setting stop-loss orders, diversifying investments, regularly reviewing and rebalancing your portfolio, and having an emergency fund to handle unexpected financial situations. By having a structured approach to risk management, you can reduce anxiety and feel more in control of your investments.

Take breaks and focus on self-care
Investing can be a time-consuming and mentally demanding endeavor. It is essential to prioritise self-care and take breaks from monitoring your investments. 
She adds: “Engage in activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation, such as exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or practicing mindfulness and meditation. Balancing your investment activities with self-care helps prevent burnout and preserves your mental well-being.”