Blog 25.01.21

Mental wellbeing: Advice and insights from the business world

Michelle Owen, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, shares advice on balancing work and studies with self-care and how personal development opportunities can help with mental wellbeing.

Headshot of Michelle Owen, Managing Director of Deutsche Bank

What advice would you give to young people struggling to balance jobs or studies with self-care?

“Most importantly, please realise that you are not alone.

Take time to understand what really makes a difference to you. For me, especially during current times, I need time out in the fresh air, whether that’s walking my daughter to school, meeting a friend or walking to get a coffee. Make sure you’re kind to yourself, recognise what’s important to you and plan in time to do that.

Also know that it is ok to say no if you need to, we cannot be superhuman all the time.”

How do personal development activities positively impact the mental wellbeing of young people?

“They help to give purpose to the work they do. My view is, if our younger employees are aware of what the big picture is and how their role forms part of that then they generally feel more positive. They can push their boundaries and learn to grow, making it much easier for them to manage working in challenging environments when those situations arise.

An often forgotten but useful personal development activity is learning to accept failure, be resilient and not fearful of mistakes – learning from mistakes can help you grow. My daughter’s school have adopted a great phrase, ‘mistakes are marvellous’!

I am also a firm believer in initiatives such as the DofE, that help young people to set out and achieve goals. It fosters a growth mindset and guides young people to learn and develop themselves. I love the volunteering aspect of the DofE, as I believe it helps provide perspective on life, encourages less self-focus and helping others in the community.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

“Young people now are living in complex times. One of the many things I love about the DofE is its simplicity and the fact it provides a welcome break from the pressures of social media and technology, helping young people to meet real people and share life experiences together.

If you were to pick up a wellbeing guide it would advise exercise, friends, community, helping others, learning something new and challenging yourself, which are all key ingredients that the DofE offers.”