Do you struggle with managing stress? Most of us do at some time or another. But for entrepreneurs who are juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, managing stress can be even more of a challenge.
Between busy schedules for work and family, lots of details to stay on top of, and the potential for unexpected challenges, it isn’t easy for small business owners to keep life in balance or make time to unwind. We wear so many hats and there’s always so much to do. And with technology keeping us constantly connected, the boundaries between work and down time are often blurred. We’re tethered and can easily forget how important it is to recharge and unwind.
It’s unrealistic to think we can remove all stress, but there are ways to reduce the effects or shift more quickly from overwhelmed to your calm, cool, productive best. Regular exercise, getting enough sleep and good nutrition should always be the foundation of your plan for managing stress, but we often overlook simple strategies that can help relieve stress throughout the course of any day.
So, here’s a list of some the best tips and strategies you can use during your day for managing stress:
Take a few deep breaths. – Deep, measured breathing relaxes muscles and increases oxygen levels to the brain. And it can be done anywhere, at any time.
Light a scented candle. – With the popularity of scented candles, there are lots of options out there. Find a scent you love that calms and soothes or refreshes your senses.
Laugh – It’s hard to be stressed if you’re laughing or smiling. It lightens the mood and lifts the spirits. A good dose of laughter can break the tension and get you back on track.
Take 10 minutes and clean the clutter from your desk. – This is a quick, very powerful reboot for a stressed frame of mind.
Thoughts – Whatever you think and believe – you create. Adjust your inner voice and reframe stress-filled self-talk to the positives of gratitude for having an abundance of work to do and confidence in your ability to manage your time and complete projects.
Play soothing music. – There are so many sources for playlists that calm and soothe. You can choose instrumentals or songs that bring memories of good times.
Switch gears – Simply taking a break and doing something completely opposite of whatever is causing you stress can work wonders. If you have a desk job, take a walk. If you’re on your feet all day, sit and take a break.
Stretch your tired muscles. – Suggestions for stretches that target specific muscle groups are available all over the internet. Even five minutes of stretching to release tension can help.
Indulge yourself in a special treat. – The possibilities are endless!
Try meditation or yoga. – The benefits of yoga and meditation for stress relief are many. And a Harvard study has shown that using guided meditation as a regular practice may actually increase overall well-being and quality of life. (May happens to be Meditation Month, so it’s a perfect time to try it.) Like music, you can also find lots of guided meditations on the Internet, but here’s a great resource for guided meditations I’ve found.
Let go of the small stuff and things you can’t control. – Life is short and many of the things we’re worrying about or stressing over today will likely be resolved or forgotten tomorrow. Try to keep things in perspective and focus on the things that truly matter.
Take a few minutes to feel grateful and focus on your blessings and the good things in your life. – It’s easy to get stuck in negativity when you feel overwhelmed by work or life, but there is always something to be grateful for!
Think about the glass being half full – not half empty. – In fact, take a moment to just be grateful you have a glass!
Just Say No! – Turn down people or projects that make you feel overextended, overcommitted or overwhelmed. This may feel uncomfortable the first few times you try it, but once you realize the benefits of seizing control of your time, it gets easier.
Remember, life is a journey, not a destination. – It’s not a competition where we’re racing to a finish line. It’s all about learning, progressing, growing, and making the most of your journey.
Hopefully, these simple tips and strategies will come in handy when the stresses of life are weighing you down. Make them part of your toolbox for managing stress in the course of your day and they’ll help you be more productive and profitable, in addition to helping you relax, recharge and unwind.
Need help with strategies, systems and processes for time management and productivity? Contact me. I’m here to help!