A Busy Entrepreneurs Guide to Managing Unhealthy Stress
The following is a guest post from Julie Morris of www.juliemorris.org
If you’ve chosen a career in the fast-paced world of business, you’re probably the type of person who can deal with and maybe even thrive in the presence of stress. It’s your motivator. It’s what keeps you on your toes. It’s what makes you strive to be better and more successful. However, too much stress can wreak havoc on your health and your productivity. Here’s what you need to know to manage unhealthy levels of work-related stress.
Self-care is key
Nothing you do in the business realm will matter if you don’t first build a strong foundation of mental and physical health. When you practice self-care, you not only improve your overall wellness, you also boost your self-esteem, productivity, and even your immune system. Any proper self-care checklist will include activities like getting daily exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and practicing some sort of mindfulness technique (yoga, meditation, etc.).
Take your time off
Whether your career allows you just a few days or a few weeks off per year, take them. In a high-powered business environment, there is the temptation to refuse vacation time in order to get ahead or simply not fall behind. This is counterproductive. If you never take a vacation, you never give your brain a chance to recharge. When you do take vacations, you return to work more focused, productive, and creative. Plus, that break will have reduced your stress level substantially.
Channel yourself into a hobby
Hobbies reportedly help billionaire investor Warren Buffet manage his stress, and if it’s good enough for Warren Buffet, it’s good enough for you. Various studies have shown that hobbies have the ability to curb stress and anxiety just as much as exercise. For one, a hobby is a distraction from your stress — an escape. They also force you to take breaks from work, and anything you do to stimulate your brain in a positive way will help it better deal with the onslaught of work-related stressors.
Get granular about your tasks and your time
“When you are in absolute control of your time and you have real data showing you what's happening in your life, you experience a sense of control and power you've never felt before,” notes an article in Forbes. This is the argument for getting super detailed about every second of your time. Along with a detailed to-do list, crafting a log of your daily activities (personal and business-related) is kind of like auditing yourself. You’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t, and this control will help to reduce your stress.
Stay organized — everywhere
Your desk at your office needs to be organized and clutter-free. Your desk at home needs to be organized and clutter-free. So does your car — and the rest of your home. Clutter is a major stressor, and organization is a major de-stresser. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Once you tackle these physical spaces, you can turn your decluttering efforts to virtual and non-physical realms, like your computer, online storage, phone, personal schedule, and more. The less noise surrounding everything in your life, the better.
While you should make defeating excess stress a priority for the simple reason that it will help make you a happier, healthier person, if you need extra motivation to do so, know that it will also improve your professional life. Unhealthy stress makes you less productive, less creative, and less able to handle the high stakes of the world you thrive in. It’s an all-around benefit for you to get a handle on your stress — starting today!