Stress? Isn’t that just something you have to live with?
Well, yes and no.
We all feel stress and though the triggers may be different for each person, we all react to stress in similar ways.
Your heart rate speeds up and your breathing becomes shallower. Your muscles tighten and your blood pressure rises. Your body is ready for action. Your body is built to recover from this and go back to normal.
But what if it doesn’t?
What if it stays in this state of readiness all jazzed up with nowhere to go? This cannot be good. You will wear yourself out.
As an entrepreneur, you have some additional and different pressures than people who work for someone else.
You may be alone much of the time. You may keep working for long periods of time as you often don’t have specified hours.
If you work at home, the lines between work and home life blur.
But there is good news!
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce the stress that comes with being an entrepreneur. You need to recognize the fatigue, crankiness and bouts of sickness that are symptoms of overload and stress. You must constantly re-evaluate and re-focus. Change takes time. You start with changing your thoughts, and this will lead to changing your actions.
Do not be fooled by the “simple-ness” of the following stress-busting suggestions. These strategies will work, but you must choose to give them a try and keep them up.
You need to re-prioritize. If you cannot seem to get everything done and you are constantly beating yourself up about this, you have to face reality. You cannot do everything. It isn’t a matter of re-prioritizing the “to-do” list. It is a matter of reprioritizing your life list. Make a date with yourself for an hour or two and go somewhere quiet, where you can be alone.
List what is important to you.
Put these items in order of importance.
Look carefully at your top three. Are these the items that support you financially and emotionally? You have been sabotaging yourself and to successfully stop the self-sabotage, you will have to change the way you have ordered your life up to now. Whenever you need to make a decision concerning the expenditure of your time, look at your life list. Will the activity support those items? If not, do not spend your time on those items. Which leads to the next step…
2 Get Help. Stop trying to do everything yourself. Start with the most inexpensive thing: Help around the house. Get someone to clean, do errands, and do grocery shopping. If you work in the home, this is really important because you will constantly notice what needs to done and it can distract you. For your business, hire part-time help to help you with paperwork or tasks that require much of your time. You can hire Virtual Assistants if you are not ready for employees in your office. They can be hired by the hour and can do some of the tasks that you should not be spending your time doing. Virtual Assistants are independent contractors and are skilled in office, bookkeeping and computer work. They work out of their own offices on the computer and phone. Delegate, hire, barter. Do what you need to so that you stop trying to do everything yourself.
3. Move. You cannot sit all day and keep working. It is not good for your body, it is not good for your mind and it is not good for your business. Get some exercise and the easiest way to start is to walk. I urge you to schedule time in your day, each day, for a walk. So often, as entrepreneurs, we keep going, usually because we don’t want to lose our momentum.
But if you don’t take the time to walk and move your legs, you will not only lose your momentum, you will have used up all your energy and ideas. When you walk, your mind takes in new sights and sounds. It is helpful to let your mind relax into a flow, with no set direction or course. Your subconscious will continue to work on whatever project you are currently involved in, and you will be inspired with new ideas, solutions, and courses of action.
Take out your calendar and schedule three or four walks for this week. Even a fifteen-minute walk will give you amazing results. After that, I know you will make it a priority! It’s that good!
4 Drink water. Tons. Take the time to drink plenty of water. This is so simple but so important. Keep hydrated to flush out toxins, have healthier looking skin and boost your metabolic rate. Often we mistake thirst for hunger, so drinking enough water can help you control the amount you eat.
Keeping your body hydrated will help every part of your body and mind. You will have fewer headaches, and you will think more clearly. You want the clearest thinking for your business, don’t you?
5. Get more sleep. Adults should have 7-9 hours of sleep a night and if you are not getting enough sleep, everything will suffer. Your business, your personal life, and your health. You do not think creatively when you are tired, and you may make bad decisions. When you don’t get enough sleep, hormones in your body get out of whack. You will actually crave carbohydrates and eat more when you are tired. The foods you crave are usually ones that zap your B vitamins—the ones you need for energy!
The easiest way to start, is to move your bedtime up by 15 minutes. You can create the time to go to bed earlier by turning off the television. Record your favorite shows. Watch them at a later time. Turn off the computer. Turn off the Blackberry and leave the phone alone. If you have trouble settling down, a hot shower or bath can relax you. A glass of milk or a small bowl of cereal can help.
Create a relaxing atmosphere in your sleep area with soft bedding and quiet. Read a novel or a magazine for a few minutes before you turn the lights out. (No newspapers or articles about the economy!)
Remember, as far as work, there will always be more. Leave it.
Go to sleep.
One important note: It is your choice whether or not you stay in a stressed out, unhealthy state. What do you want? A healthy business and body, or an unhealthy business and body? Think about it.
Diana Fletcher is the Stress-reducing Expert Life Coach, Speaker and Author. Visit her website at www.dianafletcher.com and pick up free stress reducing tips and watch her video! Diana be reached at 724 733-7562 or through her website.