The other day at my Keep It Local Meeting, our member Dick Sanders requested the floor to give a mini value-added presentation on putting stress aside. The presentation was thought-provoking and started some amazing conversation among our members. Dick’s point was this. The more you hold on to stress, the more damage it causes. Not only to your physical and mental health but, it causes damage to your personal relationships and your professional life. If we can learn to put aside stress, we will be much healthier for it. The question that came up was how. How do we put aside stress? Keep reading because below are 8 strategies you can put aside stress so you can positively show up every day for yourself, your loved ones, and your business!
Strategy #1: Learn to say no.
We never want to disappoint people or hurt anyone’s feelings by saying no. Over committing to things doesn’t serve anyone, especially when you are depleting yourself in the process. Instead, set boundaries based on what your personal and professional goals are. When considering saying yes to a new project, event, trade show, etc., ask yourself if what you are considering say yes to is:
- Helping your family
- Growing your business
- Improving your life
- Minimizing your stress
If you can’t answer yes to any of the things listed above, your answer should be no.
Strategy #2: Sleep.
Sleep is so important to our bodies – it is the time our bodies need to heal, fight off infection and disease, and recharge. Everything about your body will work better, including your brain if you give it the rest you need.
Strategy #3: Take Control of Your Environment.
What types of things contribute to your stress? For me, it’s traffic, clutter, and disorganization. To minimize my stress, I schedule meetings outside of rush hour and I keep my work area clean and organized. Nothing irks me more than wasting valuable time looking for a file. What things can you do to your environment to make it less stressful? Maybe it’s working near a window, lighting a scented candle, putting a plant on your desk, listening to soft music while you work, or setting up a fish tank in your office.
Strategy #4: Delegate
Delegate the tasks and projects that don’t need to be done by you. That goes for both personal and professional tasks. It might mean hiring a virtual assistant, the neighborhood kid who has a lawn cutting business, outsourcing, etc. Get creative and determine who you can outsource projects to.
Strategy #5: Make Time For the Things You Love
For me, it’s my family, my friends, and my dogs. Making sure I can pour energy into those items instantly subsides and eases my stress.
Strategy #6: Escape
If you can bug out for a quick weekend getaway – great! If not, escape by spending the day touring your city through tourists eyes, read a book, go for a walk, go to a movie, and get out of your regular routine. Doing something different sparks creativity and gives you a new perspective on how to handle stress.
Strategy #7: Routines
Morning routines and evening routines to set yourself up for a successful day, matter. In fact, they matter a lot. The more you prepare yourself for the day ahead, the smoother the day will go and you will minimize stress. Some things I include in my routines are:
- Picking out the clothes I am going to wear the night before
- Setting a plan for my day including a priority task list
- Selecting a podcast to listen to during my daily walk
- Organizing my workspace so it is ready for me when I begin to tackle my day
- Setting reminders and alarms on my phone so I don’t forget to finish certain tasks
Strategy #8: Don’t Focus On What You Can’t Control
Things are going to happen that you can’t predict and that you don’t have control over. When those instances pop up, recognize them, deal with it, and then move on. There is no sense in worrying over stuff that you can’t fix. Worrying and stressing over things that are out of your control is like a rocking chair. It doesn’t matter how fast you rock in the rocking chair…you are never going to get anywhere. No matter how much you worry or stress about things that you can’t control, you are never going to be able to fix it so, let it go!