Having a business can be extremely stressful. There are times when you don’t know what to start with because your tasks and to-dos are never-ending. But all in all, you have to take a break once in a while otherwise your stress levels can go through the roof.
There are loads of ways you can manage your stress. I’m going to tackle it with a few ideas.
1. Get out your running shoes.
Doesn’t sound appealing, does it? If you’re anything like me, then you don’t like physical activity. *cringes at the thought of running* But it’s amazingly good for you; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Physical activity can range from taking a walk to full blown exercise.
Yoga for relaxation is a specific technique and helps in a big way. Exercise releases a chemical called dopamine, which basically raises your happy levels. Taking a walk keeps you in touch with nature, and takes you away from the source of stress
So, the next time you’re feeling too overwhelmed, take a walk, or do some yoga to come back and do a better job.
2. Another reason to NOT get out of bed
Lack of sleep is an important contributor to stress. Sleep and stress have a two way relationship. While high stress levels can make sleeping more difficult, a good night’s sleep can reduce a lot of stress.
Not getting enough sleep can makes you feel extremely tired and leaves you easily agitated. You will not be able to concentrate on the work at hand. It is in your best interest to sleep a minimum of 8 hours. Power naps also come in handy if you don’t have a lot of time to sleep but are in need of rest.
If you get a good night’s sleep, you will be less exhausted and will feel ready to tackle work. You will also do a much better job if you have gotten enough sleep.
3. Manage your time better
Stress is often created by having a lot of things to do but not enough time to do it. Like Mary-Kate and Ashley said, ‘So little time!’ The obvious solution is to manage your time cleverly.
A schedule will help know what to do when, so you won’t be overwhelmed at the end of the day. You can monitor how much time is devoted to each task, and check if too much of your valuable time is spent doing tasks that are not relevant to the job at hand.
Make more time by waking up early. Sounds hard doesn’t it? Read these tips to help you wake up early. Planning each day out is also a factor in reducing stress. Another idea is to set clear and achievable goals.
When you set goals, there is something tangible to be achieved and you will be motivated to work towards it.
4. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
Sometimes, putting yourself in social situations can help reduce stress. Just finding yourself amidst people and in a group makes you calmer and more adjusted. You can also talk to a professional. Conversing with a friend or a professional can help put your problems in perspective.
While it does relieve stress, keep in mind that the person you’re talking to is someone you trust and are comfortable with. It is also important that the person you talk to is not the source of your stress.*nudge, nudge*
If you feel you lack confidence, take it upon yourself to boost your confidence. Once you vent out your feelings and cleanse yourself of all the issues you’ve been facing, you will feel a lot better. Talking can also lead to new and more effective solutions.
5. Digital Detox
We’ve all heard about this. But the truth is, we live in a world where we’re constantly texting or e-mailing. We are using our phones and laptops for, among other things – communication. Aside from the fact that this very communication does cause layers and layers of stress, there is also the science part of it, especially the radiation.
It causes your brain to go into overdrive. You are also constantly in communication with the source of your stress.
If not for longer, for 15-20 minutes per day, leave your phones and laptops aside and engage in another activity before going to bed. Do not use any gadgets at least one hour before sleeping as this will lead to your waking up feeling well-rested.
6. Call a friend and make an impromptu plan.
Ever scroll through your contacts list and find a name there, someone you used to talk to? Even your closest friends, sometimes feel like you don’t have enough time for them? Well, make some! Call them and spontaneously decide to do something together.
Spend an amazing day with your friends and just have fun. Besides being an effective stress reliever, it’ll make your friends feel good (and you, of course). You will also feel happier. Open up to your friends, they will reaffirm your self-esteem.
Studies have found that being with close friends reduces the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Spend the time with them, catching up, eating good food (That doesn’t have to be specific to stressful situations), and simply being in their comforting presence.
7. Bake a cake for yourself and eat it outside
If you know how to bake, great! If you don’t, even better! This way is effective because learning something new is an excellent method of stress relief (besides getting cake). There are tons of cake recipes on the Internet. Find an easy one and get started on baking yourself a cake! *drools*
The need for ingredients might send you out shopping, in which case, even better. Once you have everything you need, bake the cake – following the recipe, or bake it your way. I guarantee you, you will find yourself so absorbed in the activity that you will forget all your stress (unless the source of your stress, for some reason, is cakes).
Once your cake is ready, take it outside and enjoy nature while eating cake. Besides making you feel better, you will make more friends, because humans are drawn to cake.
Thus, between social interactions, cake and nature, you will have the most stress-free day ever. (Also, you deserve this cake, lovely! Treat yourself!)
I’ve found that reading can be the best stress reliever, for many reasons. You’re completely absorbed in the book, thus forgetting about your stress. According to research, reading even for six minutes can reduce stress and it works better than newer methods.
It also simulates your creativity and you enter an alternate state of consciousness. It eases tensions in your muscles and heart. Instead of binge watching on television, read something.
Reading, it has been found, can increase the quality of social interactions. So the next time you walk across that book on your shelf that you’ve been meaning to read for ages, but never found the time, pick it up, sit down with some hot cocoa and read it!
9. A warm bath.
Lying down in the bath, the stress just melting away, flower oil smells and your favorite music surrounding you… Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? Bath meditation is a proven method of stress relief. Especially while accompanied by aromatherapy oils and music.
Lighting scented candles (yes, these are used for un-romantic purposes also) can relax your mind and body.
Music is also a highly recommended stress reliever. It is directly linked to our emotions. While the effect of each kind of music can affect stress in different ways, listening to whatever you like each day will reduce stress.
Music absorbs our attention, which provides a distraction and allows us to explore our emotions. Those under high stress tend to find music a waste of time. To incorporate music in your life, listen to music on your way to work, or in your warm (bubble) bath.
So, the next time you feel like stress has got you down, run a bath with some oils, light those scented candles, put on your favorite music, and let yourself go.
10. Become an Interior Designer.
Getting tired of coming home to the same bedroom you’ve had for a gazillion years? Change it up! Devote one complete day to decorate your room again. Instead of buying ready-made decorations, try buying craft items and creating something of your own.
Not feeling creative enough? Boost your creativity by reading these simple tips. This will occupy your time as well take you away from stress. Redecorating your room will also give a sense of control. I cannot stress how important this is. (see what I did there?)
This taking control of your room will also expand into other parts of your life, like work. Taking control of any situation, however momentarily can help in reducing stress. Since your living space is directly related to your mental health, a cleaner, better space has a huge effect. A better environment has a positive effect on you and you can work better and actually enjoy it!
These are some of my favorite ways to de-stress. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear them! Have a lovely stress-free day!