April is Stress Awareness month which has been held every April since 1992. The American-led initiative is designed to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.
Many of our clients are all too familiar with stress. Managing your own business can be hugely empowering but it can also lead to significant levels of stress. Everything falls directly on your shoulders. You must be sales person, accountant, marketer, inventor, customer service, production – everything at once. Your personal wealth and wellbeing rests directly with you and if you employ others theirs does too. Salaries and bills must be paid out every month – regardless of what income has come in.
Here are our top tips for managing stress and restoring a healthy balance at work and home:
- Eat Well – It is all too tempting to rely on coffee and snacks to get you through particularly when you are tired and have so much to do. But the short term high can affect your concentration levels negatively later, actually allowing you to get less done. To maintain maximum concentration levels drink as much water as you can to stay well hydrated, eat regularly (no skipping lunch because you don’t feel you have time) and have plenty of healthy snacks like fruit and nuts to keep you going throughout the day.
- Exercise Well – We all know that exercise is good for us in terms of managing our weight and keeping our body functioning, but it also has significant stress benefits. Any form of physical activity, walking, running, or more competitive sports, leads to the release of endorphins which make us feel happier and able to cope with stress better. Exercise can also relax tense muscles, alleviating stress-related aches and pains like back, neck and shoulder pain and headaches.
- Get perspective – Try and take 2 minutes to think about your sources of stress. Evaluate both the negatives and the positives of your situation. It can be all too easy to get drawn in to only seeing the dark clouds above but trying to find positives can help you set a happier course ahead.
- Get help – You don’t have to cope with everything on your own and there are people that can help. For example, contact your local Council or an online gateway like MentorsMe to find out about free mentoring services in your area. Or think about outsourcing tasks that are draining your time and causing you stress. Although making time to talk to others or hand things over might seem difficult in the short term, it can make a huge difference in the long term.
- Take time off – As a business owner it can feel that work never stops and if you work from home the boundaries between work and family life can become even more blurred. But taking time away from business is vital for relaxation and can allow you to return with a fresh perspective. Be it an evening with friends or a holiday with family, time apart from your company can ensure you retain a healthy balance.
Outsourcing to our team of highly experienced VAs can alleviate your stress by passing on the tasks you don’t have time to do, don’t have the skills to do or simply don’t want to do.
Please get in touch on 01483 332220 or email us at [email protected] to find out about our flexible, cost effective service. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see but the difference you do.