It’s perfectly normal to have days when your small business stresses you out, or you don’t seem to have enough hours to get through your to-do list. Minor stress is part and parcel of life, let alone running your own business, but what happens when you hit a sizable bump in the road, and you can’t see a way forward? If you can’t escape stress, hopefully, this guide will prove useful.
Pinning Down a Cause
There are so many things that can cause stress, and we all respond differently to different situations. What stresses one person out may be water off a duck’s back for another. In some cases, there’s a very obvious source of stress. Life events, especially those that hit us unexpectedly, are one of the most common causes of severe or prolonged stress. Examples may include losing a loved one or going through a relationship breakdown. Money worries and pressure at with your business are other common causes of stress.
Many of us also get a little frazzled when we’ve got a lot on our plates, or we’re struggling to contain or control our emotions. This can often be linked to tiredness.
If you feel stressed on a regular basis or you can’t remember feeling ‘normal,’ it’s a good idea to try and think about the cause or causes. Why do you think you feel the way you do? And can you think of any ways to move forward?
Stress is such a broad concept. It’s very easy to say that you’re stressed out, and we tend to overuse this phrase. Stress may be thought of as a very minor ailment, but in some cases, it can be incredibly damaging.
If you have severe stress, you shouldn’t have to try and find a way through it alone. Once you’ve determined the cause of stress, you can work out a plan of action.
If you’re struggling to cope with bereavement, the healing process can take a very long time, and it’s important that you have people around you to look after you and support you. Losing somebody who means a lot to you can turn your world upside down, and affect every aspect of your life.
You may struggle to interact with others, and even the idea of going to work may fill you with dread and apprehension. If you feel like this, and you have another job other than your business, speak to your boss. Many employers have measures in place to protect their workforce when life gets tough. Employee Assistance Programs, such as those provided by Health Assured, are benefit programs that aim to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and well-being. If you know you’ve got support at work, this can help to ease anxiety. You can access services like counseling through work or see your doctor for advice.
If you’re finding it hard to cope with the breakdown of a relationship, it’s hugely beneficial to have friends and family around you. Be as open and honest as you can be, and try and look forward rather than dwelling on what’s gone wrong. Time is usually the best healer, and there will come a time when you feel strong enough to move forward.
Sometimes, tackling a situation head on is the best way to deal with things that are making you uneasy. This is often the case for stress when running a business. I always find that if I get the hardest task of the day out of the way first thing, my day is much less stressful.
If you hate your day job, consider moving on to pastures new.
Taking time out
One of the best things you can do to manage stress, no matter the cause, is to take time out. It doesn’t matter whether you escape the office for 15 minutes when you’ve been chasing your tail all morning, or you book an extended trip. Time to yourself can help you to clear your mind, rationalize situations, and think and reflect.
Everyone is different, but there do seem to be some effective stress-management techniques out there. If you choose to fill your time meditating, exercising, being creative, laughing or even cuddling your pet, you may find that you are able to cope with stress better.
If nothing else, turn off your phone and computer for awhile and bask in the lack of electronics beckoning you to some new problem.
Do you sometimes feel like you can’t escape stress? The demands of modern life can take their toll, and sometimes, the unpredictability of life can catch us off guard. Stress affects everyone but to varying degrees. It is possible to combat stress, especially if you can learn to spot the triggers, depend on others and manage situations before they become more serious.