Getting stressed out is easy. All you need is a sly comment from a colleague, too many things on your to-do list, a smooth scroll through social media to remind you that you “aren’t where you want to be.”
As we go through life, many people consider being stressed as the norm. They think that it's something inevitable that we can’t avoid... it's what has to happen if we want success, right? This is such a common occurrence, especially if you’re a self-starter, creative or entrepreneur and the concept of hustling means to many that you’re doing it right.
Well it's not true, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way especially when it has such a daunting fate on those who experience it. In INC, there's an interesting article that speaks on the psychological price of entrepreneurship.
"People who are on the energetic, motivated, and creative side are both more likely to be entrepreneurial and more likely to have strong emotional states," "You can get into a startup mode, where you push yourself and abuse your body," Freeman says. "That can trigger mood vulnerability."
So it should come as little surprise that entrepreneurs experience more anxiety than employees. In the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 34 percent of entrepreneurs--4 percentage points more than other workers--reported they were worried. And 45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed
Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t have to be that way and you’ll find yourself happier, healthier and more productive if you take proactive methods to avoid stress. Being overwhelmed all of the time isn’t sustainable and so here are some ways we can work against it together.
Be Open With Your Friends
Make sure you have a solid support group. It doesn’t have to be a huge circle of friends but make sure that you have at least 2 or 3 go-to people that you can rely on when things get tough. Don’t feel as if talking about your feelings or emotions is a burden because odds are, if they're real friends, they’ll be happy that you’re opening up to them.
I’m blessed to have a solid inner circle who constantly remind me that I am human and can’t do it all. When I start to get stressed out or overwhelmed, I know that I’ll be able to talk it out and get what I’m feeling off of my chest without judgement.
I’d also recommend having someone in your life who is in the same field or sector as you because it makes it that much easier for them to get what you're going through, because they probably experience some of the same things as you.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential, yet 1 in 3 adults don’t get the sufficient amount of sleep that they need and there are endless studies talking about the benefits of rest. I am a huge advocate for getting 7 hours minimum. It is easy to think that working into the wee hours of the morning will be best for your business or creative hobbies, but then what happens the next day?
You feel tired, groggy and not your best.
My recommendation is to go to sleep at the same hour each night and make sure you wake up at the same time each morning. Once you get into a schedule and start seeing the changes it makes, you’ll find that it can help lower stress levels. If you need some ideas on how to make sure you get a better night’s sleep, this is a great article on The EveryGirl with some tips.
What do I personally do at night before bed?
Drink a warm tea, pray, stretch, deep breathe and then head to bed. In the morning, I have been using Sleep Cycle that helps me wake up when I’m in my lightest sleep cycle and then I always set a back-up alarm just in case. Another tip is to put your phone in another room or on the other side of your bedroom so in the morning, you need to physically get up out of bed to turn it off.
Get Rid Of Electronics and Other Triggers
Social media can stress us out. We spend hours scrolling through Instagram (I'm guilty of this) and we start playing the comparison game of other people’s highlights with our everyday life.
Try spending at least 1 day a week without any social media and try to limit your daily use to certain hours of the day so you don’t fall into the rabbit hole.
When we actually take time to step back from our computer, tablets, cellphones etc. it allows for us to be present in the moment and not get distracted or stressed out by things that are not in our control.
Figure Out The Source
Last but not least, figure out what is actually stressing you out. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the emotion that we don’t take the time to actually see what specific things are causing it.
Why does this help?
Because then you can tackle the solution and make a change.
Take time to write out exactly what you’re feeling and why and then think of 2 or 3 things you can do to solve whatever it is that is making you stressed.
Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately? If so, what tips do you have to slow down and unwind?