Starting and running a business is always a stressful endeavor; introduce a global pandemic into the mix and the load gets even heavier. When you’re trying to grow your business and become part of the community, it can be hard to remember to reduce your stress load and slow down. It’s important to take that time; you can’t do your best work if you’re running on an empty tank. Here are some ways to reconnect with yourself, even in these wild times.
Taking care of yourself is so important. Eleanor Brown said it best: “When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Even though taking time off seems antithetical to promoting your business, the reverse can actually be true. Burnout is a real phenomenon, where your mind and body barely have the energy or will to keep working and emoting at such a high level.
If you get burned out, your business will definitely suffer, so be sure to check in on yourself and take time to treat yourself well. Get some good rest, keep your home tidy to help eliminate stress and negative energy, eat a well-balanced diet, and do something to make yourself happy — this can keep you moving well into the future.
Develop a Routine
This is good advice even for those who aren’t entrepreneurs: having a solid routine can change the flow of your day and help you stay moored even when the waters are rough. Developing a daily routine can give you more time to plan ahead, less stress when planning for the future, and can help reduce our tendencies to procrastinate.
When you know what’s coming down the line for you over the next few days, weeks, and months, the stress of making your business a success will be lightened considerably. It can also help you prioritize; you can make the time to relax every day after dedicated time to work, letting every area of your life benefit from the new habit.
Change Your Thinking Patterns
Sometimes, one of the things really holding you back is yourself. How you frame the obstacles that you face can affect your emotions; instead of seeing something as impossible, viewing it as a challenge gives you new ways to respond to the situation instead of keeping you stuck.
Try giving the nasty critic in your mind a different voice, like a cartoon villain — when you hear a wicked witch telling you the ways in which you don’t measure up, you know this isn’t trustworthy information. Slow down and break down your feelings: why does this overwhelm me? What is a bite-sized thing I can do now to make this better tomorrow? Sometimes the best path is getting out of a rut that doesn’t serve you anymore.
Get Your Blood Pumping
Stewing on a problem is unlikely to give you a solution; instead, most of us get our best ideas when letting our minds wander from the task at hand. Getting some exercise and focusing on moving your body can help let the ideas flow. Exercising can also help improve your mood, energy, and even your self-esteem. Any kind of movement can help, so get up and dance with your kids, take your pets on a walk, or take up rock climbing — there are no wrong answers.
No matter what curveballs the new year throws at you, there are ways to manage your stress and focus on continuing to move forward. Reach out to Mosaic Counselling and Psychotherapy to see what resources are available to you and how you can make positive changes for your future. Both you and your business will be better for your attention and time, so don’t hesitate!