Do you find yourself with endless to-do lists, deadlines quickly approaching, and a million other things running through your head? Yeah, me too. As many of you may know, being a business owner, big or small, brings its fair share of stress. Now, stress isn’t always a bad thing…. it usually gives me the swift kick in the butt to get things done, but it can also make me feel more agitated or irritable (sorry, hubs). Stress is a normal part of life, but if you don’t take steps to control it, stress can be damaging to your health. Chronic stress can increase your risk of diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. Eeek! So if you are wondering how to reduce stress, try to incorporate these simple habits below into your life.
As a nod to National Stress Awareness Day, I thought I’d share some simple tips to help reduce stress and increase productivity.
1. Get enough sleep
Yeah, I know this is a hard one when we have so much to do, but our bodies need that time to recharge to function properly. Everyone is different so you might only need 6 hours of sleep a night where someone else might need 8 hours. Whichever it is, it’s best to be consistent. TIP: One way to wind down at the end of the day is to create a bedtime routine. Remember that bedtime routine we had as kids (bath, book, etc.)? Well, why not have one as adults too!
2. Listen to Music
Studies show HERE that music is an effective stress management tool because it can quiet your mind and relax your muscles. Listen to something slow and quiet without lyrics so it doesn’t distract you. Nature sounds can also create a calming effect on a person. Try listening to bird’s singing or rainstorm sounds while you work to help focus.
3. Focus on Your Breath
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. When you take in a few deep breaths it allows more oxygen to reach your brain allowing you to relax and restore focus. TIP: During your mini-breaks, try taking a few slow, deep breaths in through the nose. Hold it at the top of the breath for about 5 seconds and then slowly exhale through the mouth.
4. Take a Break
Recent studies HERE have shown that taking breaks throughout the day can actually boost productivity, creativity, and your health. As a general rule of thumb, take a SHORT break (5-15min) every hour or so and a LONG break (at least 30 min) every 2-4 hours. Try to make it a tech-free break like write in a journal, stretch, go for a walk, snuggle your pup, take a nap, or have a snack. TIP: Set yourself an alarm to stop and take a break every hour or so.
5. Learn to Say “No”
Yes, I know, this is definitely easier said than done! But when you overcommit you are more likely to feel run-down and vulnerable to getting sick. Plus, when you say “no” to things, it frees up your time to focus on things that truly energize and excite you! READ THIS great article from the Mayo Clinic on how and when to say “no” to relieve stress.
6. Optimize Your Time Management
I love me a good list. There is something so satisfying about completing a task and getting to cross it off. #amiright It’s not only about making lists though; it’s putting tasks in order of importance and arranging your workload to match your energy levels. Make a note of what you need to do yourself and what can be delegated to others (Hello, VA!). If you are looking for some organization and planning tools, you should get a hold of my Organization Planning Bundle HERE or check out my complete selection of planners HERE.
7. Get Out and Socialize
This one is vitally important if you work from home. It’s so easy to get cooped up and not leave the house for days. Make sure to schedule time with friends and family. Maybe it’s a date with your husband, a dinner party with friends, or just coffee with a girlfriend. No matter what it is, you will be taking your mind off the stress from work and nurturing your relationships. Win-Win!
So there you have it! Those were just a few simple things you can do to reduce stress and improve productivity. What are some of your favorite stress-relieving techniques? Share and comment below!
And don’t forget to check out 5 Habits That You Should Do For Yourself
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