Sadly stress is something that no one can avoid because, guess what? Life happens. As women we try our best to keep it together for everyone in our family, including ourselves. However, sometimes things do not go as planned. Although you can’t avoid stress there are ways for you to manage it in the heat of the moment. I want you to close your eyes and imagine the most stressful day you have ever had and incorporate these 5 steps that I use to get through my day:
- Breathe – Literally take a deep breath and relax. While this may seems so normal and matter-of-fact, when we become stressed we forget this and our fears and anxieties take over. You have to put everything at a halt when you are feeling stressed and take a breath for about 10 seconds. This will help reduce the chances of having a panic attack and becoming overwhelmed. I sometimes have to look at myself in the mirror and say “Rachel, Relax!” Only then I am able to tackle whatever challenge I have to face next. If you would like to take things to the next take a moment to yourself to pray or meditate in silence. Close your office door, hide in your car or your favorite restroom stall and let it go.
- Evaluate the importance of the situation – It all goes back to the saying “Don’t stress over what you can’t control!” Is your stressful day because a major contract hasn’t come through? Or because your child had a bad day at school? Basically, things that you can’t control. Well, if that is the case DO NOT stress about it. I know this seems unrealistic but you have to realize that you can’t allow everything to consume you. Write down your issues and leave them on that sticky note until you can actually deal with them.
- Prioritize your steps – It’s important to map out your day and rank your priorities by importance. While on the brink of a meltdown, find your list, figure out the most pressing responsibility and take care of it! Too often we lend ourselves to stress due to that one event or call of bad news. Instead of becoming overpowered, take out that to-do-list, reread it and make the most of your day.
- Avoid eating poorly – As women, we tend to binge eat when uncomfortable or stressful situations present themselves. This is definitely a bad habit that you do not want to get involved with. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential to the entrepreneurial woman’s ability to seize control over those types of situations. Yes, I know that favorite caffeine drink, juicy hamburger and piece of chocolate cake is calling your name now that you are stressed! But fight that urge and have some fruit or whichever healthier alternative that you prefer.
- Participate in something you enjoy – Do something for YOU, by yourself! I enjoy playing my flute, knitting, and volleyball. When you have a stressful day you have to take the time to do something that you love and that does not involve anyone else. Selfish? No, necessary! Often as women we take care of everyone else but we neglect ourselves. Our children, significant others, employees, parents, friends and siblings usually come first. I am here to tell you, take time out for YOU even if it is only a 20 minute manicure. You deserve it and you will thank yourself later.
Everyday won’t be a great day or even a good day but it is a day that you can get through. Practice these 5 steps anytime that you are feeling stressed. Like the title says don’t let the stress get the best!