Work is the biggest source of stress for most small business owners and busy professionals. As work piles on and the stress starts to bury you, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, check out some self-care practices below to help you prevent work-related stress.
Blow Off Steam
When you are not working, it’s important to leave work at the office. Give yourself time in the evenings where you are not checking email and not trying to cross a few more tasks off your list in your home. It may sound counterintuitive, but letting yourself unwind decreases stress and anxiety, according to Healthline.
Find ways to help you relax. Though it may be tempting to grab a few beers with some friends, be wary. Alcohol and substance use can actually increase stress and anxiety. Instead, turn toward healthy self-care practices. Find a hobby such as reading, running, knitting, or cooking. Spending time with friends and family can also greatly reduce stress.
Staying organized is a great way to reduce stress. At the start of your day make a list of the things you would like to accomplish by the end of the day. Entrepreneur recommends ranking your tasks and put the things you need to get done that day at the top of the list, this way at the end of the day you’re not scrambling to get things done. Plus, as you start to cross things off you’ll see how much you’ve gotten done.
If there is a particularly overwhelming task you’re expected to get done, try breaking it into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help you feel like you’re making progress. It is also a good idea to figure out what type of worker you are. Some people feel better knocking off a few easy things right away, while others prefer to tackle the biggest task first thing. Do what naturally works for you.
When your to-do list is growing so long you feel as though you are drowning, sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away. Go on a quick walk around the block to clear your head. Giving yourself distance can help you relax and allow you to come back to work refreshed. Much like exercise, your mental health needs time in between tasks to recover. Sometimes even five minutes surfing the Internet can be enough.
Learn to Delegate
The idea that ‘No task is too small’ may sound like you should be able to handle everything, but this mentality can quickly lead to a burnout, and your quality of work may suffer. If you have the time for something small, that’s great. But when you don’t, it’s OK to say no. Your boss and co-workers don’t want you taking on more than you can handle. In fact, that they’ll respect you for knowing your limits.
Do not be shy about delegating either. Save your energy for the big things. Administrative tasks, social media and payroll are easy things to give to someone else, especially if they do not fit into your specific set of skills. Think of it as playing to your strengths. You will be more productive and less stressed if you are doing what suits you best.
Take Care of Yourself
Above all, you need to take care of your well-being. Do not let stress and anxiety rule your life. Practicing self-care is a great way to tune into your needs. Allow yourself time to unwind, don’t take on more than you can handle and fine-tune your body.
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